Recent news of the Clintons’ $25 million jackpot in 2014 makes it tough for Hillary to push her core campaign theme with a straight face. Indeed, widespread laughter will greet her efforts to champion “everyday Americans” against those who allegedly make too much money.
“There’s something wrong when CEOs make 300 times more than the typical worker,” Clinton told Iowa voters last month. However, as Sean Davis noted Tuesday at TheFederalist.com, “she did not elaborate on whether there’s something wrong when non-CEOs who run tax-exempt organizations make 380 times more than the typical worker.”
Every American should make as much money as possible, provided it’s legal. But as Peter Schweizer details in Clinton Cash, the Clintons and many who support their foundation traffic in cronyism and shadowy deals.
Shareholders and officers in UrAsia Energy and Uranium One, for instance, donated at least $145 million to the Clinton Foundation. Meanwhile, Hillary’s State Department approved Rosatom’s takeover of UraniumOne. This majority share by the Russian-government company lets Vladimir Putin control 20 percent of U.S. uranium production.
This is nauseating and inimical to Judeo-Christian ethics, albeit arguably legal. Still, as Hillary runs around denouncing rich people, she would be less unintentionally comedic if she did not make 58 times the $434,682 scored by the lowliest 1 percenter.
The AFL-CIO’s Executive Paywatch has defined the canyon between Hillary’s Main Street rhetoric and her Wall Street reality. Indeed, last year, she out-earned many on The Street. Morgan Stanley’s James Gorman ($23.3 million), American Express’s Kenneth Chenault ($22.8 million), and Goldman Sachs’s Lloyd Blankfein ($22.2 million) all aspire to Bill and Hillary’s haul.
“In 2013, CEOs of the Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 Index companies received, on average, $11.7 million in total compensation, according to the AFL-CIO’s analysis of available data from 350 companies,” the mega-union reports. “While CEO pay remains in the stratosphere, production and nonsupervisory workers took home only $35,239, on average, in 2013.”
The Clintons last year made more than double the earnings of a typical CEO. Even halving their joint income to $12.5 million puts each $800,000 ahead of the AFL-CIO’s average corporate villain.
In last year’s earnings, the Clintons averaged $12,019 per hour, or $6,009 each.
Assuming a 2,080-hour work year, the AFL-CIO calculates that the average worker earned $16.94 per hour, while the typical CEO made $5,607 every hour. Shocking? The Clintons averaged $12,019 per hour, or $6,009 each.
According to USA Today’s Fredreka Schouten, Hillary gave 51 speeches last year, each yielding six figures: “They ranged from a $100,000 payment on April 11, 2014, for a speech delivered via satellite to the California Medical Association to a $325,000 appearance at a Cisco gathering in Las Vegas last August.” Not to be outdone, Bill has given 53 six-figure speeches since January 2014. As he told NBC News: “I gotta pay our bills.”
Clinton “campaign officials estimate the couple paid an effective federal tax rate of 30 percent in 2014.” Did the Clintons pay their “fair share” of federal taxes? Why are they not paying the top rate of 39.6 percent?
USA Today also noted that “the Clintons appear to have put their homes in ‘residence trusts,’ a move that could reduce their estate taxes.” Here again, the Clintons seem to be cutting their tax exposure — this time for when they enter that great real-estate scheme in the sky. That is perfectly legal. However, death-tax avoidance muffles the battle cries of someone who rails against the rich.
Answering journalists’ questions for the first time in 28 days, Hillary said in Iowa Tuesday, “Well, obviously, Bill and I have been blessed, and we’re very grateful for the opportunities that we had. But we’ve never forgotten where we come from.”
So, by this standard, the problem with income inequality is not income. Rather, it’s the immodesty of plutocrats who forget their humble roots. Thus, Hillary should cease fire in the class war and instead urge rich people to remember when they were — as Hillary recalls the Clintons’ plight when they left the White House — “dead broke.”