To Corner Trump on Finances, Clinton Releases Tax Returns
Though she dodged demands to release controversial Wall Street speech transcripts during the primary, Clinton hammers rival on financial disclosures
As her billionaire rival Donald Trump has steadfastly refused to release his own, multi-millionaire Hillary Clinton sought to highlight her opponent's financial obfuscation on Friday by making her own family's 2015 tax returns public.
According to a campaign statement, the combined federal and state tax rate paid last year by Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, amounted to 43.2 percent on a total income of approximately $10.7 million. Of their total gross income last year, the former president and the current Democratic nominee gave nearly 10 percent to charity.
The campaign also released a set of tax returns from Clinton's vice-presidential running mate Tim Kaine and his wife, Anne Holton.
Detailing the financial disclosure, CNBC reports:
The returns show [the Clintons] made a total income of $10.7 million and deducted $2.24 million in 2015, while paying $3.6 million in total taxes according to their tax return.
[They] paid an effective federal tax rate of 34.2 percent and an effective combined tax rate of 43.2 percent, and gave 9.8 percent of their adjusted gross income to charity, according to a campaign release.
In 2014, the Clintons made $28,336,212 in total income, deducted $5,159,242, and paid $9,981,350 in total taxes, according to a tax return posted on the campaign's website. They paid a, effective combined tax rate of 45.8 percent in 2014, according to the site.
The Clintons have paid more than $43 million in federal taxes and more than $14 million in charitable contributions since 2007, according to the campaign's website.
With his political opponents demanding that Trump should do what every candidate in modern history has done by releasing his tax returns, the Clinton campaign released a new video ad on Friday that left no doubt she intends to make his lack of financial transparency a key line of attack going forward.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) August 12, 2016
Jennifer Palmieri, a spokesperson for the Clinton campaign, said the release offers a "stark contrast" with Trump, who has refused to release his returns by claiming a federal audit is prohibiting the disclosure. "Donald Trump is hiding behind fake excuses and backtracking on his previous promises to release his tax returns," Palmieri continued. "He has failed to provide the public with the most basic financial information disclosed by every major candidate in the last 40 years. What is he trying to hide?"
Though Clinton continues to reject calls that she release transcripts of paid speeches she gave to Wall Street over recent years, the Clintons—especially given their long history of living in the public eye—have disclosed decades of detailed information regarding their personal wealth and taxes.
In a touch of irony—outside of book deals and government pension payments—an enormous amount of income that both Hillary and Bill Clinton received in the years following public office came through speaking fees to large corporations and other institutions. Though the public does not know what's in the controversial speeches, they do know how much she was paid for them.
As the International Business Times reported on Thursday:
The Clintons have raked in $153 million in speaking fees since President Clinton left office, according to CNN. In all, the news organization reports, they gave a combined 729 speeches from February 2001 until mid-2015, “receiving an average payday of $210,795 for each address.”
After leaving the State Department in 2013, Hillary Clinton made as much as $200,000 a pop on the speaking circuit. She spoke to organizations associated with trade groups, the financial services industry, the tech industry and the health care industry, among others. She made roughly $22 million from the fees.
An Associated Press investigation found that at least 60 firms and organizations that had sponsored Clinton speeches had lobbied the U.S. government at some point during the Obama administration. At least 30 of the groups profited from government contracts during that period. There were 22 groups that lobbied the State Department while Clinton was at the helm.
As CNN reports, "with the release of her 2015 income taxes, Clinton has now released 39 years' worth of tax returns over the course of her career."