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By Greg Gordon, McClatchy Washington Bureau (TNS)

WASHINGTON — Hillary Rodham Clinton earned nearly $10 million in speaking fees in 2013, including almost $1.6 million from major Wall Street banks, she disclosed Friday as she released eight years of personal income tax returns.

Her husband, former President Bill Clinton, collected $13.2 million in speaking fees that year, the only year for which the couple had not previously disclosed their income from the talk circuit since leaving the White House. That included a $700,000 fee from Amway to the former president for a speech in Japan.

The totals brought the couple’s combined post-White House speaking income to more than $150 million, an off-the-charts sum when compared with the earnings of other U.S. politicians.

On their tax returns for the years 2007 through 2014, the Clintons’ reported combined income of $139 million. Hillary Clinton said in a statement that she and her husband paid $43.9 million in federal income taxes and $13.6 million in state and local taxes in those years, for an effective total tax rate of 45.8 percent.

The Clintons gave $15 million in charitable contributions over the past eight years, she said.

“We’ve come a long way … and we owe it to the opportunities America provides,” Clinton said.

Hillary Clinton’s income from Wall Street is noteworthy because, in 2014 and 2015 as the presidential campaign drew near, she gave $750,000 to $1.5 million in speaking fees from big banks to the Clinton Foundation, while keeping a $280,000 donation from Deutsche Bank.

During the first months of her campaign, she has sought to emphasize a theme of helping Americans at the bottom rungs of the economic ladder.

In 2013, however, she accepted $1,575,000 from Wall Street banks that have been blamed for their roles in the 2008 financial crisis, including $675,000 from Goldman Sachs, and $225,000 each from UBS Wealth Management, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, and Deutsche Bank.

The Clintons also disclosed that UBS Wealth Management paid a $175,000 speaking fee to Bill Clinton in May 2013. Together, UBS paid the couple $1.9 million for speeches since 2011.

The Wall Street Journal reported this week that shortly after taking office as secretary of state in 2009, Hillary Clinton intervened in negotiations with the Swiss government to release long-confidential information on the UBS accounts of thousands of American citizens suspected of evading U.S. taxes. Clinton’s intervention resulted in a settlement providing for the release of information on 4,450 accounts, not the 52,000 sought by the Internal Revenue Service, the Journal reported.

There is no evidence that UBS sought to reward the Clintons with speaking fees for Hillary Clinton’s role in the settlement, but the appearance created by their acceptance of the money could dog her for the rest of her campaign.

Photo: U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is joined onstage by her husband former President Bill Clinton after she delivered her “official launch speech” at a campaign kick off rally in Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island in New York City, June 13, 2015. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

Jason Miller

Screenshot from C-SPAN

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

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