President Barack Obama gave himself and his wife Michelle the benefit of armed protection for the rest of their lives by signing a bill granting a Secret Service detail to former presidents and their spouses in perpetuity.
The new law, which will cost U.S. millions of dollars, is a re-instatement of a 1965 law which will see presidents protected for life as well as their children up to age 16. The billpassed the House and Senate in December.
Obama, whose Secret Service codename is Renegade, joked in 2011 that he liked the fact that 'men with guns' protected his daughters, Malia, now 14, and Sasha, now 11.
'I should also point out that I have men with guns that surround them, often,' he told ABC News. 'And a great incentive for running for re-election is that it means they never get in the car with a boy who had a beer, and that's a pretty good thing.
The new law statesthat all former U.S. presidents who served after January 1st 1997, along with their spouses, receive protection from the Secret Service for their entire lifetimes.The law also stipulates that children of presidents receive protection until the age of 16.
Lifetime government-provided security for former presidents was the law of the land until 1997, when Congress passed legislation limiting Secret Service protection to ten years after leaving office.
Now, every former president Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush along with Obama will continue to receive Secret Service details for the rest of their lives.
The bill was introduced in the House of Representatives in November 2012 by South Carolina Republican Representative. Trey Gowdy.Co-sponsors included Republican Lamar Smith, and Democrats John Conyers and Bobby Scott.
'Both men [Bush and Obama] are young, enjoy good health, and have long lives ahead of them post-presidency,' Gowdy said on the House floor. 'This bill proposes to extend that security for the remainder of their lives.
The Secret Service started protecting presidents in 1901 after the assassination of William McKinley. In 1965, Congress passed a law authorising the agency, which is now a part of the Department of Homeland Security, to protect former presidents for life.
The legislation was signed along with a host of other bills, including the naming of seven post offices.
Some conservatives have attacked Obama for allegedly wanting to deprive ordinary Americans the right to arm themselves while at the same time ensuring that his family will always be protected by 'men with guns' at taxpayers' expense.
Obama thinks it's okay to spend millions of stolen tax dollars on armed security for himself, yet he opposes American citizens using their own money to keep guns to protect themselves. His hypocrisy it outrageous. Why does Obama believe that he and his family are entitled to safety, but not the rest of us? Why does Obama believe that he is the exception to his own laws?