In late June, presumed 2016 Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed that she and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, are totally different from other filthy rich multimillionaires, who are “truly well off.” Not long before that, she claimed that she and her husband were somehow dirt poor when they left the White House.
The former first lady has certainly done alright for herself this year, though. Over the course of a mere eight speeches at eight different American colleges and universities, she will have made off with a sweet $1.8 million or so, reports The Washington Post.
Clinton’s April speech at the University of Connecticut – a pep talk to millennials – netted a cool quarter million $251,250.
Hilariously, Clinton spoke of equality at UConn.
“Do we want to continue to be a country where everyone has an equal shot to participate and to live up to their full potential?” Clinton asked in the six-figure stem-winder, according to the Hartford Courant.”Or are we ready to break faith with all that has gone on before and accept leaving a growing number of our fellow citizens marooned, sitting on the sidelines?”
The taxpayer-funded University of Connecticut has just raised tuition costs by 6.5 percent, notes the Post.
In March, administrators at the University of California, Los Angeles found $300,000 in private endowment cash to pay Clinton so she could speak at length on something called “thought leadership” and accept the UCLA Medal — the school’s highest honor.
Most – if not all – the schools at which Clinton spoke similarly plundered endowment funds to pay Clinton’s steep lecture fees.
In the $300,000 UCLA speech, the former secretary of state exhibited the knack for diplomacy that made her such a memorable and effective State Department boss by calling Russian President Vladmir Putin a “tough guy with thin skin,” according to NBC Los Angeles.
This fall, in October, Clinton is scheduled to pocket a cool $225,000 for a single speech at the taxpayer-funded University of Nevada, Las Vegas as the keynote speaker for a UNLV Foundation fundraiser at the fancypants Bellagio, where attendees will pay a minimum $200 per plate.
Shocked students have already expressed outrage at Clinton’s fee.
“You could give scholarships to thousands of students, benefit research on campus, give more students grants for research and studying,” said Daniel Waqar, a UNLV student government spokesman, according to ABC’s The Note.
UNLV’s student body president, Elias Benjelloun, agreed.
“The students are outraged about this,” he told the Post. “When you see reckless spending, it just belittles the sacrifices students are consistently asked to make. I’m not an accountant or economist, so I can’t put a price tag on how much we should be paying her, but I think she should come for free.”
Over the next four years, UNLV’s administration is raising tuition by 17 percent.
Five other schools have also paid Clinton to give speeches. Four of the schools are private: Colgate University, Hamilton College, Simmons College (in Boston) and the University of Miami. The fifth is the taxpayer-funded University at Buffalo.
Bureaucrats at those five schools refused to disclose how many hundreds of thousands of dollars Clinton received to show up. (It’s not clear how anyone at the University at Buffalo expects to get away with such an evasion.)
As the Post notes, though, it’s reasonable to assume that Clinton’s fee to put in a brief appearance was in the neighborhood of the fees she collected at UConn and UCLA.
To be cautions, let’s say the former first lady and one-time Little Rock attorney collected $200,000 per appearance at those schools. That’s $1 million.
On top of the $776,250 Clinton made at UCLA and UConn, and will make at UNLV, she will have an eight-speech income of nearly $1.8 million.
Clinton has regularly and loudly complained about increasing college costs as she has laid the groundwork for her apparent presidential bid.
“I worry that we’re closing the doors to higher education in our own country,” Clinton said in March, the same month she accepted $300,000 from UCLA. “This great model that we’ve had that’s meant so much to so many is becoming further and further away from too many.”
In the last five years, in-state tuition at UCLA has increased dramatically.
Incidentally, Clinton attended Wellesley College as an undergrad. The cost there for tuition, room and board for the upcoming academic year is $59,038.