The “Hill and Bill” Clinton effort to convince America that “we are just regular middle-class folks” took another dive when former President Bill Clinton said that the couple had “taken almost no capital gains” over the last 15 years. However, in another self-inflicted controversy, Bill failed to realize that Hillary’s campaign had already released the couple’s 2000 to 2006 tax returns that reported a $371,000 of capital gains.
Then-President Clinton famously said, “Sometimes when people are under stress, they hate to think, and it’s the time when they most need to think.” That seemed the case Monday when Bill tried to convince NBC News reporter Cynthia McFadden in Kenya that the Clintons were just middle-class folks. It was his attempt to quiet a budding scandal regarding the still un-released book by Breitbart News editor-at-large Peter Schweizer, Clinton Cash LP: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich.
Schweizer’s book confirms that Bill and Hillary Clinton “came out of the White House dead broke“–but only because they were millions of dollars in debt for legal fees to fend off numerous ethics investigations. Schweizer also documents how the Arkansas paupers came roaring back to bank at least $130 million by leveraging “close personal friends,” the Clinton Foundation, and foreign governments, plus a lucrative book deal for Hillary and a ton of “speaking gigs” that clocked in at up to $750,000 per day for Bill.
The Clintons fear being painted as “one-percenters,” because Bill got tremendous grief from hard-left NBC reporters for reneging on the key 1992 promise of his first Presidential campaign–namely, to cut the taxes of the “forgotten” middle class (those making less than $80,000/year) by 10 percent.
Sally Bedell Smith’s 2007 book, For Love of Politics: Bill and Hillary Clinton: The White House Years, details how Bill continued to promote the idea of a middle-class tax cut after deciding “it was unworkable after hearing new deficit projections in August.” Yet a week before the November election, Bill said he would “absolutely not” consider postponing the tax cut. When an NBC reporter pressed him at a news conference, he unwisely flashed his anger, claiming that “the press thought the most important issue in the race was the middle-class tax cut. I never did meet any voter who thought that.” When reporters complained to Clinton’s aides, some of the aides began calling NBC the “Nail Bill Clinton” network.
Bill and Hillary Clinton, as consummate politicians, know that in a given year, the American middle-class seldom pays “capital gains” from an investment profit. Only 11% of American income tax filers that make up to $200,000 pay capital gains taxes in any given year. That compares to an average of 51 percentage of higher income “swells” that pay capital gains taxes on investment profits in any given year.
Maybe Bill Clinton was extra-nervous in an impromptu television interview with NBC–because Bill, a normally smooth communicator, found himself caught in what several of my contacts said would reinforce his reputation as “Slick Willie.”
The New York Times, whose “chronology of coverage” of Hillary Clinton has always been overwhelmingly supportive, noted May 4: “Clinton Team Bolsters Its Defense Ahead of Negative Book’s Release.” The Times featured strong statements in support of Hillary by John Podesta, who claimed that Schweizer was “a Republican operative-turned-blogger.” Podesta wrote on his website Medium, “The book has zero evidence to back up its outlandish claims.” The Times reported Podesta’s disgust: “We are clear-eyed about the fact that this will not be the last false set of allegations flung our way.”
But Bill Clinton becoming caught in another statement that seems blatantly untrue forced the Times to balance their generally positive May 4 coverage by also running a negative article entitled, “Bill Clinton Cites Low Capital Gains, Despite Tax Returns.” The story regurgitated the “particularly high interest during scrutiny of the Clinton Foundation and speaking engagements” that has dogged the launch of Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
In what can only be called another nervous slip, the Times reported that when NBC asked if Bill planned to continue giving paid speeches, Clinton answered, “Oh yeah, I gotta pay our bills .”