Clinton Made Tax Deductible Donations to Family Foundation
Hillary Rodham Clinton released her tax return for 2015 over the weekend. It turns out that she paid a 31% marginal tax rate on her taxable income. And she and Bill are responsible for $1,042,000 in charitable donations. Ninety-six percent of those donations went to their favorite charity — The Clinton Family Foundation. For the Clintons, charity begins at home.
With a combined income of $10,745,378, the Clintons, filing jointly in 2015, paid $3,624,455. That’s actually quite a lot of money, and in all fairness, those of us who are libertarians think that they should not have had to pay a penny of it; but neither should the rest of us. The Clintons reported only one hundred dollars in wages and tips, but they had $10,168,272 in business income. Their refund for 2015, due to their overpayment of estimated taxes, was a hefty $1,039,790. So much for their Form 1040. But the really interesting tidbit about their charitable donations does not begin until we get to Schedule A — Itemized Deductions.
There, after interest paid and other itemized deductions, we learn the extent of the Clintons’ charity, to the tune of one million and forty-two thousand. But it’s not until we get to the supplement to Schedule A that the breakdown is spelled out in a neat typewritten list. One million dollars were donated to the Clinton Family Foundation. Forty-two thousand went elsewhere.
The adage “charity begins at home” means that we should make sure we support our own family, rather than spend our money on charitable donations. It was invented at a time when people too interested in earning a place in heaven began to neglect their own families in order to make a show of ostentatious giving to others. Forgetting to meet family responsibilities in a mad rush to appear charitable was frowned upon. Such charity, most people agreed, was fake. But the Clintons now have the best of both worlds: they can give to charity and family at the same time, because their favorite charity is their family.
By way of contrast, the Libertarian Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson admitted that his charitable donations are nothing to brag about. “My charitable contributions would be negligible,” Johnson said. “I mean just, really almost nonexistent.” Libertarians sometimes beat themselves up to prove that private charity is better than welfare, challenging each other to donate more. But let’s remember that the best solution to poverty is the elimination of taxes, so that however much or little we make, we are free to spend it all on our own family.
We live in a strange time and age, if when a political candidate says his or her charitable donations are nonexistent, that is how we know that he or she is not a crook.