President Barack Obama, who is already being called out by the National Rifle Association for elitist hypocrisy for his advocacy of gun control, made sure that he will be protected around the clock by guys with guns for the rest of his life.
He recently signed a bill reauthorizing lifetime government bodyguards for all future presidents as well as himself and his wife and his immediate predecessor, George W. Bush.
In 1994, Congress passed a bill that ended 24/7 Secret Service protection after a president has been out of office for 10 years.
According to Politico, “the Former Presidents Protection Act of 2012 restores lifetime protection for presidents and spouses who served after Jan. 1, 1997, and gives the children of former presidents protection until age 16.” The Act was introduced by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R – SC).
The bill restoring lifetime Secret Service protection for ex-presidents rapidly moved through Congress with bipartisan support apparently because of the increased possibility of “global threats.”
Yahoo! News explains that the 1994 law ending mandatory Secret Service protection for former presidents would have been a significant benefit to the taxpayer:
“At the time, lawmakers who supported the measure said it would save the government millions of dollars. They also argued that former presidents could hire private security firms (as Richard Nixon did after he decided to forgo Secret Service protection in 1985).”
In an interview with Barbara Walters on ABC last month, Obama joked that one of his reasons for running for a second term was to make sure that men with guns were around his daughters all the time.
Leaving aside whether you think lifetime Secret Service protection for the president is or is not another manifestation of hypocrisy, since ex-presidents make a ton of money on their memoirs, speaking engagements, and all sorts of other opportunities, should they be paying for their own security (whether the protection is provided by the government or through private firms) rather than charging the taxpayer for it?