FILE - In a Tuesday, June 12, 2012 file photo, former President George H.W. Bush, and his wife, former first lady Barbara Bush, arrive for the premiere of HBO's new documentary on his life near the family compound in Kennebunkport, Maine. Bush spokesman Jim McGrath said Wednesday, Dec. 26. 2012 that doctors at the Houston hospital where Bush has been treated for a month remain �cautiously optimistic� that he will recover. Still, no discharge date has been set, and McGrath says that doctors are being cautious because at Bush�s age �sometimes issues crop up that are beyond anybody�s ability to discern or foretell.�(AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Being the leader of the free world is an expensive proposition. But the costs don't stop once you leave the White House.
The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service says the federal government spent nearly $3.7 million on former presidents last year. That covers a $200,000 pension, compensation and benefits for office staff, and other costs like travel, office space and postage.
The costliest former president? George W. Bush, who clocked in at just over $1.3 million. That includes almost $400,000 for 8,000 square feet of office space and $85,000 in telephone costs.
President Bill Clinton came in second at just under $1 million, followed by George H.W. Bush at nearly $850,000. Costs for Jimmy Carter, the only other living former president, came in at about $500,000.
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