Thursday, February 21, 2013

Pay Day

Trey Smith

At this point, the Clintons are the shining example of how this quiet but nonetheless powerful corruption system works. As USA Today this week noted, Bill Clinton has become one of the wealthiest presidents in American history, thanks to the fact that since leaving office, he “has earned more than $125 million before taxes, with the vast majority of that coming from speaking fees.”

That term “speaking fees” is a sanitized phrase that evokes images of earnest college lectures and graduation orations. But for the most part, the term really refers to a corporate payoff, either for a job well done in office, or for a former politician to add his name to the corporate brand.

Bill Clinton’s post-presidency shows how it works. A man who spent his entire life in the public sector and who has no business experience whatsoever is raking in big paychecks from the financial industries he helped in office, and from corporate interest groups he can help today. That’s right, in its story about Hillary Clinton’s announcement, the New York Daily News reports that the former president’s “appearances included $200,000 speeches to Wells Fargo Bank in New York, PhRMA in Jersey City, TD Ameritrade in Las Vegas … $225,000 for a speech to Whiskey Productions on Grand Cayman, $500,000 for an address to the Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative and $750,000 for a speech to Swedish telecom company Ericsson in Hong Kong.”
~ from Who Will Be Paying Hillary? by David Sirota ~
In many ways, "serving" in the public sector has become nothing more than a stepping stone to a big pay day. You "serve" for a few years, then wait for corporations and Wall Street types literally to throw money at you.

What could Bill Clinton say to a Swedish telecom that is worth anything close to 3/4 of one million dollars? You know he didn't announce some breakthrough technology that he's been working on for over a decade. As Sirota points out, he has no experience in the business world. So, why would they throw so much money his way?

Reread the second paragraph quoted above and you'll find the answer!


  1. If she runs for President, I will not vote for her. I'll even vote against her in the primaries.

  2. Well done Kai Wen! Accept no clones!


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