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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The enormous wealth of presidential contestants

Hillary Clinton and her husband have earned 30 million dollars during previous 16 months, according to ‘financial disclosure forms’ filed with federal elections officials on Friday.

Bill Clinton, husband of Hillary Clinton

In the 2016 presidential elections many of the possible contenders are much wealthier than average American citizen.

Jeb bush, for example, is a member of wealthy families that own Oceanside compound in Kennebunkport, Maine. Democrat’s possible contender Hillary Clinton, wife of former President Bill Clinton, has earned 200,000 dollars as speaking fees over the past year. The one hour speech can earn Mrs. Clinton what average American make in four years.

 In addition to speaking fees she was known to have received a $14 million advance for the book she released last year.

Other contestants include Ted Cruz having worth of $3.2 million, Rand Paul having $1.3 million.

Businesswoman Carly Fiorina is one of the wealthiest potential White house contenders. She is worth an estimated $ 71 million.

But these contestants are nowhere near to the former contestant, private equity mogul, Mitt Romney. At the time of contest he had had somewhere between $190 million to $250 million.

The tendency of power to concentrate in the hands of rich and those having strong family connection is seen in the World’s sole super power.

Past presidents did include millionaires. The richest president till now is J. F. Kennedy who is estimated to be a billionaire in 2010 dollar terms. Other rich presidents in 2010 dollars terms were George Washington 525 million dollars, Thomas Jefferson 212 million dollars, Theodore Roosevelt 125 million dollars, Andrew Jackson 119 million dollars, James Madison 101 million dollars, Lyndon Johnson 98 million dollars, Herbert Hoover 75 million dollars, Franklin Roosevelt 60 million dollars, bill Clinton 55 million dollars, George H W Bush 23 million dollars, George W Bush 20 million dollars.

Although J. F. Kennedy is considered to be billionaire but conservative estimates suggest much less figure hence George Washington can be considered to be the richest president of all. President Washington owned nearly 60,000 acres and more than 300 slaves.

George Washington was in the business of flour milling, fishing, horse breeding, spinning, weaving and (in the 1790s) whiskey production.

Wealth of congressman, senators and presidential contestants has brought severe criticism from general public. The criticism is not entirely unwarranted.

 The general trend of American society from meritocracy to aristocracy has been noticed.  

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