Sunday, April 06, 2008


The Clintons have released their tax returns covering the years 2000 through 2007. During this time they earned $109 million and paid $33.8 million in federal taxes (31%). There are a few interesting twists to these disclosures:

- What about all the furniture and Presidential gifts that the Clintons trucked out of the White House in the fall of 2000. Was this largess declared on their disclosed tax forms? It has been estimated by some that this thievery was worth hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars. Also did the Clintons pay taxes on all the improvements that the U.S. taxpayers made to their home in Chappaqua, NY?

- Bill and Hillary gave $10.2 million to charity over this period. However, according to the NY Times, virtually all this money was donated to a Clinton-run family foundation. (Sourced from the NY Times via Drudge). Not only does this allow the Clintons to move tax-sheltered money from one pocket to another but it also draws a curtain between the Clintons and the ultimate receivers of these "gifts". According to the Times “the Clintons ha[ve] given away only about half of the money they put into it, and most of that was last year, after Mrs. Clinton declared her candidacy.” I wonder to whom?

- Does the income that the Clinton’s received from their book deals jibe with the number of books sold? According to the NY Times “Mr. Clinton has earned $29.6 million from two books, ‘My Life’ [$12 million advance, estimated 2.25 million sales @ $26 per book at Barnes & Noble] and ‘Giving,’ [@ $29.95 at B&N] while Mrs. Clinton has collected $10.5 million from two books, ‘Living History’ [$8 million advance, @ $14.40 at B&N ] and ‘It Takes a Village’ [@ $25 at B&N]. She donated $1.1 million from book proceeds to charity. Mr. Clinton last year earned $6.3 million from ‘Giving,’ a book on philanthropy, and reported giving $1 million of that to charity. [Assumedly both these charitable donations were also to the family foundation.]” From what I have been able to calculate, it doesn’t add up (assume a generous 15% royalty). Do the math yourself. (If the Clintons got $40.1 million from these 4 books with a 15% royalty, this means that $267.3 million of books had to have been sold. Assuming an average price of around $25 per book, this means that over 10 million books had to have been sold … or over 2.5 million copies per book. This is more than the biggest book, “My Life” sold. Are these book deals something more than arms-length transactions?)

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