Clinton Tax Returns Focus Email Controversy – a Y2k Moment?

It is surprising how much discussion surrounds Hillary Clinton’s emails after Edward Snowden clearly revealed that more than 1 million people have top level security clearance, many of whom are contractors with no government oversight.  Whether there are 2 or 20 top secret emails on her server may be irrelevant.


There is also a certain irony that Clinton’s converted barn, put in service for home office purposes in 2002, running various computer equipment purchased in 2011 for a total cost of $6,500, could have been more secure than government servers.  See form 4562 for 2011 tax return.  I’ll post up a detailed review of the Clinton’s returns along with those of Jeb Bush and Carly Fiorina next week.

Also note that the Clinton’s completed four Schedule C’s, meaning they have four separate businesses for tax purposes in 2011.   They are as follows:  Hillary Clinton-Author, Bill Clinton-Speaker, Bill Clinton-Author and finally Bill Clinton-Consulting.  The only one of the four that lists any computer assets is Bill Clinton-Speaker, which of course could mean that, from an accounting standpoint, Bill is still in charge of the state department.  See schedule A below.


An additional computer was purchased in late 2012 for $5,220, also charged to Bill’s speaking business.

In principle, Clinton was smart to use a private server given Snowden’s revelations.  The real discussion should be the security of all government computers for two reasons.  The first is the wide adoption of Windows software, a hacker’s dream, and more recently a major security hole involving all Intel pre 2011 chips.   This should be a Y2K moment for government and a call to upgrade, at a minimum, to new hardware.

Clearly it would not be smart for Clinton to broadcast the mix of hardware and software used for her server.  And if she has indeed reliably used a converted barn and $6,500 worth of computer equipment to safeguard correspondence from the Secretary of State, perhaps that is a lesson for all in efficient government.