America's First Socialist Fortune

Last Friday, Hillary Clinton released the Clintons’ income tax returns for 2007-2014. They were very much as had been rumored.

From 2007 to 2014, the Clintons “earned” $141 million. They paid $56 million in taxes, leaving a net balance of $85 million. The Clintons gave $15 million to charity over the same period, which gets your attention. $15 million to charity! Not too shabby! Reading down a couple of paragraphs, it turns out that the charity they gave the $15 million to was… the Clinton Family Foundation. Aarrrggghhh. Fooled again.

Where did this money come from? Or to put it differently, what was sold to generate this income? Steel? Oil? Aircraft? Legal services?

None of the above. So, what was sold for $141 million?

You. The United States of America.

Or, more precisely, influence over the policies of the United States of America. We are the sole superpower in the world. We have interests of all types in all areas. What is it worth to potentates around the world to “adjust” the policy of America? Perhaps just a little there. Perhaps deposing a dictator here. Who knows what the specific transactions were? Not knowing keeps the Clintons out of jail.

The pipeline? Speeches. $141 million of speeches. LOL. As a famous poet once said, “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way that wind blows.” So, a wink and a nod on one side of the transaction and a speech on the other. Presto -- Juan Peron.

Since the Clintons are nonpareil at shamelessness and obfuscation, Hillary’s line on this magic fortune is the American Dream…

"We've come a long way from my days going door-to-door for the Children's Defense Fund and earning $16,450 as a young law professor in Arkansas --- and we owe it to the opportunities America provides," Clinton wrote in the release. [emphasis added] 

“We owe it to the opportunities that America provides.” Terrific. A piece of misdirection or, worse, the way socialists actually think wealth is accumulated. But this is not an enterprise fortune in the American tradition of providing a good or service to the public. This is a socialist fortune. This is the nomenklatura skimming off from the commonweal, the community of the nation. And doing so in a way that compromises -- for the first time in our history -- the integrity of our governmental processes.

Think of where this goes. The Secretaryship of State = $141 million. What does the presidency go for? $1 billion? Sounds about right. And what about the next Secretary of State? Won’t $141 million now be taken as a baseline with increases as we go along?

Now that this is established practice, what about the lesser offices? All the way down the chain. Now that the rigorous, the noble standard of probity has been dismissed, and with great élan and fanfare, what incentive is there for the rest of the bureaucracy to practice it?

It is this cupidity that characterizes almost all the governments of the world. The nomenklatura takes the surplus off the top and the rest of the nation is left with subsistence. Of course, we are not there yet. But this is the path that the Clintons have put us on.

It has been widely noted that in 1900, Argentina was one of the top 10 nations in the world in standard of living and potentially of international influence. But in the 20th century, primarily under the Perons, it went the way of government skimming, of cupidity by government officials and has been a backwater for at least half a century.

While there are occasional criminal exceptions in our past as there are bound to be in any great human endeavor, probity in our public affairs has been one of the outstanding characteristics of America. Our generals do not skim off the supplies for the troops. Our engineers do not skim off the materials for construction. America operates with integrity.

Until the Clinton fortune. With our first socialist fortune, we are leaving behind George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Black Jack Pershing, Dwight Eisenhower, just to list a very, very few who served the Republic for their salary and nothing else. Now we are selling our policies to the highest bidder.

Day One, everything remains the same. But Day 100, Day 1,000 it will not be the same.

Let’s look at just a few implications of our officials setting out to make a fortune from high office:

  • When our military is sent into battle, they need faith that the mission is in the interest of, is a matter of high consequence to, the nation. Mistakes may be made, but everyone is pulling in the same direction. The soldiers who glance at each other before stepping out into harm’s way have to believe they are contributing to history. Lack that, and you get the Iraqi army. We are not there yet, not even close. But for the first time in our history with the Clinton fortune, we have started down that path.
  • What can happen is that in the agencies of authority we get the form without the substance. We get Mexico, where government officials are so compromised they can no longer provide domestic tranquility.
  • When you call the police, they may not be on your side, unless they are paid.

We are not in any of these places…yet. But if America should go down and historians are picking through the rubble, they will see the Clinton fortune as the moment when we abandoned faith in America’s destiny and descended into a Hobbesian world of all against all.

SecState=$141 million. What are the bids first for our other offices of state and then for the offices of the bureaucracy. And what do we tell our military when they are sent to take the hill? Someone was well-paid to order that mission?