Through law and tradition, candidates for President face a high level of disclosure regarding their personal finances. The records are often instructive when pondering what they have to say.
Here are some examples.
Paid to Praise
Ben Carson, on a book tour stop at the Richard Nixon library in October, delivered this bromide in support of Fox News: “Even if all the media tries to shut you down—which they have tried very much to do with me . . . they can’t, because the good Lord has provided me with mechanisms like my syndicated column and like Fox News. We’d be Cuba if there were no Fox News.”
Carson’s 2015 Financial Disclosure Report, filed with the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, lists payments of $137K from the Washington Times and $492 from Fox.
Democratic contender Hillary Clinton, in an October 27 appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, vowed to act as an enforcer against Wall Street banks, saying, “I’m going to impose a risk fee on the big banks if they engage in risky behavior,” adding, “if they’re too big to fail then . . . they may have to be broken up.”
This is from a list of speaking fees released in May by the Clinton Foundation, for members of the Clinton family. The “+” sign denotes that the speaker was Hillary.
Poor Little Rich Boy
Business mogul turned presidential contender Donald Trump proclaims his net worth is, as his campaign said in a statement, “in excess of TEN BILLION DOLLARS.”
The Forbes 400 list, released this fall, puts Trump’s net worth at less than half what he claims. The magazine’s tally, based on exhaustive research, drew a blustery refutation from The Donald: “I don’t look good, to be honest. I mean, I look better if I’m worth $10 billion than if I’m worth $4 billion.”