President Donald Trump is a SELF-MADE MAN, a real pull-himself-up-by-his-bootstraps type. The king of his castle, he stormed into the concrete jungle and boy howdy, did he conquer it.
All it took was a little elbow grease, business savvy and $413 MILLION OF HIS DADDY’S MONEY.
The New York Times blew the lid off this story this week, when their reporters had emerged from their respective comas induced by reading hundreds of thousands of pages of financial documents.
Here we go.
Since he was a tot, baby Trump started accumulating stacks on stacks, funds which exponentially increased when he learned to walk and talk and withhold millions from the U.S. treasury.
When Trump turned eight, he learned how to play clarinet, joined a t-shirt soccer league and officially crossed the threshold to become a millionaire. His dad, Fred Trump, continued funneling millions into his bank account well into his adulthood.
When no more dollar bills would fit in Trump’s overalls, Trump Sr. got creative. He made his son a salaried employee, a landlord, a consultant; snuck money into his Christmas cards and spread it across three trust funds; he gave him an endless supply of never-to-be-repaid loans.
These financial contortions helped Trump Sr. dodge gift and inheritance taxes, put in place to ensure that the uber-wealthy pay their fair share. Trump Sr. was busy making a mini-king.
When Trump grew to true manhood, large of wallet and small of hand, he and his siblings took over his father’s estate. Together, the sibs dodged hundreds of millions in gift taxes by lowballing the value of the properties they were to inherit.
The crafty kids also used a wholesome all-American company, All County Building Supply & Maintenance, to purchase items for their father’s buildings. Only JUST KIDDING because the corporation was a sham, used for the kids to funnel their father’s money into their pockets sans pesky taxes.
The fake company is key. In his decline, Trump Sr. was sitting on a veritable mountain of money, holding onto his holdings with a vice-like grip, increasing the odds that his children would lose out on millions from taxes when he died.
The children sprang into action. They set up the fake company in 1992, without even pretending to have any office space. The sham company allowed Trump Sr. to funnel money to the children in the guise of business transactions, helping them avoid a whopping gift tax.
Trump Sr. would “buy” supplies for his real estate holdings (mundane things like stoves and refrigerators) from All County, but would jack up the price. The children would pocket that extra money. For example, if a toaster cost $10, Trump Sr. would pay, say, $17 for each unit. The children would skim the money off the top (only instead of $7, it was millions).
On top of that grift, the Trumps used the “expense” of the needed purchases for the buildings to justify boosting the rent in their rent-stabilized apartments.
The New York Times article is about as long as Trump’s ties and is well-worth a read. Partially because our President may well have committed a bevy of financial crimes, partially because it’s hilarious to hear about Trump Sr. bailing out his son’s failing casino by sending in some chump to buy $3.5 million in chips and leave without making a bet.
But, in summary: Trump is not at all a self-made man. He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and small real estate empire in his grasp. He has made terrible business decisions and has repeatedly been bailed out by his father’s money. He and his family members seem to have no qualms about defrauding the United States from money it’s owed, jacking up the prices on innocent tenants or almost completely omitting any philanthropy from their monied careers.
Trump is an entitled, rich boy from New York with an inflated sense of self and an iron-wrought safety net.
But since charity, like cruelty, starts at home, we’ll blame the man who made him this way — Fred Trump is our Duke of the Week.