So the Clinton Foundation is trending on Twitter which is, frankly, shocking. It seemed to be the scandal that time forgot. Let’s go back and revisit the revelations of utterly despicable Clinton greed.
Today, it is easy to forget the Hillary campaign had a very rocky start and the Clinton Foundation revelations which had begun to dribble out in the spring seemed like it might completely derail her Presidential aspirations. Yet by November a NY Post article listed it as a scandal the media was completely missing. Even today’s CNN story only focuses on a part of the story, the relationship between the Foundation and the State Department during Hillary’s tenure as Secretary of State, while missing the original point: the Foundation was nothing more than a slush fund intended to enrich the Clintons under the guise of charity.
Investor and writer Charles Ortel published a report in April 2015 in which he noted:
“The numbers that the Clinton Foundation supplies to the public in its legally mandated filings do not add up, are frequently incorrect, and appear to be materially misleading. In numerous cases, the Clinton Foundation appears to have followed inconsistent policies adding in appropriate portions of the various activities it pursued around the world to create “consolidated” financial statements.”
Among other concerns, the body of the report finds Clinton Foundation financial and tax filings were made late, made incorrectly, not always publicly available, sometimes “appears purposefully obscured,” and generally does not operate with the transparency and high standards of a philanthropic organization. Questions first arose from a NY Times article in 2013 yet sparked little investigation by either journalists or appropriate regulatory agencies. In an email interview, Ortel calls the Foundation “the largest unprosecuted charity fraud ever attempted–a modern, global version of Tammany Hall” and says there was enough evidence a year ago to call it “a fraud” and now “an epic textbook case of fraud.” He reiterates that he is a private citizen “studying certain publicly available filings of the Clinton Foundation and its many affiliates” and these are his opinions “based on ongoing work evaluating a voluminous set of documents.”
With the light of day finally shining on the Foundation’s activities, one charity watchdog organization would not even rate the Foundation due to its “atypical business model.” From the same NY Post article, another watchdog was far more blunt declaring, “It seems like the Clinton Foundation operates as a slush fund for the Clintons.” Which seems a more appropriate description given that an analysis of 2013 tax returns by The Federalist found only about 10% of funding went to charitable works:
“If you take a narrower, and more realistic, view of the tax-exempt group’s expenditures by excluding obvious overhead expenses and focusing on direct grants to charities and governments, the numbers look much worse. In 2013, for example, only 10 percent of the Clinton Foundation’s expenditures were for direct charitable grants. The amount it spent on charitable grants–$8.8 million–was dwarfed by the $17.2 million it cumulatively spent on travel, rent, and office supplies. Between 2011 and 2013, the organization spent only 9.9 percent of the $252 million it collected on direct charitable grants.”
All of this attention prompted the Foundation to amend four years worth of tax returns. The very obvious point now would be to ask how the IRS would treat any other entity acting similarly. But of course the Clintons, heavily entrenched in the halls of power and privilege in Washington, would be allowed whatever leeway was necessary to comply with the numerous laws and regulations they had been flaunting for years. Thus, more importantly, no amount of finally dotting i’s and crossing t’s could make up for the verifiable fact that the Clintons’ behavior is just plain sleazy.
Hillary charged The Boy’s and Girl’s Club a $200,000 speaking fee to make an appearance at a fundraiser. In the midst of a severe economic downturn and state budget crunches, the Clintons charged huge fees to public universities for speaking engagements. At a charity event marking the anniversary of the 2004 tsunami, the cost for Bill Clinton to accept an award was a $500,000 donation to the Foundation. In addition to the direct fees charged, both Bill and Hillary made outlandish and very expensive requests for additional perks. Yet the most egregious example of financial deviancy would have to be the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti and the additional devastation of having the Clintons running the relief efforts. Millions, if not billions, were siphoned off to enrich the Clintons and their friends; while the Haitian people were left in squalor. Port-au-Prince was not rebuilt, but posh hotels were. Overpriced industrial parks were built while trailers meant to shelter the homeless proved unsafe health hazards. Yet the Clintons managed to make out just fine:
“The Haitian protesters noticed an interesting pattern involving the Clintons and the designation of how aid funds were used. They observed that a number of companies that received contracts in Haiti happened to be entities that made large donations to the Clinton Foundation. The Haitian contracts appeared less tailored to the needs of Haiti than to the needs of the companies that were performing the services. In sum, Haitian deals appeared to be a quid pro quo for filling the coffers of the Clintons.”
Stories like the Haitian earthquake outrage detailed by Dinesh D’Souza as well as analysis of Foundation tax returns by The Federalist are especially key as they shed light on the deceptive lie used by the Clintons and their supporters; that the exorbitant speaking fees are acceptable because the money goes all or in part to charity. Yet that “charity” is the Foundation itself. This is why the Clintons themselves send much of their own charitable “giving” to the Foundation. This is the dirty little secret of much of the ultra-rich which may be why so few want to tell the story of the Clinton Foundation. You see, while they are doing the good work of the Foundation, the Clintons have the first class tab of their travel, hotels, food, and other living and incidental expenses picked up by the Foundation itself; all tax free. So while they beat the class warfare drum and bemoan those who don’t pay their fair share, they dodge their own tax burden by funneling their income and expenses through the work of the Foundation. Make no mistake, the Clinton Foundation was and is all about selling access to the halls of power and providing a buffer for special favors so there is no appearance of a quid pro quo, but that is simply the method. The point of the Foundation is to allow the Clintons to live the lives of multi-millionaires without having to put in an honest day’s work and doing it all tax free. Gary Johnson may say a lot of crazy, downright un-Libertarian things, but he is spot on with his analysis of the IRS and the US tax code. Its entire purpose is to carve out special favors for preferred people and groups allowing those who know how to manipulate the system to acquire “free” money inaccessible to the population as a whole which lacks the expertise or capability to properly manipulate the system.