Old Wives' Tales
Radio & TV
Toxin du jour
Claim: The Clintons are charging rent to the Secret Service agents assigned to protect them.
Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2001]
All humor aside, this is a blood-boiler, full of sound and fury but signifying nothing. It's gossip, plain and simple; a dirty little story dumped onto the Internet to further discredit a President and First Lady some don't like.
The Secret Service is notorious for its reluctance to discuss even mundane aspects of how it carries out its duties, so authoritative information about the setup of the Clinton home in New York state is hard to come by. However, around the time of the Chappaqua purchase, the press estimated that a permanent, taxpayer-funded security system worth more than
The Clintons' home in Chappaqua is served by the White Plains office of the Secret Service, which was already well-staffed before the Clintons' home purchase (largely because many consulates maintain houses in the area). The arrival of the First Family shifted the office's workload from 90% investigative and 10% protective to 80% protective and 20% investigative. The office was there before the Clintons bought into the neighborhood, and it will continue to be there even if the Clintons leave.
In December 2000, the Clintons took possession of another house, this one a
Bill Clinton and his wife are the last to be afforded lifetime Secret Service protection. In 1997, Congress changed the rules governing protection of former Presidents, limiting future
The Clintons have always been subject to rumors of the "Slick Willy" variety; that is, ones which play upon a recurrent theme of their taking advantage of loopholes and benefits they've a legal, but not moral, right to. In the world of popular lore, they are often perceived as candy grabbers, greedy little children set loose in an enormous sweets shop funded by the taxpayer. This latest rumor is another of this kind, an expression of widely-held public opinion. It's gossip, but it's what the public is thinking, set down in the form of a story.
There was a kernel of truth underlying the gossip here, but that kernel has been so distorted that it hardly qualifies as the truth any more. As Lloyd Grove reported in the Washington Post:
Update: Versions of this rumor circulated in January 2008 included the following addendum:
If Hillary wins in 2008 and Bill is 'appointed' to fill her Senate seat and either live to retire 'they' (together or alone) would get two US Presidential retirement checks, two US Senate retirement checks, and a retirement check from the State of Arkansas. About the only thing they MIGHT NOT get is a Social Security check....but I wouldn't bet on it.... I understand ole Bill has earned $40,000,000 in the past six years. What a guy!The (false) claim that anyone who serves even a single term in Congress is eligible to collect the equivalent of a full congressional salary for life is based on a misunderstanding of the congressional pension plan.
AND THE REST OF THE STORY... Hilarious Rotten Clinton, as a New York State Senator, now comes under the 'Congressional Retirement and Staffing Plan,' which means that even if she never gets reelected, she STILL receives her Congressional salary until she dies. (Would it not be nice if all Americans were pension eligible after only
Barbara "cashless cache" Mikkelson
Last updated: 7 January 2008
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