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realclearworld

So, Whose Is Bigger?

Hold on a minute here. Joe Biden promised us Obama has a big stick. But let's talk about those dueling pensions...

From the standpoint of a public pension, Obama is well-heeled.

As president, he will receive $191,300 annually for life — win or lose in next month's election — and receives a travel allotment as well as mailing privileges. Should Obama lose, his presidential pension kicks in immediately after leaving office.

Given that the president enjoys a normal life span, the pension allotment would be worth upwards of $6 million.

The federal budget spends about $3 million annually for the four living ex-presidents. Obama also will get Secret Service protection.

In addition, Obama may be due a nice pension for the eight years he served in the Illinois Legislature as a state senator.

Illinois is infamous for its lavish pension plan for former lawmakers. A Freedom of Information Act request for Obama's pension amount submitted Wednesday to the General Assembly Retirement System of Illinois was not immediately answered, nor was a call to the Obama campaign.

But what about Romney?

It's extensively documented that Romney is, well, a rich guy. He earned untold millions —though famously circumspect about releasing tax returns — while leading private equity giant Bain Capital and has a substantial retirement plan.

His Individual Retirement Account could be worth in the neighborhood of $87 million, as documented in an extensive report from the Washington Post.

But as for a strictly public pension? Zip, zero.

Romney only served one term as governor of the Bay State and did not take a salary, so he is eligible for nothing.

So while Romney appears headed for a happier retirement financially, he'll be footing his own bill — unless, of course, he wins next month. In that case, his nest egg will be even that much bigger than Obama's.

And yes, Obama's pension(s) include China and off shore investments.

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