In a bizarre interview with Cynthia McFadden on NBC, Bill Clinton gave a weird variation of Hillary’s “we were dead broke” gaffe. In response to a question about whether he would continue his $500,000 speaking fees, even if Hillary was elected President, Bill insisted that he definitely would because “I gotta pay the bills.”
Sounding like he was living from paycheck-to-paycheck in order to support a large family with lots of kids to feed and educate, he actually said this with a straight face.
But consider what bills he has to pay. Or better yet, start with what he doesn’t have to pay. The Clintons like to pretend they’re just like the rest of us, but they’re not. Here’s why:
What Taxpayers Pay For The Clintons
First, eliminate the need for buying any cars, since his and her state-of-the-art SUV’s are provided by the tax payers — along with their secret service protection. (Cross off $75,000 each for those vehicles.) That also means no insurance, no maintenance, no tolls, no parking, no registration and no automobile taxes. That’s a big chunk that comes right off the top.
And it extends to family members, too. When Chelsea Clinton left the hospital after the birth of her daughter, shiny twin black SUVs awaited the happy family — courtesy of the taxpayers.
The round-the-clock Secret Service agents drive the Clintons wherever they want to go — anywhere, any time. No need to pay for 24/7 chauffeurs.
Parking isn’t a problem, either. Charge it to the Secret Service — it’s all on us.
All other travel is either arranged through the Clinton Foundation or paid for by the hosts of their speaking engagements. According to The Washington Post, the Clinton Foundation is always looking for a multimillionaire or billionaire to lend them a plane. Don’t expect them to pay for anything. That’s out of the question. And after all of the free flights, the Secret Service is there to pick them up — here and abroad.
Then there’s health insurance. No problem. They are eligible for insurance subsidized at 72% by the federal government. Last year, the federal subsidy for Bill Clinton was $12,000, leaving about $4000.00 for him to pay. If the Clintons don’t want to pay that minimal amount, they are likely eligible for free coverage from the foundations.
Again, no sweat.
Most of their staff is paid for by the Foundation or by Bill’s $441,996 taxpayer subsidy for office rent. Another $500,000 a year for staff and additional expenses was paid. That’s almost a million dollars in subsidies paid by all of us.
Their only daughter is thirty-five and has finally finished her education, so no issue there. She doesn’t live at home, of course. So college tuition is one more category to eliminate.
Here’s An Estimate Of The Millions They Make
Imagine that your joint family income was between $20 – 30 million last year. That’s a modest estimate of what Bill and Hillary Clinton made. Her book deal was estimated to be $14 million and she earned about $3 million in speeches. Bill earned several million from business interests, back royalties and probably his usual $10,000,000 in speeches. Add Bill’s 201,000 federal pension, his Arkansas pension that Hillary disclosed as worth $15-$50,000, as well as Hillary’s federal pension of about $20,000 per year. Then there’s social security for both of them — another $5,000 a month that they are eligible for.
And then imagine that, with all that income, your only fixed expenses were a mortgage, homeowners insurance, 25% of a health insurance premium, electricity, real estate taxes, food, home maintenance, state and federal taxes, trash pick-up, clothing, and household help.
Not bad, right?
The Clintons own two homes worth a total of almost $10 million. There is one mortgage on the New York home for between $1,000,000 and $1,500,000. The D.C. home is owned free and clear. According to their last publicly available tax return in 2006, they paid $158,907 in mortgage interest and $84,501 in real estate taxes. The taxes and $53,00 of the mortgage interest is deductible. That’s probably about the same now.
Their major other expenses are associated with the costs of making a lot of money and living a luxurious lifestyle: federal and state taxes, commissions on speeches, etc.
Bill paid about $1 million in commissions and $66,153 for speech related expenses. That’s the price of getting the multimillion dollar speeches — about a 10% fee. It pays for the lifestyle. And Bill also paid about $43,000 in legal expenses — wonder what that was all about.
One big expense is the reported $100,000 cost of renting a vacation house in the Hamptons. That’s a must. You have to keep up appearances and there’s no better place than next door to Hollywood’s Harvey Weinstein.
The Clintons don’t eat home too often, so their food bill isn’t going to break them. And they never deduct a dime for entertainment — that’s likely paid for by the Foundation. And, of course, other people also foot the bill in restaurants. That’s what friends are for.
Household help is another expense. It goes with the territory.
One other expense seems to be the expensive jewelry that Hillary wears every day. Or were they gifts?
So even assuming that taxes and an expensive lifestyle ate up almost half of their income, that would still leave about $15 million on a $30 million income.
That should cover the bills that Bill’s “gotta pay.”