When Bill Clinton became president, he had earned a maximum salary of $35,000 as governor of Arkansas and another $5,000 from honorariums from speaking fees. His wife, Hillary, pulled down $92,000 as a rainmaker at the Rose Law Firm. Somehow, despite their modest incomes, and her profit sharing at Rose, they managed to accumulate assets greater than $1 million, which was placed in a public trust.
How did they do it? No one knows for sure. There was that infamous $100,000 Hillary supposedly made on cattle futures (no political payoff there).
There was the Clintons’ infamous Whitewater land deal with James and Susan McDougal who owned the failed Madison Savings and Loan. There was that fraudulent $300,000 federally-backed loan to Susan, some of which made it into Whitewater. This loan was facilitated by David Hale, an Arkansas judge who said he was “pressured into it” by Governor Clinton. And, let us not forget Hillary Clinton’s billing records that went missing for over two years showing the extent of her involvement with the McDougals’ bank. When those billing records mysteriously turned up in the living quarters of the White House, it was OLD NEWS!
Coming out of the White House “dead broke,” the Clintons managed to amass a net worth of over $55 million. How did they do it? There was Hillary’s salary as a senator of $174,000. As Secretary of State she received $186,000, while Bill receives a pension of $199,700. There were book deals and hefty speaking fees that, for Bill, were suspiciously elevated to the stratosphere when Hillary became “Madam Secretary.”
However, the tangled web the Clintons wove in Arkansas is nothing like the tangled web of the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation. It served as a temporary parking place for many of Hillary’s highly paid political staffers and financed much of the Clintons’ lavish lifestyle.
It is little wonder that the highly respected Charity Navigator refused to rate it and has placed it on its “Watch List.”
To make matters even more complicated, the Foundation spun off many subgroups. It is difficult to keep track of them, much less their finances, and how they relate to Bill’s wheeling and dealing with donors and foreign governments.
Nevertheless, some have tried and, as you might imagine, there are huge —make that gigantic— discrepancies.
Now a good charity spends at least 75 percent of what it takes in on the programs it promotes and less that 25 percent on overhead.
Keeping that in mind, in March, the Federalist reviewed five years of the Clinton Foundation tax documents. During that time the Foundation raised over $500 million. Only $75 million, or 15 percent, went to program grants. It spent $110 million on salaries and benefits, $25 million on travel and a whopping $290 million, or 60 percent, on “other expenses.”
The Clinton Foundation asserts that a full 88 percent of the funds it collects goes toward its “life changing work.” It acknowledged that it spends very little on grants, but says it hires staff to do most of the work. Some groups such as “Charity Watch” have bought that figure. Others do not.
The stated mission of the Foundation is to “strengthen the capacity of people throughout the world to meet the challenges of global interdependence.” However, roughly two-thirds of its money was spent here in the United States.
The Foundation also states that it works “principally through partnerships with like-minded individuals, organizations, corporations, and governments, often serving as an incubator for new policies and programs.” That doesn’t sound like its staff does most of the work does it?
Also, it seems odd that a charity would simply list 60 percent of its expenditures as “other expenses.” Of course the IRS has to go on what the Clinton Foundation asserts is “management” and what is direct front-line “charity” work. Kind of like the person who went through Hillary’s emails and deemed what was “personal” and what the public had a right to know. We are supposed to trust them.
Nevertheless, starting a foundation to promote yourself and pay for your travel and political staff by squeezing money out of people and countries who want favors seems like a pretty good gig. Is it taking 85 percent off the top for overhead or 12 percent? Let’s see, 12 percent of $500 million is $60 million. I could live with that!
It still doesn’t explain why the Clintons are taking all that money from countries that treat women as second class citizens, but as Bill put it, “I’ve got to pay our bills.”