Bloviating billionaire and reality TV actor Donald Trump has repeated boasts of his massive wealth during his presidential campaign– to the point of ad nauseam.
It’s his fallback position in every speech and the ultimate answer to every question, especially when it’s convenient to talk about his riches rather than substance or policy issues.
In fact, if we all had a nickel for every time Donald Trump answered a non-related question with the answer, “I built a really great company,” or “I’m very rich,” we’d all be rich.
But I digress.
However, in spite of Trump’s statements to the contrary, either he has just been caught lying about his wealth or he is a tax cheat. There is no other possibility.
Crain’s New York Business reported (emphasis added):
It’s called the STAR program, which stands for the New York State School Tax Relief Program and has been around since 1997. It offers an approximately $300 annual benefit for those who qualify. Hundreds of thousands of New York homeowners get it. Here’s where it gets interesting for Trump: To be eligible for STAR, a married couple must have annual income of $500,000 or less. One wouldn’t think a guy as rich as Trump claims to be would qualify, but records filed with the city’s Department of Finance show he received a $302 STAR benefit on his latest property-tax bill for his Trump Tower penthouse on Fifth Avenue. … “It’s strange that a billionaire would apply for a $302 tax benefit and, moreover, that he would take it,” said Martha Stark, a property-tax expert and former New York City finance commissioner who is now a lecturer at Baruch College. A Trump spokeswoman had no immediate comment.
So Trump is claiming to have an income of less than $500,000, but claims a net worth of $10 billion? Something’s fishy, or as Bernie Sanders might say, something’s rotten in Denmark, as $500k is a pretty pitiful net income for someone with that “yuge” of a net worth.
Trump refuses to release his tax returns, as other presidential candidates have, so his income, charitable donations, deductions, etc., cannot be verified at this time. Trump has claimed that his lack of transparency is because he’s under audit.
However, as many have reported, nothing in the law prohibits Trump from releasing his prior tax returns, unless, of course, he has something to hide.
Comedian John Oliver recently made light of Trump’s contention (made over and over) that he is self-funding his campaign. As Oliver pointed out, if Trump is not soliciting donations, then why does his campaign website solicit donations with two highlighted “donate” buttons and why has it been reported that Trump has taken in almost $7.5 million in individual contributions?
“If he didn’t want it [your money to fund his campaign], maybe he shouldn’t have two ‘donate’ buttons on his website because money isn’t unsolicited when you have to ask for someone’s credit card expiration date to receive it,” Oliver joked.
Meanwhile, Fortune reports that Trump’s tax returns may prove that he’s not that rich, which may be one of the real reasons why Trump is failing to release them.