New York, Apr 5 : Hillary and Bill Clinton earned nearly 109 million dollars during the past eight years, after the latter quit as US President, with most of it coming from lecture tours and books written by the duo, and royalty worth 15 million dollars from Bill's book "My Life".
Bill's vigorous lecture schedule where his speeches command more than 250,000 dollars, brought in almost 52 million dollars during the said period.
This has been disclosed in tax returns released by the couple yesterday, even as Hillary is running neck and neck with Barrack Obama for Democrats nomination for the presidential election to be held in November.
Although there is no legal requirement that candidates running for President release their tax returns, it has been common practice since the 1970s, a release typically occurs after a candidate becomes a party nominee, not during the primaries.
The Clintons' tax returns provide the most detailed look at their finances since 2000, when they last made their returns public, and in many ways provide an unusually detailed look at the earning power of a former president. Never before has the spouse of a former president run for office, forcing public disclosure of the couple's finances.
Interestingly, in 2001 when the Clintons vacated the White House, they had little money and were facing millions of dollars in legal bills.
During the past eight years, the Clintons paid 33.8 million dollars in federal taxes and claimed deductions for 10.2 million dollars in charitable contributions. The contributions went to a family foundation run by the Clintons, which has given away only about half of the money that the Clintons put into it, and most of that was last year, after Hillary declared her candidacy for President.
Clinton's campaign released the eight years of income tax information following a rising clamor on the campaign trail for Hillary to follow the lead of her opponent, Senator Barack Obama, who had previously disclosed his tax returns for the same period.
"The Clintons have now made public 30 years of tax returns, a record matched by few people in public service. None of Hillary Clinton's presidential opponents have revealed anything close to this amount of personal financial information," The New York Times quoted Hillary's campaign spokesman Jay Carson as saying.
According to the paper, since Hillary announced her campaign for president, controversies involving her husband's business and philanthropic endeavors have occasionally raised questions about the potential for ethical conflicts should she win the White House. Among them is Bill's partnership with Ronald W. Burkle, the billionaire investor and supermarket magnate, whose business deals have included investing money for the government of Dubai and acquiring a stake in a Chinese media company.
Bill had previously not disclosed what he earned from that partnership, but the tax returns show that he collected at least 12.6 million dollars since 2002, and possibly as much as 15.3 million dollars from his work as an adviser and rainmaker for Burkle's Yucaipa Companies.