Sound Off: Former Presidents Won’t Get Lifetime Secret Service Protection

Under a little-known law passed by Congress in the late 1990’s, every president who serves after Clinton will no longer receive lifetime Secret Service protection. The protection will only be limited to 10 years. That has some worried about terrorist threats against President Bush, and racial threats against President-elect Obama. Taxpayers are on the hook for lifetime protection. What do you think? Should presidents be protected for life, at your expense? Email

Yes they should thats the least we can do for a man to serve as our President for 4 or more years.!! I sure wouldn’t want that job!! would you? -Kris

Sorry but no? Really who is going to go after Bush? They might throw shoes at him but he will survive. I don’t want my tax money protecting some one for a life time when no one is going to go after them. I’d be willing to let tax money do 5 years not ten. But do we really have say? –Danielle

I don’t think that presidents should get Secret Service coverage for life, nor should they get President’s wages for life. They were all wealthy before they became President, and they all go back to their wealth after their term. Senators should not get wages for life either. It’s an elected privilege to serve, not a right. Put them on Social Security like the rest of us. Gov. Gregoire needs to crack down on illegal immigrants getting welfare and going to school for free also. It would save millions of taxpayer dollars. –Bob

They should not receive any public protection. George Washington went home to Virginia when he was done, and no one paid for his protection. Seems to me he lived awhile without much worry, considering the threats arrayed against the US then, and for the next 30 years, by the British, who would have hung him if they had won the war. -Jim(Thompson Falls)

BUSH, NO. OBAMA, YES. -Richard

No. When they leave, that¹s it. And cut their ³retirement² pension way down. They should enter the public sector like the citizens they were before falling into office. -Tim

Presidents are vulnerable every day of their lives.? There is no reason the government of the United States cannot protect their former presidents.? If we can spent trillions to bail out banks, we can spend the little it takes to staff a secret service detail. -Gary(Spokane)

I don’t think that us as taxpayers should have to continue to pay to have an ex-president protected by the Secret Service considering the amount that these x presidents continue to receive when they can pay for their own private security service if they are so worried about terrorist or irated parent/spouse for the death of their son/daughter or husband whom died in a senseless war. Its time congress stopped making the tax payers pay the price for them wanting to be president. They new what the risk were when they chose to run for the office of president. Now its time they paid for their own safety just as millions of Americans have to do everyday of their lives. -Steve(Mead)

Liberals don’t care if President Bush, or any other GOP president, is protected for life. In fact, they’d probably celebrate if something happened to him. That’s how messed up in the mind they are. -Liddy

I think not. Most celebrities hire there on body guards and I feel we pay enough in Taxes. The former presidents make enough money so they can afford there on protection. I think 5 years is more than enough. –Brad(Kettle Falls)

As for Bush, he does not have to worry. He did everything he could to destroy America, It is the real Presidents that look out for the well being of the people, that have to worry. Kennedy did everything he could for the middle class. Now Obama, is going to try to help the people. Bush tried to finish his daddies work and get rid of the middle class and make big business and the oil companies rich. I worry very much about Obama. I hope very much that he has a very good secret service crew. And unfortunately when he leaves the White House, I believe he will need protection from those that believe they run the country. -Michael

I think that ending the SS protection for former presidents is a great idea and should be retroactive to former presidents’ Carter, Clinton, and Bush Sr. -Daniel(Cheney)

Ex-presidents get a lifetime income, why should we give them a live time secret service protection. If they want protection after 10 years, let them provide their own. They have an income almost 18 times the average income in Spokane, I think they can afford their own protection. -Charlie

I believe the new law passed 90’s is a great law. After a president leaves the white house, 10 years gives that president 2 1/2 terms of presidency of protection. I believe that is plenty of time for that president to become safe from terrorism or any potential harm. I DO NOT believe tax-payers should be paying for an ex-president’s protection. We already foot the bill for a current president to be protected. I think it is only fair to tax-payers if the protection for former presidents is paid for by the president himself. He can pay for secret service or a private agency. Secret Service can be brought in for important public meetings and events featuring the former president. Otherwise, the American people never see the former president. He can pay for his own protection behind the scenes!! –April & Chris(Spokane)

How about we base the length of Secret Service protection on the merits and accomplishments of the President. If they were a great President, protect them for life. If mediocre, limit the protection time. -Dana

Should ex Presidents have lifetime secret service protection? After looking at and pondering all aspects of this item the only logical conclusion is … YES. -Jim(Post Falls)

Amazing how this takes affect after Clinton. He probably needs it to protect him from all of his women. I think the president has earned the protection and it shouldn’t be taken away now, no matter who the president is. -Vicki

I do NOT believe presidents and their families should be protected for life at taxpayer expense. I believe 2-4 years is plenty of time for taxpayer protection. If they choose to have protection, they can hire a bodyguard, just like any high-profile person. By the way, how much is the cost to taxpayers per year at this time? KXLY, please find out how much it’s costing taxpayers! -CJ

Frankly speaking, no one should care, once they are out of office for a few years. None of the security knowledge they have will be current and additionally no one is should pay that much attention to former presidents. Ten years seems like it should more than enough! -Loren


Under most cases, I would tend to agree that former presidents have faded out of the limelight in the span of a decade, enough so that Secret Service protection can be reduced or eliminated. However, on a case by case basis, it may not be a bad idea to give each former president a review before the termination takes place in case there may be unusual circumstances. –Ann(Spokane)

No. They should have to fend for themselves the way they’ve legislated (via their signatures) that the rest of us must live — ON OUR OWN! They should be REQUIRED to return to civilian life and its many threats, the same kind that the rest of us have to face. “There is no free ride” –Jim(Thompson Falls)

Anyone who can stand the rigors of the Presidency deserves LIFETIME Secret Service protection! I wouldn’t take the Presidency for a Billion Dollars a Year! It takes tons of guts to be President, and a little insanity! -Harold

I think this is AWESOME!!! I don’t think the former Presidents’ should have Secret Service, Free Airline passage, or anything else that was tied to the position. Once they are out, they should be just like the rest of us that are retired. We don’t get anything special, why should they???? I’m sorry, but really, it’s just another job somebody filled. Granted it was a Presidency, but our taxpayers shouldn’t be flipping the bill for everything they do. –Dave(Coeur d’Alene)

I think Ten years is good. Where is the threat to anyone once the president is retired. The new president is going to be the one in the spotlight. -Jane