Costs Associated With Former Presidents and Their Dependents

GGD-85-68: Published: Sep 26, 1985. Publicly Released: Sep 26, 1985.

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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO analyzed federal expenditures associated with former presidents and their dependents.

Former presidents are eligible for various benefits including pensions, staff allowances, office space and expenses, free mailing privileges, travel expenses, and lifetime Secret Service protection. Their minor dependent children and surviving spouses are eligible for pensions, mailing privileges, and protection. Applicable laws also authorize federal expenditures for the establishment and operation of presidential libraries. GAO found that: (1) total costs associated with former presidents have increased by 278 percent since 1975; (2) cost growth after inflation totalled about 165 percent from 1975 to 1984; and (3) cost increases were primarily attributable to inflation and increases in pension allowances, the number of eligible recipients, and the number of operational presidential libraries.

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