Hillary Clinton

New Donor to Clinton Foundation Revealed: It's You.

Thanks for paying for the pensions and benefits of connected Beltway staff.

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Hillary Clinton
Ernest Coleman/UPI/Newscom

Americans subsidize the lifestyles of former presidents, because otherwise it would be embarrassing to find George W. Bush taking your order at Wendy's. It's all authorized by Former Presidents Act passed in 1958.

These days, the life of an ex-president is filled with so very many profitable speaking opportunities and consulting gigs that it's absurd to think the Act is still necessary. Nevertheless, it's there, and despite raking in millions after leaving office, the Clintons have been using it to subsidize salaries and purchases that appeared to benefit the Clinton Foundation.

Did the foundation need taxpayer money? Obviously not. But it was all legal for the Clintons to ask for it, and so we have an example of behavior that's likely going to turn out to be completely "permissible," and that's part of what makes it so loathsome.

Politico got the records from the General Services Administration (GSA) through the Freedom of Information Act to determine the Clintons used the Act to subsidize the incomes of some of their staff, even while paying them six-figure salaries through the Clinton Foundation. Politico determined that the Clintons have requested $16 million through the Act since 2001, more than any other living president.

Politico notes that individual staffers didn't get huge sums—about $10,000 annually each out of an annual pool of less than $100,000—but getting that federal salary also gave them access to federal benefits:

The key reason for adding staffers to the GSA payroll, according to two people familiar with the Clintons' staffing arrangements, was that each employee became eligible for full federal employee benefits, including health and life insurance and pensions. The two people familiar with Bill Clinton's staffing said the employees on his GSA payroll almost never received benefits from either the Clinton Foundation or the [Clinton Executive Services Corporation].

As one of the guys at Reason who covers the various pension crises across the country, this is a reminder that while the actual annual payout under the Act is utterly inconsequential when compared to total federal spending, we should be worried about the long-term financial commitments that go on long beyond what taxpayers realize. Yes, this is a drop in the bucket. But the bucket is already full and spilling over.

What makes this information all so very Clintionian (besides the remarkable amounts of money involved) is the challenge the GSA faced when deciding whether to approve expenditures. A lot of time and effort went in trying to determine whether the money requested was Bill Cinton's personal staff and work or for the Clinton Foundation and the overlap between the various roles of people within the Clintons' orbits. As Politico notes, some of the staff paid by the GSA worked for both the Clintons personally (which is what the Act is supposed to be for) and the Clinton Foundation (which it is not). These staffers often had very high salaries (close to $200,000 a year in one case) while getting the federal subsidies.

And yes, money from the GSA was also apparently used to help pay for IT equipment, including servers, though Politico uncovered that in at least one case the GSA declined to pay for a server, determining that it was meant for the Clinton Foundation. Except that a Clinton aide told Politico that actually the GSA did purchase the server, after all, according to their own records. In a perfect distillation of the controversies surrounding the Clintons, it's not clear what's actually true.

Returning to the metaphor of drops in buckets, in other circumstances and for other political figures, this probably wouldn't add up to much. It's so much inside baseball, and there's really no smoking gun. But "It's so much inside baseball, and there's really no smoking gun," is the unofficial motto of Hillary Clinton's campaign and response to criticism at this point. It all looks terrible, given the lack of trust by voters in Clinton, but it all appears to have been perfectly legal and permitted under the law. That would be the beltway-minded defense to these federal subsidies that fails to consider at any point how the average voter might feel about being asked to bankroll the pensions of wealthy, connected Clinton-aides with six-figure salaries.

No wonder support for Clinton continues to plunge.

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  1. Well, I sure didn’t get a sit-down with Bubba.

    1. And I must admit, it would be hard to find a better description of the Clintons, from year one:

      “…In an perfect distillation of the controversies surrounding the Clintons, it’s not clear what’s actually true.”

      Scott, that should be scrolled on the screen every time that hag opens her yap.

        1. Lies are like Doritos – “Betcha can’t lie just once!”

          1. Lay’s. One is more than enough Doritos.

            1. I defer to your snacking wisdom.

            2. I’d take a toxic colored cheese powder covered dorito over a thin greasy lay’s chip any day.

              1. Well, I used to love Doritos, but they changed something in the formula about a decade ago and now they taste like how I imagine Hillary does (to remain remotely on topic).

    2. Sit downs with Bubba can get real messy sometimes, as Monica can attest to.

  2. Once again, the Love Shack brings it with the alt-text. Keep up the good work, friend-o.

      1. Scott Shackleford is the alt-text king.

        1. I need to figure out how to read alt-text on mobile.

          1. Step one: put your phone down.

            Step two: open up H & R on a computer, as God (and, apparently, the squirrelz) intended.

  3. We are all criminals… 🙁

    1. First, person of the year, and now this. I am on a roll.

  4. Don’t worry, the media will all over this.
    Soon.
    Real soon.
    Any day now.

    1. Where is the bottom to acceptance of Her criminality? At what point do the state media say enough?

      Let’s play a game. Fill-in-the-blank.

      “I’ll bet Hillary Clinton could____________________________and the press would applaud.”
      My offering; ass rape the baby Jesus live on “The View”

      1. Sacrifice an infant in a black mass televised live

      2. Remain seated during the national anthem

          1. Joining in on slow clap. Slowly rising to my feet.

      3. physically assault a male intern

      4. Isn’t that just “art”?

      5. Shit in a bowl and eat it with chopsticks.

      6. say she wants to builds a wall on the Mexican border

    2. yeah. and coincidentally, i read an article a few days ago about the Clinton scandals. Basically the argument was that it’s all bullshit from the Republicans. I think the article started from the metaphor of “where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” Then it argued that the people who keep pointing at smoke and claiming fire are all Republicans. Therefore, the article claims that it’s perfectly reasonable to assume that there is no fire and that the Republican claims of smoke are over-exaggerated BS.

      20 years later and the defense for the Clintons is still: vast, right-wing conspiracy.

      Willful ignorance. Suspension of Disbelief. If ignorance is bliss, I’m fucking ecstatic.

      1. It just keeps getting vastier and vastier!

  5. So do I get an ambassadorship or something? At least a consulship.

    The South of France isn’t so good any more, how about Kingston, Jamaica?

    1. Will they reimburse me if I buy my coconut flavored rum and have it shipped over, or do I just put it on my State Department credit card?

      1. “I’m sorry, sir, you can’t see the Consul now, His Excellency is busy, meeting with his friend Captain Morgan.”

        [wakes up]

        well, it was a nice dream while it lasted.

        1. “Let me see, for a donation at the level you made…ah, yes, a consular clerk position just became vacant in Syria.”

          1. “And not the good part of Syria, either.

            “Ooh, another position just became vacant in the same region, you can choose either one!”

          2. Does the consular annex’s admin budget have money for hiring security?

            1. When I’m posted to Kingston, I’ll be a step ahead of the terrorists.

              I won’t be in my office.

  6. “…it would be embarrassing to find George W. Bush taking your order at Wendy’s.”

    Well above the skill level of that coke-addled retard.

    1. I would make him say “Mission accomplished” as he handed me my Jr. Bacon with Cheese.

      1. I can almost see him in his “Commander Codpiece” outfit wrapping the burger in foil.

      2. I larfed

      3. You might be able to get him to say that once. But he can’t get fooled again!

  7. But, but, but, BOOSH did it too. And we don’t want Trump taking advantage of this loophole to push his alt-right agenda.

    /progderp

    1. You’re nearly a treat, but you’re really a cry.

  8. Remember how the left was accusing walmart of using the welfare system to subsidize their payroll?

    I always thought that argument was delivered with far more emotion than it warranted and certainly was flogged heavily by the journolist 2.0 crowd… I suspect it might be yet another example of leftists accusing those whom they hate of doing what the leftists are actually doing.

    1. It’s always projection.

    2. So, Walmart needs low wage workers to operate.

      Since the world is full of young unattached people who can survive quite nicely, thank you very much, on “walmart wages” I’m not exactly sure why walmart is responsible for the fact that the world is also full of people who decided, against all evidence to the contrary, to adopt a lifestyle that could not be supported with “walmart wages”.

      Walmart did not force any of these people to have children they could not afford to have nor to take out car loans they could not afford etc, nor in general to live beyond their means.

      1. We’re never going to get equality of outcome with that attitude…

  9. BTW, did anyone hear Shrillary’s actual speech to the American Legion?

    Wednesday in Cincinnati.

    We’ll invest in the next frontier of military engagement, protecting U.S. interests in outer space and cyberspace. You’ve seen reports. Russia’s hacked into a lot of things. China’s hacked into a lot of things. Russia even hacked into the Democratic National Committee, maybe even some state election systems. So, we’ve got to step up our game. Make sure we are well defended and able to take the fight to those who go after us.

    As President, I will make it clear, that the United States will treat cyber attacks just like any other attack. We will be ready with serious political, economic and military responses. And we’re going to invest in protecting our governmental networks and our national infrastructure.I want us to lead the world in setting the rules of cyberspace.

    How can she say this and keep a straight face? She can’t be human, she has to be a robot or something.

    1. I think she’s so far gone she barely knows what her scripts say.
      Sigh

    2. She knows that when a lie gets repeated enough times it becomes truth.

    3. Private servers in every garage!

    4. They really are completely shameless.

    5. No, she’s being consistent.

      She wants to make damn sure she doesn’t get hacked again. Which is part and parcel of her lifelong obsession with secrecy to hide her crimes.

    6. “Russia’s hacked into a lot of things.”

      Including someone’s private server perhaps?

      Amazingly breathtaking disconnected stuff right there.

  10. I keep trying to type something but I just keep getting angrier.

  11. Neither Parts B nor C of that act make any sense.

    A former president does not need staff or offices. The argument over whether they themselves should still be on the payroll is one thing, but they have no official duties, so no staff nor workspace need be provided. Also, take away their secret service agents, an Ex-president is in no danger of assassination. And even if they were it would not change policy as they don’t make any.

    1. Oh, and section G has to go, period.

    2. Yeah, there’s a case to be made that the ex-President should be getting a pension like that (there’s a stronger case to be made that he shouldn’t, of course), but (b) and (c) are definitely bullshit. No longer holding office, he does not need a staff or workspace. If he is doing something so as to necessitate a staff or workplace, the organization for which he is doing said work should pay for it.

    3. Section (f) is interesting, too. Impeachment bars receipt of the pension, though resignation or getting voted out of office do not. So Nixon got a pension.

      If the speculation that Trump will resign upon being elected are true, we’ll still be on the hook for his salary, office, staff, and security, for the remainder of his life.

    4. Even if they are in danger of assassination, so what? Their job is done, their death is no more a danger to the working of the government than any of our deaths would be.

  12. “Nothing left to cut in budget ? the cupboard is bare”

      1. What floors? The tiling and floorboards have been taken up!

        1. And, apparently installed in the Clinton’s Chappaqua home.

          1. But does r carpet match the drapes, so to speak?

  13. RE: New Donor to Clinton Foundation Revealed: It’s You.

    There should be no complaining from the collective regarding the Clinton Foundation. This benevolent non-profit has been a welcome relief to its hard working employees who deserve more of our tax dollars for all they have done. One should not be so selfish to refuse to give more since the Clintons are destitute, living under a bridge, have to find their food in dumpsters, go barefoot and have to go to the bathroom outdoors. I cannot for the life of me understand why people become angry when an ex-president and his wife are begging in the streets for some loose change and then refuse to give it to them. What does this tell us about our society? What does this tell us about our humanity? What does this tell us about our gratitude? If we are to be labeled a just, kind and merciful country, then we must all must reach deeper into our pockets in order to save the Clintons from abject poverty and social degradation. The only thing the ask so humbly is more and more of our ill-gotten money. Is that really too much to ask?

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    1. So, spam or new Clinton ‘opportunity’?

  15. I never realized I was so charitable. I’ll sleep easy tonight.

  16. It should be a capital crime to either address or allow yourself to be addressed by a title you no longer hold.

    1. Hmm, I vaguely remember this coming up several years ago on this very website. Apparently etiquette has long been that no government official should be referred to be their title after they leave office except for the president.

      1. Apparently etiquette has long been that no government official should be referred to be their title after they leave office except for the president.

        Well, if that’s the case, then a lot of people are being very rude, because I see a lot of ex-“secretary”, ex-“governor”, even ex-“senator”.

    2. I completely agree, Mainer. it drives me bats that people who haven’t held an office in years are still called by the title. It makes the titles (and implies the position as well) into personal property or a lifetime office, not a job.

  17. “Americans subsidize the lifestyles of former presidents, because otherwise it would be embarrassing to find George W. Bush taking your order at Wendy’s. It’s all authorized by Former President’s Act passed in 1958.”

    Which is entirely reasonable, so long as it is paired with a 100% household income and capital gains tax. Would make the revolving door and other forms of bribery where the quid is not given until after the person leaves office less effective.

  18. This is better than when I was named Time Person of the Year.

  19. The key reason for adding staffers to the GSA payroll, …was that each employee became eligible for full federal employee benefits, including health and life insurance…”

    Well, yeah. I mean, you wouldn’t want these people to have to be on Obamacare, now would you? Have some compassion.

    1. How can we break the glass ceiling without full support for the staff?

  20. We are always told we need more compromises. OK, how about the value of benefits to former presidents be limited in value to what their annual salary was? Earn more than that on outside activities and your benefits are cut on a dollar for dollar basis. I know it isn’t libertarian enough but even this sort of compromise will never be voted on by those who are always demanding compromise.

    1. Ha ha, silly, “compromise” means when the Mafia and the Tongs work out an arrangement to divide their territory.

      Or the Democrats and Republicans.

    2. Or how about they can receive up to what they were compensated while in office, but the amount is tied dollar-for-dollar to their actual earnings? For example, ex-Pres does nothing, receives the full $400k or whatever. If he earns $100,000/yr, then he just receives $300,000. If his post-presidential work earns as much or more than what he was doing while in office, he gets nothing.

      Should be easy. That’s how we do a good many tax benefits.

  21. Hillary: More graft than a burn ward!

    1. Probably more horticultural grafting happening than skin, ya think?

  22. The key reason for adding staffers to the GSA payroll, according to two people familiar with the Clintons’ staffing arrangements, was that each employee became eligible for full federal employee benefits, including health and life insurance and pensions.

    How long will they get health and life insurance? As long as they work at the Clinton Foundation? As long as the Clintons continue this scheme? For their entire lives?

    Will the pension include only their pay from the GSA payroll or will it include both GSA pay and CF pay?

  23. The “loathsome” part isn’t what the Clintons are doing. To me that seems just like getting mad about companies keeping their money in countries with less punitive tax laws. Not saying I like this situation, but the loathsome part is that tax money is available for politicians to pay private employees. That’s kinda asking for it, which is a totally legit legal defense, right?

  24. Great! The argument over whether they themselves should still be on the payroll is one thing, but they have no official duties, so no staff nor workspace need be provided.

  25. “Americans subsidize the lifestyles of former presidents, because otherwise it would be embarrassing to find George W. Bush taking your order at Wendy’s. It’s all authorized by Former Presidents Act passed in 1958.”

    No, fuck that. Presidents spend their entire campaigns and much of their careers putting on a show to make the public think they’re some kind of Average Joe who drinks beer and watches football just like everyone else, but then they want to be supported in idleness like one of these useless members of some European royal family?

    Screw them. Their job is done; get them off the public teat.

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