President Obama signed a bill into law on Thursday that grants himself, living former presidents, and future ex-presidents Secret Service protection for life. This new law discontinues a 1990s bill that significantly limited Secret Service protection for U.S. presidents after they leave office.
This new law is called The Former Presidents Protection Act of 2012. The act gives lifetime Secret Service protection for presidents their spouses who were in office after Jan. 1, 1997. The law also grants Secret Service protection for the children of former presidents until they are 16 years of age.
Congress passed an original law in 1994 that ended the Secret Service protection after they have been out of office for a decade. However, due to the new era of global threats to American security, Congress and federal law enforcement agencies have agreed that lifetime Secret Service protection is vital.
A moral issue could be raised here. U.S. presidents already get a six-fugure salary, perfect health care benefits, and other perks for life. Also, it is customary for U.S. presidents to do more lucrative things after leaving office in addition to their post-presidential perks. Do they really need more? Obama signing this bill into law is a blatant assertion of new power on his behalf. It is also another expenditure that will be paid for by the already tax-strained U.S. taxpayer. Hopefully this newfound power will humble Obama into dealing with America’s sputtering economy.