Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Feeding at the trough

A Bloomberg report today is headlined, "Clinton Loaned Her Campaign $6.4 Million, Aide Says." The current iteration of the story begins:
Hillary Clinton has loaned her Democratic presidential bid $6.4 million since April 11, bringing her personal investment in her campaign this year to $11.4 million.

Clinton gave her campaign $5 million on April 11, $1 million on May 1 and $425,000 on May 5, spokesman Howard Wolfson said today. She loaned $5 million in January, and had $10.3 million in unpaid bills as of March 31.
Read it all here, though it isn't until the end of the story that the real punch line appears:
Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, amassed a fortune of $109 million from 2000 through 2007, according to her campaign.
Think about that for a moment.

When the Clintons moved to the White House, they did not even own a home. The joke was that they'd always lived in public housing. Granted, it was a governor's mansion, but they were a couple of "modest means" (as the Washington Post phrased it in this report last year). The Clinton presidency was a disaster financially for the family; having not much money in the first place, they owed $11-12 million in legal fees when leaving office. The house which Mrs. Clinton used to establish New York residency was essentially a gift from supporters; they had no money to even make a down payment.

Since leaving office, the Clintons have become quite wealthy, reporting taxable earnings of some $109 million. Mrs. Clinton is a United States Senator. President Clinton gives speeches.

Years ago, one might demonstrate just how corrupt the government of Mexico was by asking how a man of very modest means could be elected President, and then leave office six years later worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Not pesos, but dollars.

Things have certainly changed since the year before I was born, when Congress granted President Truman a pension of $25,000 a year, plus a small office and staff, because it was embarrassing that he was unable to reply to all of his mail.

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