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美国媒体表示:没有人知道希拉里有多爱钱

2014-08-01    来源:chinadaily    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

$5 million, $50 million or even more – just how rich is Hillary Clinton? Here’s why we don’t know

Ever since Hillary Clinton drew attention to her finances by claiming her family was "dead broke" when they left the White House, speculation has focused on a seemingly simple question: Exactly how rich are the Clintons?

The answer, at least for the time being, is that there's no way for the public to know.

The couple's wealth since Bill Clinton's presidency ended in early 2001 has been generated largely from paid speeches, lucrative book deals and successful investments.

Some of that wealth has been detailed over the years in the financial disclosure forms Hillary Clinton was required to file as a senator and as secretary of state, as well as in tax returns she released as part of her 2008 presidential run. These forms record income from both Clintons jointly.

But loose federal disclosure rules, requiring that officials report the value of their holdings using only wide ranges, leave much room for interpretation. And while Hillary Clinton's past tax returns offer more data points than exist for most other potential presidential candidates, the information is incomplete - and out of date.

In 2010, then-Secretary Clinton's financial disclosures revealed a net worth totaling between roughly $10 and $50 million. In 2012, the last year for which she disclosed finances, Clinton's net worth was estimated to be between $5 million and $25 million.

Clinton deflected a question about her net worth during an interview with Fusion's Jorge Ramos that aired Tuesday night. Asked if she knew the figure, Clinton replied, "Within a range, yeah. I mean, we have two very nice houses, which we're very proud of and not selling anytime soon." When Ramos asked if it was millions, she said, "Yes indeed."

A spokesman for Clinton did not respond to requests for comment or to specific e-mail questions about her net worth.

Lawyers and government ethics officials say federal personal financial disclosure rules are vague for a reason. The rules are designed to prevent conflicts of interest between those in office and their investments, not to provide values for specific holdings.

Assets such as mutual funds and stocks, and liabilities like credit card debt must be disclosed by name if their worth exceeds a certain amount.

"These governmental personal financial disclosure forms are not intended to represent either in general or specifically net worth," said Jan Baran, a partner at law firm Wiley Rein with experience in government ethics law.

In 2010 for example, Clinton disclosed two JP Morgan accounts each worth between $5 million and $25 million. Her 2011 and 2012 disclosures show only one JP Morgan account worth between $5 million and $25 million. It's unknown whether Clinton's net worth during this period actually decreased, or if assets were simply consolidated into one account that remained within the $5 million to $25 million range.

Also unclear is how the Clintons' income factored into their reported net worth. The tax returns Hillary Clinton released during her 2008 campaign show that the Clintons made $87.3 million in joint adjusted gross income between 2001 and 2006. Full tax returns for years beyond 2006 have not been made public, but a recent Washington Post report on Bill Clinton's paid speeches shows $49.2 million in further earnings from appearances alone between 2007 and 2012. Adding those figures together shows that the Clintons' confirmed income between 2001 and 2012 was at least $136.5 million.

The result is that Americans knew relatively little about Clinton's total wealth while in office - and probably know even less now, as there are no publicly available documents showing income or net worth for the period since she left the State Department.

That said, it's clear that both Clintons have been paid handsomely during that time, from continued speeches and for Hillary Clinton's recently released book.

Some have attempted to estimate the extent of the couple's recent financial fortunes. Bloomberg News reported, for example, that Clinton "earned at least $12 million in 16 months since leaving the State Department,” though the report acknowledged that the information was based on incomplete estimates.

The lack of specific information has led to uncertainty among Clinton's rivals and backers, all of whom would like to know to what degree her personal wealth might play a role in an election in which populism and income inequality seem likely to be factors. After all, Democrats were successful in using Mitt Romney's riches against him in 2012. Romney's net worth was reported to be about $250 million.

"It's hard really to come up with much more specifics than what [the documents] give," said Tim Miller, who as executive director of America Rising PAC, a Republican opposition research group, is in charge of helping to shape GOP attacks on Clinton.


If Clinton decides to run for president, she would have to file another financial disclosure form - and she would almost certainly be pressured to release more up-to-date tax returns.

相关内容

《华盛顿邮报》7月30日报道,此前,希拉里曾称离开白宫时一度“濒临破产”,引起一片哗然。2001年年初,比尔·克林顿卸任、搬离白宫,夫妻两人开始一边投资一边演讲、出书,四处吸金,赚得盆满钵满。此番哭穷反引发质疑:希拉里究竟有多富?

克林顿一家家底到底有多厚?谁都不知道,至少现在看来是这样。

依照美国《政府官员行为道德法》规定,总统、副总统、国会议员、联邦法官以及行政、立法和司法三大机构的工作人员,必须在任职前报告自己的财产状况,上任后还须按月申报。

同时,财产申报不只限于申报者本人,还必须包括其配偶或受抚养的子女的有关情况。除在国家安全部门工作或其他不宜暴露身份的官员外,各受理申报的机关均须将财产申报资料公开,供大众查阅复印,以便接受社会监督。

2008年参与竞选时,希拉里按照规定公开了报税单,任参议员和国务卿期间,也公布了部分资产明细。相比大选时的竞争者,希拉里报税单上的数据点较多,但信息并不完整且已十分陈旧。此外,美国的财产申报制度较宽松,仅要求公开收入的大致范围,因此也给外界留下了很大的解读空间。

2010年,时任国务卿的希拉里晒出自己的两个账户,账户金额均在500万到2500万美元之间。2011年和2012年的报表中,两个账户变成了一个,财产净值的范围也下降至了500万到2500万美元,不知是这一段时间中希拉里的净资产真的减少了,还是两个账户中的资产合并之后仍处于500万到2500万美元之间。

电视采访中,希拉里被问及是否清楚财产的具体数目,她透露自己名下有两座豪宅并表示只知其大概的价值。主持人问到其总财产是否超过百万时,希拉里作出了肯定回答。

克林顿夫妇在职时,民众对其财务状况知之甚少,如今夫妻两人都不再担任官职,没有了公开的报税记录,了解就更少。律师及美国政府道德署官员解释道,个人的财产申报的确比较模糊,不过由于申报制度的立足点在防止“利益冲突”,因此只要能消除利益冲突的可能性,财产状况不必事无巨细全公开。个人资产、债务情况如基金、股票、信用卡债务等只有在超过一定数额时才需要公布。

2008年大选期间,希拉里的报税单显示其2001年到2006年间的总收入为8730万美元。据悉,比尔·克林顿2007年到2012年仅演讲收入就高达4920万美元。如此一来,克林顿一家2001年到2012年的收入至少有1.37亿美元。比尔和希拉里演讲邀约一直不断,再加上希拉里新书的版税,一家人的收入相当可观。据彭博新闻社估计,希拉里“离任16个月内已入账至少1200万美元”。

但财富过多有时可能也会坏事。2012年大选,罗姆尼就砸在了“太有钱”上。彼时罗姆尼财产净值近2.5亿美元,民主党“逼迫”其公开报税单,迫于压力,罗姆尼只好公开,结果缴税率低引发大震荡。

如果希拉里决意参加2016年大选,外界一定会向其施压,要求其公布更多更新的财产情况。毕竟希拉里的对手和支持者都想知道,在看重平民主义和收入平等的大选中,她的个人财富会产生多大的影响。或许,也只有到那时才能知道希拉里究竟有多富。


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