Hillary Clinton currently holds the lead in the Democratic race for the nomination – not surprising considering she only has one announced challenger and the name recognition, financial ties, and Washington allies to back her.
While the GOP wants to focus on Clinton’s involvement – or as they say, lack of involvement – over Benghazi, the real thing we should be focusing on with Hillary is her time in the White House in the 1990’s.
Yes, she wasn’t the president, but she was one of the most politically involved First Ladies in history, so it needs to be discussed.
Alternet pointed out last week that Bill and Hillary Clinton made $30 million dollars combined in 2014. Not a bad haul for former politicians. But what Alternet says is more important than the amount is where the money came from.
According to Alternet, when Bill Clinton was president, he had his allies in Congress pass the Financial Services Modernization Act, which repealed the Glass Steagall law that separated commercial and investment banking. This resulted in a spree of mergers and growth that involved a huge growth in the size of the nation’s biggest banks and their profits.
It wasn’t long after this that longtime Clinton friend and leader of the Treasury Robert Rubin left the administration to go work for Citigroup, where he began earning around $10 million dollars a year. Once he left office, Bill Clinton was no stranger to giving speeches at events hosted and paid for by the big banks, with speaking fees starting around $125,000 an hour.
At the same time that Clinton was raking in cash on the bank-sponsored speaking circuit, Hillary was serving as a US Senator, where she actually voted in favor of George Bush’s bankruptcy bill that made it more difficult for struggling citizens to have their debts wiped out through bankruptcy. In other words, the legislation that Clinton favored – in spite of being warned about the impacts of the legislation by then-consumer advocate and law professor Elizabeth Warren – meant that people filing for bankruptcy would have their credit and basically their lives destroyed, but they still had to pay back the greedy bankers.
After she left the State Department, Hillary hit the speaking circuit like her husband, where she would get paid around $200,000 per speech by the big banks – her first two speeches were for Goldman Sachs.
These banks also helped finance her Senate campaign, which is why she ignored Warren’s advice and voted in favor of the anti-consumer, pro-banker bankruptcy bill.
Unlike the Republican candidates running for president, Hillary Clinton is absolutely smart enough to lead the country. She understands politics and she probably wouldn’t be a complete disaster like the Republican candidates would end up being. But understand this – she is a friend of the banks, not consumers. The very same banks that are currently admitting to committing egregious crimes and NOT going to prison are the same ones that are funding her presidential campaign, and they are the same ones that she will protect if she moves back into the White House.