It was the best of lines, it was the worst of lines. It was political wisdom, it was political foolishness. It was the complaint never-to-be-uttered by a millionaire first lady: “I’M BROKE.”
Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama feign to be former paupers. Yet, they have lived a life of opulence while their husbands’ policies have caused our country to go broke.
Cinderella started out as a pauper, but she worked hard - with a cheerful spirit - and eventually was rewarded for her industry.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)
Hillary Clinton did not begin her career like Cinderella - sweeping soot with a broken broom while wearing a smile on her face. Yet, to hear Clinton’s recent interview with ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer, you would almost think that she thinks she’s Cinderella.
“…we came out of the White House not only dead broke, but in debt. We had no money when we got there and we struggled to, you know, piece together the resources for mortgages for houses, for Chelsea's education, you know, it was not easy. Bill has worked really hard and it's been amazing to me.”
Oh, yes. Slick Willie worked “really hard.” During his presidency, he kept himself as busy as a bee chasing women, especially buxom interns. Willie knew how to bring home the bacon: a fat lie and a stack of legal bills a mile high.
In the winter of 2001, as Hillary trudged out of the mansion that the taxpayers had lent her for eight years (i.e. the White House), she clutched in her hand an $8 million advance to write a memoir for Simon & Schuster. Meanwhile, Bill managed to haul in $9.2 million in speaking fees that year. While they owed several million, their debt was most likely due to Bill’s scandal and their own poor money management skills.
After all, why did they buy that $2.85 million home in Washington and that $1.7 million home in New York while they were in office if they knew they were “dead broke.” Were they also brain dead? Of course not. Hillary Clinton’s truth-telling skills are due for a tune up.
Former President Bill Clinton, left, listens as former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during a student conference for the Clinton Global Initiative University, Saturday, March 22, 2014, at Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)
On Tuesday, Hillary appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America and tried to soften her “dead broke” claim; “We understand what that struggle is, because we had student debts, both of us, we had to pay off.”
Hillary understands our struggle alright. She was raised in an upper middle class neighborhood in Chicago, and never stopped climbing until she reached the top 1 percent.
The problem with Hillary is that she supports socialist, redistributive tax policies despite the fact that she milked the free market to attain her current luxurious lifestyle. Socialism would not allow Hillary to receive $8 and $14 million book advances. That would not be fair.
Michelle Obama has also been telling us how “broke” she is for years. For example, during the 2012 Democratic Convention, Michelle Obama gave a speech to appeal to young voters laden with student debt by saying:
"And believe it or not, when we were first married, our combined monthly student loan bill was actually higher than our mortgage. Yeah, we were so young, so in love, and so in debt. And that's why Barack has fought so hard to increase student aid and keep interest rates down—because he wants every young person to fulfill their promise and be able to attend college without a mountain of debt."
And we all know how well that turned out. Obama is pitching his big act of heroism - a plan that analysts say will raise taxes by $72 billion. Think about how many jobs, investments in start-up companies, and business expansion plans that could kill! All to give students a subsidy worth $1 a day. Just a guess, students would prefer a job or a shot at starting their own company.
Michelle is an expert at sounding like a populist. But her life was hardly a Cinderella story either. Three years out of an Ivy League law school, Michelle said, “I had a fancy office, a secretary... and a new Saab,” reported the Joliet Herald-News.
First lady Michelle Obama, left, jokes with President Barack Obama, during the White House Correspondents' Association (WHCA) Dinner at the Washington Hilton Hotel, Saturday, May 3, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Michelle made six figures for many years throughout their marriage. At one point in their marriage (2005), the Chicago Tribune reported that she received a raise and was making $316,962. The Obamas had some student loan debt for a while but even with the debt, Michelle told her husband, “we’re not hurting,” author Christopher Anderson writes in his book, "Barack and Michelle."
Andersen hints that perhaps the Obamas’ problem was more about financial management, saying: “for some reason” $250,000 annually “was not enough for them” to work toward eliminating their debt. The Obamas moaned about their financial situation while stubbornly incurring annual trips for the whole family to Hawaii. When Barack decided to run for U.S. Senate, Michelle was working full-time making six figures, her mother volunteered to be a regular babysitter for their daughters, she had a personal fitness trainer, and they hired a “full-time live-in housekeeper,” writes Andersen.
By the time he became a presidential candidate, the Obamas had purchased millions in U.S. Treasury bills and received millions in advances and royalties from Barack’s two best-selling books. Michelle admitted to the Chicago Tribune in 2008 that it was “like hitting the Lotto.”
Today, over 15 percent of Millennials are out of work and over a third live at home with their parents. These historic highs are directly due to Michelle and Hillary’s husbands’ poor monetary policies. I tell the story of how Bill Clinton and Barack Obama came to own the lion’s share of the blame for the housing crisis and thus the economic crisis in my new book, “Let Me Be Clear.” I also offer solutions. After all, we need real hope instead of a lawyer mouthing the word “broke.”
At some point, our first ladies and prospective presidents must stop talking about how broke they are and lead. We need our political leaders to stop taxing and micromanaging and step out of the way so that businesses are free to profit, hire and innovate. We need the federal government to get out of higher education so that colleges have more of an incentive to decrease tuition prices and increase value.
Obama bought votes off Millennials looking for a way out of their student debt. Hillary will do the same - unless my generation stops her.
No one needs a Barack Obama - or a Hillary Clinton in 2016 - to jack up taxes and regulations. That’s not working. Been there. Done that. At $17.5 trillion, we’re “dead broke.”
Please check out Katie's new book, "Let Me Be Clear," published by Random House. Available online at Amazon, Barnes&Noble & iBooks. In stores 6/26/14.
Feature Photo: White House
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