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Bill Clinton Ponders Future in White House

  • Unless the president is impeached, he will keep costing you money for decades.
By Mike Blair

As Congress and the nation ponder the future of the administration of President William Jefferson Clinton, the first family must at this point be doing a little pondering of its own.

There is every indication that a thick skinned Clinton plans to "stick it out."

Many have been griping about the $41 million or more that Independent counsel Kenneth Starr has spent delving into the sewer of sex, malfeasance and corruption that the Clintons have wallowed in for the past six years.

However, most have given little thought, particularly those who are pressing for resignation, to what a resignation would cost the nation. Resignation would mean some big buck expenditures for America's taxpayers.

To start with, the ex-president would be able to draw an annual lifetime pension of $151,800, which could add up to $6.3 billion in 30 years, the largest amount ever paid to an ex-federal official.

There is also the matter of Secret Service protection, mailing privileges and various financial and office allowances given to ex-presidents. This could amount to up to $650,000 per year, not taking into account cost of living adjustments during those possible 30 years of exile.

It has been suggested that Hollywood moguls have a job all lined up for the president when he leaves office -- either by choice or by boot.

It has been reliably reported that dozens of FOB (Friends of Bill) have been doing some planning for their hero's future.

As an example, actor Tom Hanks is said to have paid $3.2 million to buy a one-acre lot near his own luxurious home on the lush Palisades, exclusive Amalfi Drive. The property is a gift for his pals Bill and Hillary for a new home, assuming, of course, that Bill and Hillary remain together in their post-White House years, of which rumors to the contrary are also circulating.

Some of the FOBs involved in planning the first family's future, in addition to Hanks include: producer Stephen Spielberg, who lives a few blocks further along Amalfi Drive; Goldie Hawn; Barbara Streisand; Whoopi Goldberg; Billy Crystal; Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen, both of whom have given $10,000 each to the president's defense fund and raised $3 million for his 1996 re-election campaign.

Now, if Clinton should stick it out, according to U.S. Code, he has an important fact to consider, being that presidents are eligible for pensions and other perks of their office "whose service in office shall have terminated other than by removal pursuant to section 4 of Article II of the constitution" - impeachment.

In other words: If he gets the boot, he don't get the loot.