During its eight years in power, the Bush-Cheney Administration was a big supporter of privatizing services that traditionally were performed by government. The ostensible purpose was to save taxpayer money, although it often seemed like the real reason was to enrich the cronies of George Bush and Dick Cheney, including companies like Halliburton.
It’s odd, then, that Cheney is turning to taxpayers for a special favor.
News reports today said President Obama has granted Cheney’s request to extend U.S. Secret Service protection for the former vice president. The protection was set to expire six months after Cheney left office — which would’ve been Monday, July 20 — but Obama approved another six months of taxpayer-funded security.
Cheney's net worth on the day he took office as vice president in 2001 was estimated at $3.1 million, a figure that has since risen to about $170 million, according to various sources.
From 1995-2000, Cheney served as chairman and CEO of Halliburton, an oilfield services company. He resigned from the firm in July 2000. After Bush and Cheney took office, Halliburton received numerous government contracts, mostly for work in Iraq and many awarded without a competitive bidding process.
As vice president, Cheney maintained that his resignation removed any conflict of interest involved with his government dealings with Halliburton, an assertion scoffed at by many ethicists and legal scholars.