Is the presidential family net worth growth/loss portrayed in this infographic true?

(I am not asking about the other assertions in this infographic)

I'm skeptical of the massive gains both the Obama's and Clinton's have made, and skeptical of the massive loss the Trump's have made.

If these number are more-or-less true, can you explain how they were achieved?

This graphic has been circulating forums/online for a while - here's where I found it:


  • 4
    Hello, and congrats on your first question! You should give both the source of the infographic and some proof that the source is notable, otherwise your question might be closed.
    – Giter
    Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 17:38
  • 23
    As for the infographic itself, it is incredibly misleading since it doesn't show when each group had those changes in net worth(since the start of their presidencies, Clinton has had 25 years to make money, Trump has had 2). Presidents make a lot of money after their presidency from books, paid speeches, etc., which I'm sure Trump will also cash in on after his presidency.
    – Giter
    Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 17:47
  • 22
    This is also a fantastic example of the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 20:38
  • 2
    A far more fair graphic would be one DIRECTLY AFTER their terms, instead of NOW (especially for the Clintons who had years to make money since the last term)
    – Hobbamok
    Commented Sep 11, 2018 at 8:52
  • 2
    Be careful the Donald doesn't sue you for saying he is worth less than $10 billion !
    – Mawg
    Commented Sep 11, 2018 at 12:47

1 Answer 1


Yes, but it is an unfair comparison.

According to Snopes, the figures are close to the official estimates, but it makes no sense to compare former two-term presidents like Clinton and Obama to Trump, who is a sitting president and has not yet completed a full term. All ex-presidents have lucrative opportunities in the private sector that Trump does not have access to. Also, there is no evidence that Clinton or Obama acquired their increased wealth illegally, which is what this graphic suggests.

  • 4
    @SnakeDoc: Actually, losing money as a president is not unusual (the amount may be, but that's just a magnitude) due to a lot of expenditures coming from the president's pocket, such as iirc, state dinners. Since they have left office, the Obamas and Clintons are free to pursue other avenues such as after-dinner speaking and commencement speeches. Note that the Presidents get a pension of 200K starting immediately after leaving office, and Hilary had a Senator's salary for years.
    – sharur
    Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 20:22
  • 42
    One should also note that the graphic looks like a cherry-picked data set, as it doesn't mention, either Bush family, which looks odd due to the younger President Bush serving between Clinton and Obama.
    – sharur
    Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 20:24
  • 41
    Well it would be interesting to know the error margins for each number. Especially Trump's amount of wealth is rather controversial (i.e. large error margins) as far as I know.
    – Nobody
    Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 20:24
  • 32
    @SnakeDoc Since the starting numbers are different by more than three orders of magnitude, it really makes no sense to try to compare the changes. What happens economically to a person with a net worth of over $4 billion is just going to be fundamentally different to what happens to a person with a net worth of under $4 million even under very similar circumstances. Trying to compare them is bizarre. Commented Sep 11, 2018 at 2:37
  • 29
    I'd say the way the amounts are stated are also meant to be misleading by using a different order of magnitude. If it was fair, it should probably read something like: Before: $4.5B, $0.003B, $0.0005B After: $3.5B, $0.04B, $0.01B. Whatever the Obamas and Clintons gained is comparable to the daily natural variation of Trump's wealth. Commented Sep 11, 2018 at 7:53

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .