STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
Donald Trump: Not As Rich As He Claims?
By Daily Bell Staff - June 01, 2016

Shady accounting underpins Trump’s wealth … The GOP nominee is rich. But how rich depends on odd accounting and subjective criteria … Donald Trump claims he is worth $10 billion — but financial experts dispute that. -Politico 

Is Donald Trump less wealthy than claimed?

And if so, as the above Politico article excerpt suggests, then perhaps this complicates his political motivations. Perhaps, indeed, he set about becoming president to raise his profile and increase his marketability.

We’ve published a number of articles now on Trump, some questioning his motivations. Recently, we suggested that if his free-market sentiments are sincere and if he wants to avoid foreign wars, his presidency might prove beneficial.

However, as a rule, politics have a negative impact on people and systems. Even when there are positive aspects to a political candidate’s positions, negative elements eventually surface.

Ronald Reagan was determinedly pro-business and freedom, yet he redid the US’s progressive tax system to make it more onerous and spent additional trillions on the US military.

Trump’s situation is complicated by differing positions he seems to take. His rhetoric shifts.

Sometimes he sounds nearly libertarian and then in other instances he sounds quite authoritarian.

He wants to make it a lot easier to sue journalists, for instance. And he also wants to spend a lot more on the military, even while criticizing foreign wars.

A main element of his campaign rhetoric is that he became a candidate because he wanted to “make America great again.”

This would tend to preclude other, more personal reasons for becoming a candidate such as increasing his commercial profile or becoming a more influential business figure as a result of political success.

This is positive, if true. Less self-interest may generate more beneficial public results.

More:

Donald Trump claims a net worth of more than $10 billion and an income of $557 million. But he appears to get there only by overvaluing properties and ignoring his expenses.

POLITICO spoke with more than a dozen financial experts and Trump’s fellow multimillionaires about the presumptive Republican nominee’s latest financial statement. Their conclusion: The real estate magnate’s bottom line — what he actually puts in his own pocket — could be much lower than he suggests.

The article quotes a hedge fund manager as saying, “I know Donald; I’ve known him a long time, and it gets under his skin if you start writing about the reasons he won’t disclose his returns. You would see that he doesn’t have the money that he claims to have and he’s not paying much of anything in taxes.”

Another manager asked why Trump was selling securities to raise cash.

“If he is swimming in so much cash for all his holdings, why is he selling? … ”

Trump’s tax returns would go a long way to clearing up his financial status, but he won’t release them.

Recently Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, said in an interview with The Huffington Post that Trump might not ever release his returns.

Trump is a riddle wrapped in an enigma. Who knows at this point what his motivations are for running or what he will do if elected.

Conclusion: Our bottom-line conclusion is the same as always. Take control of your own life as much as possible. Don’t wait for the political system to change or make things better. That is a long-shot at best.

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  • nathenism

    the ruling class is always coming up with new ways to deceive us…let’s see what trump brings to the situation…we have millions of disenfranchised citizens ready to give up on the political system now reinvested, making the elections out to be important…the media is making it seem the establishment is scared of trump…i don’t buy it…seems like a trick to get the anti government crowd back in the game….we have the country once again divided against itself, with the two sides hating each other like never before…seems like trump is a ruling class strategy and nothing more…even if he’s not he’s still no threat to the status quo…

  • straight shooter

    In the end, as you point out, Trump’s actual net worth is a moot point. No US President is able use the size of their own bank account as leverage to effect any social, political or economic change, and the fact that so many Americans seem to think Trump’s wealth, whatever the number, somehow gives him a magic wand to do this are so pathetically mistaken.

  • Earn nest

    Trump does understand bankruptcy and we are surely that.

    • Praetor

      A lot of endeavors humans undertake are failures, its how one handles the failure that’s important. I, think trump would say that:)!!!

      • Earn nest

        So then you don’t agree that we should continue along the path that we’ve been on? Certainly there are those believing it can continue without end for the first time in history.

        • Praetor

          Earn nest. I don’t believe anything continues on ‘without end’ forever. The path we are on is an old one, and ends in failure. And that failure usually ends in war, and that is an old story.

          All of us alive today is a statement to our ancestors, and how they handle failure!!!

      • 2manylostsouls

        Yes, let’s see how Trump handles the outsourcing of the PGA tournament no longer at his Doral CC but will be hosted in Mexico.

  • Molly1776Pitcher

    politico is a left wing rag and this entire attack is to try and divert attention to the most corrupt, evil and criminal RICO political organization in the history of the country, DemonCraptic party of course, excepted and they are grasping at straws.
    Why is ‘The Bell’ or Politico NOT insisting that Killary IMMEDIATELY release her speeches to Wall St. Big banks. Why do they refuse to FORCE this witch to answer for her persecution of the dozens of women raped, abused and ‘tortured’ by her husband.
    Cut the political b.s. If Trump was a beggar, with his message, Americans who are sick and tired of the RINO and D.C. PTB criminals would still support him and I am one of them.

    • chris

      I think you missed the main idea of the article. It isn’t always liberal vs. conservative.

  • apberusdisvet

    My take is that anyone with significant hard assets (such as Trump and his real estate empire) will not purposely start WWIII which could go nuclear in a NY minute. On the other hand, Hillary’s assets are all digital notations in bank accounts that can be transferred anywhere at the flick of a switch. As seen with Ghadaffi and Libya, Hillary is perhaps the most psychotic of all the neocons. Regardless of Trump’s true motivations, the choice is easy.

  • Praetor

    Long-shot at best, you be right DB! It also can be looked at as a, ‘Shot Over the Bow’ of the political class ship. These should be telling DC, the people are watching and we will not except a ‘Tyrannical Monarchy’ as dictated by the Oligarchy.

    Trump is into real estate, property. As with all people dealing in real estate, the value of the property is always ratcheted-up a bit. It helps to have some equity to use when needed. Look into the Trump Organization. This guy has properties all over the world and not just a condo here and there. He owns stocks and has stakes in most the high profile companies in the U.S., you name it, and he more than likely owns stocks. I could surmise, he maybe worth more than 10 billion or he doesn’t even know how much he is worth.

    Tax return. Man, if I had that kind of money I’d use what ever is in the codes to keep my money, also. DC, wrote the code, did they not.

    With the U.S. trillions in the hole, what’s 10/15/20 Billion anyway. To live on planet earth, one most have a spirit of adventure, because tomorrow is another day and the train keeps rolling!!!

    • william beeby

      ” With the U.S. trillions in the hole, ” , you mean the $20 trillion of debt that the U.S. is in don`t you ?

      • Praetor

        Yeah. And those other trillions, sitting with IOU’s in lock boxes. Yes, trillion on top of trillions!!!

  • Jim Johnson

    Do not underestimate the effect of having millions of working American cede you their Sacred Trust. If this most-scrutinzed guy is immune to such prayer, I haven’t seen it. Quite the opposite. Maybe he started out this way/maybe not. How the hell would I know, having never even met the man? I would like to think I’ve weeded out my friends capable of lying to me, but truth is, no doubt, some would sell me out if the price is right. Grow up, folks. We need to provide our kids with some wise council, the sooner, the better. Has anyone noticed how very rare that is anymore? For the last 30 years, getting old and staying stupid seem to be de jour.

  • Praetor

    “O”, I think Trump likes ‘Gold’:)!!!

  • Who wouldn’t want someone to challenge the corrupt PTB that run the US and the world? Th’ Donald plays the part to a “tee”…but I suspect he’s just a mouthpiece like Obummer…playing a part, filling a role…I could be wrong, I hope I am, but it’s unlikely he’s for real

  • Samarami

    I am a sovereign state.

    If one enjoys clowns in these bread-and-circus events, Donald Trump is your man. I’m getting a kick out of his hilarity, and the angst he is causing among adherents to the status quo in the state that adjoins and surrounds my state. The clown’s roll is to distract attention away from the downed cow-poke until s/he can climb back over the rail to relative safety. Trump is doing that with expertise.

    It’s entertaining that “money” even enters the picture at all when you think about it. If one sincerely believes that a man or a woman has the capacity to “…make-a-difference…” in the roll of grand wizard of the klan, why would financial resources be a factor one way or another? Previous actions — beliefs, positions — perhaps.

    People who vote are apparently not sobered by the fact that any and all prospective politicians need “money bombs” — large sums in “donations” — to rig success in the election swindle. Those amounts are normally far in excess of the salary expected for the entire term of the “office”.

    Abstain from beans, my friends. Sam

    • Randy

      That’s “role”, Sam, not “roll”.

      • Samarami

        Note to Randy: My above reply to myself was supposed to be to you in response to your reminder of “role” vs “roll”. Don’t get old. Sam

    • Samarami

      Ha! And me presumably an English major!

      I’m on a roll now! (Or in the role of a roll)

      Thanks! Sam

  • Webforager

    The slogan “Make America great again” is incredibly vague and subjective.. It’s a hook just like “Yes we can”.

  • PatrickHenry1789

    Fundamental Transformation. Gee, where have we heard that before?

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/trump-to-transform-gop-into-workers-party/article/2592369

  • FreeOregon

    He’s smart enough to keep his money and not squander it.

    Unfortunately he’s selling out to the same people who fund Hillary.

  • dave3200 ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ ᵀʳᵘᵐᵖ

    His cash position has little to do with his net worth. And his tax return will do little to clear up his financial status. He published his financial report months ago. What more do we need to bleed from him.

    And, the conjecture as to what he will or will not do is just that… pure conjecture. If you don’t believe him, vote for Hillary. I’m sure you can believe everything she says.

  • Bruce C.

    Finally an a hit piece on Trump that makes sense!

    I remember watching his early campaign speeches and I remember he said more than once that, ‘he was rich… really, really rich.’ In fact one time he even said, ‘I’m REALLY rich’, or something like that, and I remember thinking that he must be even richer than I thought when he said that a few months earlier.

    Clearly I was not alone because researches have discovered similar miscues in other speeches. In one speech he said, “I have plenty of money folks…plenty of money,’ which is fairly incriminating given that in another speech he says, “Even I don’t have that kind of money!”

    So which is it? More to the point, does he have as much as you – the voter – thinks? Little did he know that he was laying a trap for himself all this time by talking about his money, because by emphasizing the word “really” in one speech but not so much in another he was basically providing proof that he’s a liar. Who other than a duplicitous politician does that?

    Other reporters have drilled down even further on this issue. They point out that he often (purposely?) conflates income with net worth, and gross income with net income. That last point seems to be particularly irksome. I remember an interview with a preacher who was complaining about his parishioners not tithing enough to his church. He said that after questioning them he realized that although they were tithing 10% as the Bible dictates they were basing it on their NET pay and not their GROSS pay. He said he had to give a sermon to set them straight on that. “Tithing is supposed to be 10% of your GROSS pay!…not your NET pay!,” he exclaimed. “Who talks about net pay?,” he observed.

    And the preacher is right. Nobody who brags about their money talks about their NET income or their debts. But Trump should be different. Clearly he can’t be trusted.

    • alaska3636

      Bruce,

      Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert, has been blogging a lot about Trump’s role as a Master Persuader.

      Scott Adams is a trained hypnotist and has an interesting frame of reference on the posturing of the candidates.

      I think you might like his recent run of posts:
      http://blog.dilbert.com/

      • Bruce C.

        Good stuff, but I hope it was clear that the above is all sarcasm making fun of the media, right?

        • alaska3636

          Yes. My comment was more non-sequitur.

  • ED.F

    Who cares about his wealth.i care about what he claims he will DO!!.This country is going down the toilet with corruption!!
    As is the world economy.The REAL WAR is between the people and the GOVERNMENTS !! If he wins and doesn’t produce or is assassinated I will never vote again!.I believe his motives are the power and prestige of being POTUS. Time will tell.

  • Randy

    Eh, I couldn’t care less about how rich or poor anyone is, what concerns me is their level of integrity, honesty, ethics, morals and most of all probably, their intelligence!!
    I haven’t wasted my time voting or arguing politics since 1994 after I read the book Votescam.
    As to how much electronic bookkeeping entries Trump has in his name, who really cares? I have plenty of enough of that fiat paper currency to eat at any restaurant I may choose, but buy dinner for everybody who shows up after me? Well, not so much. THAT is the point he was trying to make to the idiots in the crowd, that even he has limits to how much he can spend. Now if he were a bankster, he could just fabricate up as many entries in his ledgers as he feels like! Before even ONE depositor puts a single DIME into a bank, the bank manager can create up to 9 MILLION USD on the bank’s books!! How’s THAT for a nice racket to get into?!?!

  • Pilgrim

    We already know he’s a serial liar. Why is this so important all of a sudden?

    He’ll give three different answers to the same question in a day. The only difference between him and Hiliary is that Hiliary wants to get rich by getting more power. Donald is already rich and wants to get government under control before it has so much power it destroys him and anybody else trying to run a business in the US.

    I’ll go with Donald. Not because I’m a big fan. I was for Cruz and before that I was for Rand and in the previous election I was for Ron Paul.

    If everyone listened to me America would already be on its way to being great again.

  • Russ

    As I read all of the PURE BS about Mr. Trump it makes me wonder why all of these friggin’ experts don’t spend a little time exposing Clinton the hedge hog for God’s sake? Don’t like Trump? Don’t vote for him. Then all of you idiots can take the blame for Hedge Hog Rotten Clinton as your queen!!! As for me and my house we will vote for TRUMP 2016!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • joeupyoursCS

    then donald trump is more like middle class than a F’ING billionare LIBtard demoRAT!

  • joeupyoursCS

    Hillary Clinton met with Giovanni Gambino to discuss eliminating the
    country’s RICO Act law in order to win freedom for his father,
    godfather of the Sicilian mafia in the United States, and boss of one of
    New York’s five families, Francesco “Ciccio” Gambino. The younger
    Gambino is a successful author who writes about the mafia. He said that
    he met with Clinton in 2007 and that she was very receptive to the idea
    of doing away with RICO. That’s very ironic since the Huffington Post
    and the New York Times have both published articles that the FBI plans
    on requesting RICO Act charges against Clinton. The Huffington Post
    that is solidly behind Clinton deleted their story.

  • Donnie Buchanan

    I don’t know anyone who is voting for Trump because he has $10 billion. He gets my vote because in him I have hope of seeing America start to turn around from all of the disaster Obama has inflicted and Hillary will continue to inflict upon us.

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