Donald Trump claimed that he took great offense when Ted Cruz cited “New York values” as the kind of values Trump would be bringing to the Oval Office if elected.
The candid billionaire who has long been prone to vicious insults played the hurt puppy when Cruz slammed the billionaire’s values as out-of-touch with mainstream America. There is an argument to be made about the appropriateness of Cruz’s comments; after all, after over seven years of an incredibly divisive president, Americans are ready for a president who will represent everyone, including those from the Big Apple.
However, Trump is New York through-and-through when it suits him, but not above capitalizing upon the greatest tragedy to hit New York ever.
In the aftermath of the September 11th, 2001, terrorist attacks that devastated New York, the billionaire reportedly received $150,000 of taxpayer money as a “small businessman”- money designated to help small businesses rebuild and weather the catastrophe.
The World Trade Center Business Recovery Grant program was established shortly after 9/11 to help businesses rebuild. However, several large corporations reaped benefits from this taxpayer-funded grant. In 2003, the New York Times reported on the overpaying of benefits to some businesses that were ineligible. By the end of 2003, an estimated $5 million had been paid-out to undeserving corporations.
In 2006, the New York Daily News ran an investigative piece detailing how some undeserving businesses reaped benefits from the tragedy:
One couldn’t tell from ESDC records, for example, that “40 Wall Street LLC” is owned by Trump. The Donald bills himself as the “largest real estate developer in New York,” Last week, Trump sued a New York Times reporter for concluding in a book that the host of “The Apprentice” isn’t a billionaire. But the ESDC’s rules transformed Trump into a small-business man. His company collected a $150,000 grant for losses at 40 Wall St. The grant application describes the corporation through which Trump owns that building as having 28 employees and $26.8 million in annual revenues. That passed the ESDC’s small business test of less than 500 employees. But the revenue amount would put the single Trump property over the federal definition of a small business – which is $6 million annually for lessors of nonresidential buildings. A Trump spokeswoman did not respond to a call and e-mail message seeking comment.
The building in question was valued in 2005 at $400 million, but Trump claimed shortly after 9/11 that none of his buildings were damaged in the terrorist attack.
Still, he received $150,000 of taxpayer money for his landmark property at 40 Wall Street.
Like most New Yorkers, Mr. Trump likely felt deep pain and anger for what happened to his city and deep pride in the rebuilding that occurred.
However, it seems that these emotions were not enough to deter him from reaping financial benefits from the tragedy- benefits that were furnished by taxpayers to assist small businesses in staying afloat through tough times ushered by a national tragedy.