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EDITORIAL: Getting rich off the taxpayer

To hear Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton tell it last week, she and her husband have had dirt under their nails and sweat dripping off their collective brow for decades. On the flip side, Mrs. Clinton strongly implied that Donald Trump’s gains were handouts and even ill-gotten.

In the recent debate, she bagged on The Donald by saying that “he started his business with $14 million borrowed from his father.” At a Tuesday rally, she said, “Bill and I have been blessed. We didn’t come from millionaire families.”

The potshots beg for a rejoinder and here’s a good place to start: Why is success in America, and passing along that success to your offspring, now so deplorable? Furthermore, when is the last time Mrs. Clinton wasn’t stockpiling money courtesy of the taxpayers?

Ed Morrissey of HotAir.com got it right. “Trump made his money in the private sector and built that inheritance into a much larger fortune, even if it’s still a matter of opinion just how large it actually is. Trump built skyscrapers and carried payrolls, employing tens of thousands of people, a point which even those critical of Trump’s business practices would have to concede.”

And how, exactly, did the Clintons amass a net worth exceeding $100 million?

“In contrast, Bill and Hillary Clinton have spent decades in the public sector — at the state level since the late 1970s, and at the federal level ever since. One or the other held high federal office from 1993 to 2013, a remarkable 20-year run — and that’s the same period when they made their wealth. Both benefited from astronomical book advances, but their real money came while Hillary served as secretary of state.”

Indeed, from 2009-2012, the couple earned $57.5 million, which as Mr. Morrissey noted was largely due to Mr. Clinton’s speaking endeavors at events tied to entities with business before the State Department.

But the Clintons’ ability to trade on their public power to grab big paychecks started long before then. Recall that in just 10 months of trading cattle futures in 1978-79, a period that overlapped Mr. Clinton becoming governor of Arkansas, Mrs. Clinton supposedly turned $1,000 into nearly $100,000, despite little trading experience. Nearly 40 years later, that cattle trading still doesn’t pass the smell test.

Mrs. Clinton’s insinuation that her own family’s wealth was righteously achieved, while Mr. Trump’s fortune is illegitimate is ridiculous. Directly and indirectly, the Clintons have thrived off taxpayers since the 1970s.

Perhaps Mrs. Clinton should brush up on the whole “glass houses, stone-throwing” idiom.

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