Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Clintons cash in: Wealth and American politics

World Socialist Web Site, April 8, 2008

By Joe Kay

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In tax filings released last week, Democratic Party presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, reported earnings of some $109 million in the years 2000 to 2007.

These figures put the Clintons, who have become something of a political dynasty, among the top .01 percent of taxpayers in the US, according to the Wall Street Journal, or among the 14,500 richest families, according to Britain’s Sunday Times. By either calculation, they are firmly entrenched in the wealthiest portion of the population.

The total income translates to about $13.6 million a year. Even after taxes, the Clintons pulled in $10 million a year, or about 200 times the median family income in the United States.

The Clinton duo’s income has risen astronomically over the past eight years and its meteoric rise began immediately after the end of the president’s term in office in 2001. Forbes magazine noted, “In 2000, Bill Clinton’s final year in office, the First Couple’s income was $350,000; the next year, it rose to $16 million. Their most lucrative years were 2004 and 2007, when they twice made $20 million.” In other words, in 2007 the Clintons made 57 times more than they did in 2000. These are remarkable figures.

Particularly significant is the utterly shameless manner in which Bill Clinton has leveraged his status as a former president and “celebrity” into a personal fortune.

Continued . . .

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