That leader was called the Doge. He was subject to tight restrictions on his activities. In particular, the Doge’s interaction with foreigners was limited. He could not meet with foreign diplomats in private. He could not accept any gifts from foreigners more valuable than a pot of herbs.
The Venetians knew something. They understood how easily leaders can be seduced by foreign interests.
Joe Biden has spent his life as a public servant earning what is in the scheme of things a relatively modest salary. Prior to becoming Vice-President, Joe and his wife made in a typical year somewhere around $250,000. That is from all sources including Jill’s job at a community college and Joe’s part-time teaching gig.
Then Joe became Vice-President and gained massive access and influence. His contacts with foreign leaders jumped dramatically. Hunter Biden began to travel the globe selling access to his father.
Joe left public service at the end of Obama’s second term. He stepped out from under the intense scrutiny that went with his position as Vice-President. Suddenly, the floodgates opened.
In 2017 the Bidens declared $11.1 million in income. That means that year they made as much as they had made in the previous 18 years combined. Almost all of that money came from two S-corporations called CelticCapri and Giacoppa.
Both these entities are shell companies. They exist only on paper. No one knows where the money came from that was funneled through these two corporations. The Bidens have never released tax returns for CelticCapri and Giacoppa. That is, after all, the point of having a shell company. It hides the source of the funds.
At one point the Biden presidential campaign suggested that the money came from Biden’s book sales. According to this fairy tale, Biden’s book netted $12.2 million (after expenses). Let’s break that down.
The book sold 300,000 copies. Presuming it sold for $27 hardcover and $17 paperback and a reasonable mix of sales, the book would have grossed $7 million. Joe might have gotten 12% of that. That would work out to somewhere around $800,000.
Where did the rest of the money come from? We don’t know. Biden has never explained this sudden windfall. Most of the press has simply buried the issue along with Hunter’s laptop.
Joe became Vice-President. He and his son developed a slew of contacts with a host of unsavory characters spread around the planet. Joe got rich. Are we really compelled to ignore the obvious implications of those facts?
Biden is, of course, hardly alone in getting rich from holding political office. Nancy Pelosi and her husband have wide-ranging investments in China. In 2018 Nancy Pelosi’s net worth, after a lifetime in public service, was $160 million.
Nancy Pelosi has long condemned the outsourcing of manufacturing jobs to foreign countries by American corporations. But the Pelosi’s investment portfolio contains no investments in any domestic manufacturing companies. Instead, the Pelosi family invests in companies doing business in China and, partner with investment firms that have huge stock holdings in Chinese companies like BiliBili, China Mobile, Huazhu Grou, Weibo, and Yum China Holdings.
Nancy Pelosi may theoretically represent the people of California, but she makes most of her money from doing business with the Chinese Communist Party.
Lest you think that this is purely a Democrat disease, let’s not forget Mitch McConnell. In 2004 Mitch and his wife, Elaine Chao, were worth about $3 million together. Over the next decade as Mitch gained in seniority and influence, the couple’s net worth skyrocketed. That figure is now somewhere near $150 million.
Much of McConnell’s money appears to come in the form of gifts from his wife’s father who runs a massive shipping company in China with close ties to the Chinese Communist Party. As the years have passed, and the “gifts” have increased, Mitch’s positions on our policy toward China have evolved and softened.
The three individuals mentioned above may have profited more than most from their dealings with foreign interests. They are not alone, however. This is the current state of our increasingly corrupt and unresponsive federal government. It does not work for you and your representatives do not rely on you for their income and well-being.
The Venetians understood how easily leaders can be purchased and turned against their people. They knew they needed to be ever vigilant. Were that republic still in existence today its leaders would have no doubt about what we have allowed to happen to our own government.
They would have seen clearly. Joe, Nancy, and Mitch did not get rich off their government salaries, and they don’t work for you or I. ✪