As Friday afternoon document dumps go, this one’s a doozy. People knew the broad outlines of the income levels achieved by Bill and Hillary Clinton since their supposedly “dead broke” departure from the White House, but the release of their tax returns might surprise many anyway. From 2007 to 2014, the Clintons earned more than $140 million:
Hillary and Bill Clinton earned nearly $141 million over the course of eight years and paid $43 million in federal taxes, according to tax returns her campaign released Friday.
In a lengthy statement and on her campaign website, Clinton detailed that she and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, paid more than $43 million in federal taxes from 2007 to 2014, over $13 million in state taxes and donated nearly $15 million to charity over the same period.
The couple earned a total of $140.9 million, with an adjusted gross income of $139.1 million, the returns show.
A little over half of their earnings came in three years, as Paul Caron notes in a chart at the TaxProfBlog:
The lower earnings in 2008 can be attributed to the pressures of the campaign trail. That was, in fact, the least the Clintons have earned in a year since leaving the White House. In fact, the next three years were sub-par, as Caron demonstrates in another chart, well below the level of income that the Clintons had earned since 2003. However, in 2012 their fortunes rebounded — which is odd, since Hillary was Secretary of State all through 2012 and into early 2013.
Obviously, public service didn’t force much of a sacrifice on the Clintons. Just how did a sitting Secretary of State manage to make eight figures a year in all four years of her tenure, anyway? The 2012 return shows $161,000 in salary, and $19.3 million in business income. Hillary only got $6,540 in book royalties, Bill Clinton got almost a million from his own royalties. However, Bill also earned over sixteen million dollars in speaking fees. (He also deducted $1.1 million in travel costs against the speaking-circuit income — about what 22 average families earned that year.) Bill tacked on another $4.7 million for “consulting” fees.
The speaking and consulting circuit is pretty lucrative for someone whose spouse remains in a position of power. Just ask the Uranium One bankers, for instance. That last year at State sure looked like it did wonders for the family business.
It’s telling that the campaign dropped this on a Friday afternoon. By the time this hit, most people had turned off the news and tuned out for the weekend. The Clintons probably hoped to avoid answering questions about how they managed to earn $57.5 million in the four years that Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State, an astonishing and breathtaking sum. Given what we know about deals like Uranium One, the question of how may be more rhetorical, even if the sums stagger the imagination.