The amount of money amassed by Bill and Hillary, a couple who have had virtually no association with the for-profit portion of the world economy, is obviously influence peddling. The money came to them in the form of both excessive speaking fees and in the form of contributions to the Clinton Foundation.
The speeches they made can be appraised. The comps would be speeches made by other similarly situated persons—former presidents, former secretaries of state, former Senators. It is possible that the Clintons made a market-value speech somewhere along the line—where they got paid a cut of the take—but I doubt it.
The difference between what the Clintons were paid for their speeches and what others with similar resumes got paid is the compensation they got for influence peddling. And the main rationale for the influence peddling was Hillary’s likelihood of becoming president. If she is nominated and loses, neither her nor Bill will get another $225,000 speech.
Another way to slice it is to look at who hires speakers in general and who hired the Clintons. I used to get paid to speak. The payers were organizations who wanted me as a draw to get people to attend their conventions. One year, the cover of the National Apartment Association convention program had the photo of me and Howard Jarvis—the two main speakers. Jarvis had led the taxpayer revolt in CA (Prop 13) and had been on the cover of Time.
The Academy Awards and other annual events hire hosts each year. Donald Trump has been hired in such capacities by Saturday Night Live and Learning Annex when they put on extravaganza get-rich conventions.
The organizations who hire the Clintons are strictly influence seekers. The National Apartment Association lobbies DC, but they did not hire ME to get influence there. I never had anything to do with DC. And no one hired the Clintons to learn how to do anything. (I spoke on managing apartment buildings.) And no one hired the Clintons to be entertaining like Trump. Nothing but influence.
When you look at how much more they get paid than speakers with no influence to peddle, and who hires them—only influence seekers—it is clear that the amount by which their speaker income exceeds that of say, Bob Dole or Dick Gephardt or George W Bush, is the amount they made peddling influence.
The Foundation issue is mainly about the use of the charity to employe political associates of the Clintons and its paying arguably private expenses of the Clintons like travel or salaries to the Clintons. Perhaps the main issue is where do the assets of the charity go when the Clintons no longer have any political ambitions or hope of realizing them.
When politicians retire, they get to put the political campaign contributions they have not spent into their pockets. What is to stop the Clinton Foundation from shutting down or greatly reducing its charitable activities at that time and giving the assets they still have to the Clintons for their personal use? Now, when the Foundation is under the scrutiny of Charity Watch and other organizations, they work to look good for the media and voters. What about when they no longer care about the media or voters?
Who gives to the Clinton Foundation? Wikipedia says,
“Through 2014 the foundation had raised almost $2 billion from U.S. corporations especially Wall Street; foreign governments and corporations; political donors; and various other moneyed interests.”
Conspicuous by their absence are individuals. What other “charity” only gets contributions from influence seekers? Here are some other Wikipedia comments:
“Questions have been raised about the foundation's financial practices, about its fundraising from foreign governments and corporations, about the transparency of its reporting of its donors, and about possible conflicts of interest between donations to the foundation and the actions of Hillary Clinton when she was U.S. Secretary of State during 2009–13 and in connection with her subsequent 2016 presidential campaign. (See also: Transparency of Clinton Foundation.)
“In 2016, media outlets reported that in fall 2015 the United States Department of State issued a subpoena to the foundation for records relating to activities by the foundation during Hillary Clinton's term as secretary of state and for information regarding activities by 2016 Clinton campaign vice chairwoman Huma Abedin.”
The Clintons net worth is reportedly $45 to 80 million. They claim to have been “broke” when they left the White House—a negative net worth due to massive legal fees. They immediately acquired a mansion in Chapaqua, NY and another house in DC. Since then, neither has had a job except for Hillary’s being a “public servant:” senator and Secretary of State. The salary of a senator is $174,000; of a Secretary of State, $203,700.
Celebrity politicians also make money from advances they get for books and maybe royalties if the book sales exceed the amount paid by the advance. The true value of the Clintons’ books can be measured by various metrics including Amazon monitoring of actual reading of Kindle books. That revealed that the book with the highest ratio of purchase to actually read was Stephen Hawkings’ A Brief History of Time. Other metrics include how often a book is quoted. How much it sells after the book tour. (called back list sales—I make my living almost entirely from back list sales.) I expect those metrics would reveal that the Clinton books had no value beyond the celebrity of their “authors.”
Since 2001, when their net worth was reportedly about minus $11 million in attroney fees, Bill Clinton has been a kept man. The breadwinner is Hillary who had to jobs outside the home: Senator and Secretary of State. True, Bill got paid to make speeches, but only because he is possible future present Hillary’s spouse.
Except for the absence of use of secret offshore bank accounts to hide the money, this is banana republic sleaze. The Clintons don’t need no stinking secret bank accounts. They are bulletproof.
If you want to know how to make money the old fashioned way—by earning it, see my books on succeeding, real estate, and self-publishing.