George W. Bush requests the most taxpayer dollars of ex-presidents

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Alex Pappas
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      Alex Pappas

      Alex Pappas is a Washington D.C.-based political reporter for The Daily Caller. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and the Mobile Press-Register. Pappas is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was editor-in-chief of The Sewanee Purple. While in college, he did internships at NBC's Meet the Press and the White House. He grew up in Mobile, Ala., where he graduated from St. Paul's Episcopal School. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill.

Former President George W. Bush is budgeted to receive the most money from taxpayers of all the living ex-presidents.

Bush, the most recent former president, is requesting more than $1.3 million in taxpayer dollars for fiscal year 2013, according to a budget proposal document prepared by the General Services Administration.

Those funds go towards an office staff, travel and postage. The former presidents Act of 1958 guarantees taxpayer funding for ex-presidents.

Former President Bill Clinton is requesting more than $1 million. Former President George H.W. Bush is requesting $879,000 and former President Jimmy Carter is requesting $518,000.

As for widows of former presidents, like Nancy Reagan, $7,000 is budgeted for postal costs.

Among expenses, the GSA budget document says the younger Bush is requesting $85,000 for phone costs. Hannah Abney, a spokeswoman for Bush, declined to comment on that when reached by The Daily Caller on Tuesday.

Clinton is asking for the most in office rentals — nearly four times the amount Carter is asking for — with $442,000 budgeted for rent.

The elder Bush is budgeted to spend $56,000 on travel. Carter is asking for $15,000 for postage costs.

These figures do not include the cost of Secret Service protection.

Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz is pushing a bill in Congress that would stop taxpayer funding of ex-presidents if they make more than $400,000 a year.

“Nobody wants our former presidents living the remainder of their lives destitute,” Chaffetz said in February when announcing the bill. “But the fact is none of our former presidents are poor.”

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