The sex scandal that ended CIA director David Patraeus' career has focused attention on the lifestyle of a four star general. It's the kind of life you'd expect a movie star or a high-flying CEO to be living.
Along with the approximately $200,000 in salary, the generals have several perks that include executive jets, palatial homes, chefs, guards, people to carry bags and iron their uniforms. In fact, the author of the book "The Generals" says, '"being a four star commander in a combat theater is like being a combination of Bill Gates and Jay-Z."
msnbc military analyst Colonel Jack Jacobs who retired from office in 1987 says," it's totally unnecessary. It is very easy to get jaded if you've got everybody doing everything for you." But Jacobs notes that the money generals make is,"nowhere near the compensation that one would expect from somebody with that kind of responsibility."
With the looming fiscal cliff and possible defense cutback, will this lavish lifestyle effect in the budget decisions? Colonel Jacobs, who is also a Medal of honor recipient notes, " to be honest with you, it's not a whole lot of money in the giant scheme of things. We waste lots more money on things that are less significant."
While one could get used to this lifestyle, Colonel Jacobs says," a lot of this money is for entertaining, social event and diplomacy."
Watch Colonel Jack Jacobs on msnbc's Jansing & Co.