Barack Obama turns 60: The cost of former US president’s birthday bash

4th August 2021 is the day former US President Barack Obama turns 60 and he is reportedly planning to celebrate it in style. The US media is reporting that the former President is throwing a massive party over the weekend and the guest list is supposedly about 500 long, give or take a few.

Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey and George Clooney have their invitations, and friends and family apart from the Obamas are said to have invited their former staff as well. According to the news website Axios, which reported details of the party, guests are being asked to donate to a list of chosen charities in lieu of gifts for the birthday boy.

The 500-guest outdoor party is sure to cost a bomb, but that should not be a problem for the man who was the 44th President of the United States of America. The venue for the party is reported to be the $15 million sea-fronted property at Martha’s Vineyard that Barack and Michele Obama bought in 2019.

According to the website CelebrityNetWorth, which keeps tabs on such things, the combined net worth of Barack and Michele Obama stands at $ 70 million in 2021 and that they made their first million from his first book royalty 3 years before Barack Obama became President in 2005. Till 2004, Barack Obama had never earned more than $ 30,000 a year and Michele used to earn much more than him. In 2017, Barack and Michelle Obama received a $60 million advance for the combined rights to their autobiographies.

Barack Obama made most of his money writing books while the most recent US President to leave office, Donald Trump, net worth $ 2 Billion, has his own business ventures. Other than Trump and Obama, there are 3 other former US Presidents still living. The oldest, Jimmy Carter, is almost 97 years old and worth $ 10 million, Bill Clinton has $ 120 million, and George W Bush has a reported net worth of $ 40 million. But none of them made their millions by being the President.

As President of the United States, the most powerful person on earth gets a salary of $400,000 and a host of other perks while in office. When a US President retires, there are still some lifelong perks and a pension that is paid out, not enough to make one a millionaire or to host lavish parties but adequate to guarantee a comfortable lifestyle. According to the US National Taxpayers Union Foundation, a former US President earns an annual pension that stands at $221,400 in 2021, an annual travel allowance of $ 1Million and also gets lifelong secret service protection.

Till not so long ago, a President of the United States did not receive any pension or monetary compensation when he retired, till the US Former Presidents Act (FPA) was enacted in 1958.

The FPA had been specifically enacted to help former US President Harry Truman, who was facing old debts from his pre-presidential days. In 1954, the year after he remitted office, Harry Truman, according to his tax returns, earned a mere $13,564.74. In 1958, after the US Congress passed the FPA, former President Truman started getting an annual pension of $ 25,000.

The FPA was passed 3 years before Barack Obama was born in 1961, a birth that will be celebrated in style at Martha’s Vineyard, an island off the coast of Massachusetts that is a favourite haunt of US celebrities. And financing the exclusive party will not be a problem for the Obama couple, who can certainly afford it. According to Axios, there is a staff of more than 200 who will work at the party to ensure that the 475 guests have a good time celebrating Barak Obama’s 60th birthday.

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