Hillary Clinton attempted to make herself relatable to the general population by discussing her financial struggles with ABC’s Diane Sawyer back in 2014. In her interview with Sawyer, Clinton claimed that when her husband and former president Bill Clinton left office, the pair were “dead broke” and in debt. She claimed that they were forced to “struggle” through the financial difficulties and often wondered how they would pay their mortgages and for Chelsea’s education. She claims the pair “had no money” when they entered the White House and were in debt when they left.
However, are Hillary Clinton’s statements true? Were the Clintons struggling financially following Bill’s stint as president? Let’s take a deeper look at the Clintons tax returns and claimed earnings prior to Bill Clinton’s two terms as president, as well as the pair’s income in the years following his presidency to learn a little bit more about what Hillary Clinton believes is being “dead broke” and struggling financially.
In an interview with ABC’s Diana Sawyer in 2014, Hillary Clinton defended large speaking engagement fees by claiming she did what she had to do to get her family out of a financial pinch and claimed that the family was “dead broke” when Bill Clinton left office in 2001. Furthermore, Hillary said that the family had “no money” and struggled to find ways to pay for their mortgages and to raise money for Chelsea’s education. The statements painted a picture of a destitute Clinton family that was forced to demand high speaking fees in order to pay off significant debt due to a lack of finances presented during Bill’s presidency. She also claimed that the family had “no money” when they got to the White House.
“We came out of the White House not only dead broke, but in debt. We had no money when we got there, and we struggled to, you know, piece together the resources for mortgages, for houses, for Chelsea’s education. You know, it was not easy.”
So were the Clintons “dead broke” when the left the office? Did they really enter the White house with “no money”? Let’s take a look at Clinton’s disclosed tax returns from the years leading up to Bill Clinton’s presidency as well as the tax returns for the year he left office to get a better understanding of what “dead broke” looks like to the Democratic presidential hopeful.
Former president Bill Clinton entered the White House in 1993. As Clinton claimed in the Sawyer interview, she and husband Bill entered the White House with “no money.” However, according to the Clinton’s 1992 tax return, the pair raked in $290,697 that year. Just over $203,000 of that money was earned by Hillary from her partnership with Rose Law Firm. Now, knowing that the Clintons made $290,697 in 1992, the year before Bill took office, it is safe to say that the Clintons either were incredibly fiscally irresponsible or Hillary was stretching the truth when she claimed they entered the White House with “no money.” For the general population that was earning an average of $51,086, income of $290,697 (five-and-a-half times the average household income) hardly qualifies as “no money.”
When looking at Hillary’s statement that the family left the White House in debt and was struggling financially, we can look to the families’ tax returns from during Bill Clinton’s presidency which ran from January 20, 1993 to January 20, 2001. For the eight years that Clinton was in office (tax years 1993-2000), the Clintons earned an astonishing $3,411,117. That averages to $426,389 each year that Bill Clinton served in office. This would mean that the Clintons were earning nearly nine times the average American’s pay each year that Bill was in office, yet Hillary claims the family left office in debt. Again, this leaves many wondering how the Clintons left the White House “in debt” and “dead broke” as Hillary claimed.
For the Clintons, Bill’s stint in the White House did wonders for their finances with the family earning as in 2001, the year Bill left office, the Clintons earned an astonishing $15,949,819. So it appears Hillary and Bill’s hefty speaking engagement fees for places such as Goldman Sachs paid off to the tune of over $15 million. I suppose the “financial struggles” of Bill’s exit from the White House were short lived and the family had no problem paying off their “debt” and Chelsea’s education.
What do you think of Hillary Clinton’s statement that she and Bill were “dead broke” after leaving the White House? Do you Hillary was trying to relate to the general public with her statements or were the Clintons truly so financially irresponsible that they were broke when leaving the White House? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
[Image by Mark Lennihan/AP Photo]