America

U.S. Spent $3.7 Million On Former Presidents In 2012

George H. W. Bush, Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.

George H. W. Bush, Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter. White House hide caption

itoggle caption White House

The United States spent nearly $4 million on the the pensions, travel, office space, staff of former presidents.

NPR's Cheryl Corley sent in this report for our Newscast unit:

"Taxpayers paid out nearly $3.7 million dollars for former presidents last year.

"That's about $200,000 less than in 2011. The Former President's Act of 1958 set up the funding for ex-presidents.

"Departing presidents also get extra help in the first years after they leave office. So the most costly ex-president in 2012 was George W. Bush, who received just over $1.3 million.

"Bill Clinton spent just under a million, George H.W. Bush nearly $850,000 and Jimmy Carter spent about a half-million dollars. A bill to put more limits on the costs taxpayers pick up for ex-presidents died in committee last year."

The AP reports that this information comes from a report by the Congressional Research Service.

The Former President's Act gives ex-presidents $150,000 a year. It also gives them $96,000 a year to hire a staff person.

The Act also provides the widow of any president with a $20,000 a year allowance.

There are currently four living former presidents.

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