"The presidency is a full-time job in the 24-hour sense. He must function and be able to function as president all the time," Rogers said. "The chairman of any corporation in America can kick back for a weekend and the potential downside is not that severe. The notion of the president being out of pocket would be appealing to our enemies and dangerous to our republic."
Rogers mentioned a few other nice perks of being in the White House, including movie studios delivering you copies of their latest films, instant communications with anyone in the world and a pretty nice view from your windows.
"It's a good job in that regard," he said. "Unfortunately it does come with a lot of stress and responsibility that diminish the opportunity to enjoy the fact that hey, I've got this nice big airplane."
Living in the presidential bubble also creates a very "surreal experience," Rogers said. For instance, Bush and Ronald Reagan never carried any cash.
One time, when traveling with Reagan, Rogers said, "we went to a McDonald's and somebody gave him a $50 bill. He looked like he didn't know what to do with it."
Living in the White House also leaves a paper trail.
"[President Ford's son] Steve Ford, right when they moved into the White House, told his dad he was going to turn in early one evening," Smith said. "The next morning, the president asked him how was his evening. He said fine. It turned out that the president had been given an invoice for the food that Steve and his partying friends had consumed, figuring that nobody would know."
Back when George Washington took office in 1789, the presidential salary was $25,000 -- that's more than $300,000 in today's dollars. Since then, there have only been five increases in the presidential pay, albeit pretty big ones. When Congress does increase the pay, it tends to double it, which leads to some pretty interesting results. For instance, George W. Bush made roughly twice what Bill Clinton made and Richard M. Nixon made twice what Lyndon B. Johnson made.
Stephen Hess, a senior fellow emeritus at the Brookings Institute and a veteran staffer of the Eisenhower and Nixon administrations and an advisor to Presidents Ford and Carter, was shocked anybody would even consider that the president "shouldn't have a private plane or should somehow pay taxes on it."
"The idea of letting the President of the United States out without that degree of security is bizarre," Hess said.
"I can't think of any perk that I would consider taxable when it has to do with handling the most important, often the most secure, business of the United States," Hess added. "We don't pay the president a great deal of money."