Former President Barack Obama is getting paid $400,000 for giving one speech in September 2017. That is the same amount of his yearly salary while he was in the White House. Congress passed the Former Presidents Acts in 1958 that makes it possible for Obama to get $205,700 this year whether he gives a paid speech or not. However, he is scheduled to deliver many paid speeches. Former First Lady Michelle Obama is also scheduled to deliver speeches that come with wealthy price tags.

Obama's upcoming speech

Obama is coming under fire, but it is not only because of the amount he will be paid for a speech in September.

He is getting a big check from a Wall Street firm that he often spoke against. He is being criticized for giving the speech at a health care conference run by Cantor Fitzgerald, a Wall Street trading and investment firm. Obama will be the keynote luncheon speaker at a New York hotel that will be attended by wealthy investors, mutual fund representatives and hedge fund executives. While in office, the former president spoke against firms like Cantor Fitzgerald. He called Wall Street executives "fat cats." He was also critical of Wall Street firms in his 2006 book, "The Audacity of Hope."

Obama attacked Wall Street bankers for making huge salaries while average Americans were struggling with finances.

He spoke frequently about their greed during his eight years as president, and now he’s accepting a speaking fee from the industry he singled out as the main culprit of the banking collapse.

In a 2009 interview, the former president is on record for saying wealthy Wall Street banks and firms were the main culprits in the financial crisis.

The New York Post calls Barack Obama "the new fat cat" for accepting a $400,000 paycheck. Others are calling him a hypocrite for getting involved in what he talked against during his two terms in office. On Wednesday, Obama’s spokesman, Eric Schultz, explained that Obama decided to give the speech because health care changes are important to him.

Other speeches

The Cantor Fitzgerald speech is just one of many other speeches Obama will give at public and private events. He gave his first speech after leaving the White House in Chicago last Monday, April 24. He spook to an audience of youth leaders. He is scheduled to deliver a speech in Boston on May 7 at the John F. Kennedy Library and Foundation when he receives the 2017 Profile in Courage award. He will deliver a paid speech in Italy on another date. On May 25, he plans to appear with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany to give a speech at a Protestant church in Berlin.

What others were paid

People think Obama receiving $400,000 from Wall Street for giving a 40-minute luncheon speech isn't worth that much.

Other former presidents have been paid even higher fees for speaking. Ronald Reagan received $2 million for delivering a speech to the Japanese in 1989. Former President Bill Clinton was paid more than $200,000 per speech over more than a decade. Former President George W. Bush reportedly received $100,000 to $175,000 for every speech he gave.

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