Hiding in today’s e-mail avalanche was a touching story about Harry Truman that is particularly relevant to today’s political deterioration. Its author was not identified. But, I loved it so much that, after doing some fact-checking to make sure that it was basically accurate, I wanted to share it with you in its entirety…
The only asset he had when he died was the house he lived in, which was in Independence, Missouri. His wife had inherited
the house from her mother and other than their years in the White House, they lived their entire lives there.
When he retired from office in 1952, his income was a U.S. Army pension reported to have been $13,507.72 a year. Congress, noting that he was paying for his stamps and personally licking them, granted him an ‘allowance’ and, later, a retroactive pension of $25,000 per year..
After President Eisenhower was inaugurated, Harry and Bess drove home to Missouri by themselves. There were no Secret Service following them.
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."
As president he paid for all of his own travel expenses and food.
Modern politicians have found a new level of success in cashing in on the Presidency, resulting in untold wealth. Today, many in Congress also have found a way to become quite wealthy while enjoying the fruits of their offices. Political offices are now for sale (for example, the recent travesty in Illinois).
Good old Harry Truman was correct when he observed, "My choices in life were either to be a piano player in a whore house or a politician. And to tell the truth, there’s hardly any difference!"
I say dig him up and clone him!!