When President Truman retired from office in 1952, his income was
substantially a United States Army pension, reported to have been
$13,507.72 a year. Congress, noting he was paying for stamps and
personally licking them, granted him an ‘allowance,’ and later, a
retroactive pension of $25,000 per year.
When offered corporate positions at large salaries, he declined,
stating, ‘You don’t want me. You want the office of the president,
and that doesn’t belong to me. It belongs to the American people,
and it’s not for sale.’ Even later, on May 6, 1971, when Congress
was preparing to award him the Medal of Honor on his 87th birthday,
he refused to accept it, writing, ‘I don’t consider that I have
done anything which should be the reason for any award,
Congressional or otherwise.’
We now see others who have found a new level of success in cashing
in on the presidency, resulting in untold wealth. Today, many in
Congress also become wealthy while enjoying the fruits of their
offices. Political offices are now for sale.
Good old Harry made the following observation, ‘My choice early in
life was either to be a piano player in a whorehouse or a
politician. And to tell the truth, there’s hardly any difference.
I, for one, believe the piano player job to be much more honorable
than current politicians.’