With the 2016 U.S. Presidential election dominating headlines for several months, many taxpaying people in the United States may be asking how much of their money goes into protecting and caring for the President’s family on a daily basis. The President of the United States, frequently referred to as the “leader of the free world,” is one of the world’s most renowned politicians, and American taxpayers fund security for the President and the First Family. But how much money is necessary to meet the accompanying costs, and what precisely is required?
Perhaps the President and First Family’s most pressing worry, at least in terms of public cash, is security. Due to the exceptionally high profile of nearly everyone associated with a sitting President, a massive team of secret service security agents must be deployed at all times to safeguard the President and anybody in the President’s immediate family. According to Bradley Patterson of the Brookings Institution, these costs were among the highest during the Obama administration. Overall, the cost to taxpayers of operating the White House under President Obama was about $1.4 billion per year.
Presidents and their families need a large number of non-security professionals to handle everything from crucial issues of state to maintaining the White House to scheduling and much, much more. Salaries for all of these employees are also paid using public funds. The team of physicians and other emergency professionals that accompany the president on all trips and other events is among the most crucial personnel for any sitting president.
The expense of presidential travel must also be borne by taxpayers. It is fairly unusual for sitting US presidents to fly by Air Force One many times each week, and often several times per day. As with any private jet, the expenses of maintaining Air Force One and traveling are substantial, made much more expensive by the fact that the plane must be fully manned and furnished at nearly any time of day, depending on the President’s demands.
A percentage of public monies are also used to provide non-essential entertainment and luxury products connected with the White House and the administration. Cooks, event planners, and personnel for the in-house cinema are among those that work in the White House. When the presidential family takes a pet to the White House, the expenditures of the pet are reflected in taxpayer bills as well. Though breakdowns of the specific cost of each of these charges are impossible to get, the total when all of these expenses are added together might be significant.
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