Cashing in on the Presidency: Reagan versus the Clintons
In 1989, President Reagan was adjusting to his post Presidency, enjoying the return to private life, his ranch and home in CA plus free time with family and friends. He was offered and accepted a series of speaking engagements as part of a ten day tour of Japan. Speaking fees were about $2M overall, with additional donations to the Reagan Library.
Media outrage ensued, with articles in the NY Times, LA Times and major TV networks, blasting Reagan for “cashing in on the Presidency,” accepting large fees for speaking engagements. In an era when “all the news that fits the agenda” was in the control of the liberal left, Reagan took a beating. He was accused of unseemly behavior unbefitting a President, too close contact with Japanese officials who were under scrutiny for financial dealings, sleazy conduct, and more. Reagan took the heat, went on to make more speeches, work on his memoirs and library until his debilitating illness of Alzheimer’s fully developed. So where’s the outrage over the Clinton Foundation? Highlights and questions:
- Clinton Foundation has raised nearly $2B in donations since its founding in 2001, with reported payouts of up to 15% per year to charities, the remainder of funds (payroll, benefits, travel) used internally in managing charitable activities run by the foundation.
- Bill and Hillary Clinton have been paid over $153M in speaking fees since 2001, with payments made to the Foundation, enabling co-mingling, laundering of funds, avoidance of disclosure rules, fudging of annual financial reporting, deception of federal/ state regulatory practices, etc..
- Bill Clinton paid $18M over five years to function as an “honorary Chancellor” for Laurate Education, a for-profit college education enterprise. In addition, Laurate donations to Foundation were from $1M to $5M during this period, a time that enabled Laurate to gain credibility and access to national and international relationships that benefited the enterprise.
- During Hillary tenure at state department, she met with 154 people from the private sector. According to AP report, of those listed, 85 were people who had given donations to the Clinton Foundation or international programs, for estimated total of up to $156M. On a separate note, representatives of 16 foreign governments met with Hillary on variety of issues, governments that had given $170M to the Clinton charity. “Pay to Play” for access to Hillary, or coincidence? What did these people get once they had access to Hillary?
- Clinton Foundation accepts donations from Russian owned interests, Bill gets $500K speaking fee, Russian bank gets state department approval to acquire Canadian mining firm that owns 20% of US based uranium mine resources. “Pay to Play” for access to Hillary, or coincidence?
This summary barely touches the details, and maybe someday we the people will learn more about the criminal enterprise known as the Clinton Foundation. So the net worth of the Clintons’ upon leaving the white house in 2000 was modest, but today the estimated net worth is $100M. Let’s give credit where it is due: cashing in on the Presidency has never been done better!Tags: Bill Clinton Hillary Clinton Ronald Reagan