|Hil and Lil|
During the final months of Bill Clinton's presidency, both Bill and Hillary worked hard to secure legislation to benefit their friends' and supporters' newly-formed foundations, as well as the one planned for themselves. The Clinton-friendly Broads and Dells got into the foundation business in 1999, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation got rolling in 2000.
In the fall of 1999 as Hillary was beating the bushes for pledges to support the building of the Clinton Library and the Clinton Foundation, Bill and Hill developed a list of "philanthropy heroes" who would be honored at a special Washington gala:
A September 1999 White House list proposing possible "philanthropy heroes" to highlight at the conference included wealthy donors of "large recent gifts," among them Microsoft's Bill Gates and his wife, Dell computer founder Michael Dell and investors George Soros and Eli Broad.
They all later donated to the Clinton Foundation through their companies or private foundations. There are no indications that White House officials discussed future Clinton Foundation gifts with any nonprofit. But the White House attention lavished on their concerns, Jacobs said, showed that "the president and the first lady were making tax reform for a specialized, wealthy part of American life one of their top priorities."
In January 2000, the Clintons were preparing policy strategies to provide tax breaks to their friends' new corporate foundations and other billionaire donors. At the State of the Union address that year, Clinton bragged about his final budget initiative to offer the middle class a tax reduction, but he said nothing about the really big plans to provide generous tax benefits to venture philanthropists and corporate foundations.
All of the "philanthropy heroes" gave to the Clinton Library, as did the Walton Family Foundation, even if the specific Clinton tax reforms died in legislative committee in 2000.
Something that did not die, however, was the New Markets Tax Credit, which allows the rich to collect 39 cents in tax savings on every dollar given to corporate welfare charter schools or to fund palatial developments placed in poor city areas:
The New Markets Tax Credit, introduced during the Clinton administration, was intended to spur the development of projects that would create jobs in low-income communities. However, recent reports by Bloomberg Markets Magazine and CBS News have cast a harsh light on how banks and investors have managed to manipulate the qualifications for the tax credit to allow projects to be built in areas that would seem to hardly fit the definition of a low-income community.Today Clinton's efforts continue to generate billions for the charter industry, hedge funders, and philanthrocapitalists. For them to choose anyone but Hillary for President would be sacrilege.
Among the projects is the luxurious Blackstone Hotel in downtown Chicago, which was the beneficiary of $15.6 million in tax credits, much of which went to Prudential Financial and its partner in the project, JPMorgan Chase. Prudential also profited by building another luxury hotel, the Nines, in Portland, Ore., which was built with $27.3 million in New Markets Tax Credits.
It is now clear that the same is true for the NEA and AFT chiefs, whose support for privatization cannot be disputed. It is time, way past time, for educators to organize locally and regionally and to withdraw from any support of AFT and NEA.