- The Washington Times - Friday, August 12, 2016

Bill and Hillary Clinton have earned nearly a quarter-billion dollars since leaving the White House — though their income took a massive dive last year as Hillary Clinton left her lucrative post-State Department speaking career to take to the presidential campaign trail.

Mrs. Clinton and former President Clinton released their 2015 tax return Friday, hoping to pressure GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump into releasing his own taxes. And, at the same time, the Clintons gave a peek into their complex finances.

The power couple reported joint income of $10.7 million last year, and claimed a tax liability of $3.6 million. It’s a major drop in income from the more than $28 million they earned in 2014 and $27 million in 2013 — the two years after Mrs. Clinton left the State Department, but before she was running for president.

“Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine continue to set the standard for financial transparency as she releases her 2015 personal tax return and builds on the Clintons’ tradition of making their returns public since 1977 and Kaine releases 10 years of his returns,” Jennifer Palmieri, the Clinton campaign communications director, said, referring to Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, Mrs. Clinton’s running mate.

The Clintons’ federal tax bill in 2015 amounted to 34.2 percent of their income, and their combined federal, state and local taxes were 43.2 percent. They donated 9.8 percent of their adjusted gross income to charity — though almost all of that was to their own charity, the Clinton Family Foundation, run by the family and close personal friends.

Mr. Trump’s campaign said “nobody” cares about Mrs. Clinton’s tax returns, but wants to see her missing emails, internal records from the Clinton Foundation and transcripts of Mrs. Clinton’s speeches to Wall Street companies.

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“The records we need to see are those being hidden, deleted, obstructed and stashed away by Hillary Clinton to keep authorities from untangling this corrupt scheme that reaches into the world’s shady corridors of power,” said Jason Miller, a spokesman for the Trump campaign.

The Clintons have now released tax returns showing their income going back to 1977, and have the last nine years of returns currently posted on Mrs. Clinton’s campaign website, dating back to 2007, when Mrs. Clinton was still in the Senate.

All told, the couple earned $151.5 million over the last nine years, and some $238 million since they left the White House in 2001.

Mrs. Clinton had famously described herself as “dead broke” when they left the White House, saying the first couple was in debt — a claim that the Trump campaign has turned into an attack campaign ad.

“We had no money when we got there, and we struggled to piece together the resources for mortgages for houses, for Chelsea’s education. It was not easy. Bill has worked really hard. And it’s been amazing to me. He’s worked very hard.”

Ms. Palmieri said Mr. Trump, meanwhile, “is hiding behind fake excuses” in refusing to release his own tax returns.

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Mr. Trump has said he’s being audited by the IRS, and said it doesn’t make sense to release his returns in the middle of that audit.

Analysts and political opponents have challenged that explanation, with fellow billionaire Warren Buffett saying he, too, is being audited, but saying he’d release his returns if Mr. Trump did as well.

Also releasing a decade’s worth of tax returns Friday was Mr. Kaine.

He and his wife, Anne Holton, reported $313,441 in total income, and owed $63,626 in federal taxes. That gave them an effective tax rate of 20.3 percent. They have paid as little as 13.4 percent toward federal taxes, in 2009, and as high as 24 percent, in 2011.

• Stephen Dinan can be reached at sdinan@washingtontimes.com.

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