We knew the “self-made billionaire” line was bullshit, and now the New York Times has the background to prove that Trump’s wealth was accumulated by inheriting it from his tax-cheating and law-breaking father.
Trump participated in dubious tax schemes during the 1990s, including instances of outright fraud, that greatly increased the fortune he received from his parents, an investigation by The New York Times has found.
Mr. Trump won the presidency proclaiming himself a self-made billionaire, and he has long insisted that his father, the legendary New York City builder Fred C. Trump, provided almost no financial help.
But The Times’s investigation, based on a vast trove of confidential tax returns and financial records, reveals that Mr. Trump received the equivalent today of at least $413 million from his father’s real estate empire, starting when he was a toddler and continuing to this day.
Much of this money came to Mr. Trump because he helped his parents dodge taxes. He and his siblings set up a sham corporation to disguise millions of dollars in gifts from their parents, records and interviews show. Records indicate that Mr. Trump helped his father take improper tax deductions worth millions more. He also helped formulate a strategy to undervalue his parents’ real estate holdings by hundreds of millions of dollars on tax returns, sharply reducing the tax bill when those properties were transferred to him and his siblings.
These maneuvers met with little resistance from the Internal Revenue Service, The Times found. The president’s parents, Fred and Mary Trump, transferred well over $1 billion in wealth to their children, which could have produced a tax bill of at least $550 million under the 55 percent tax rate then imposed on gifts and inheritances.
The Trumps paid a total of $52.2 million, or about 5 percent, tax records show.
No wonder he never wanted to release his taxes. Not that we’d find out that his family was ripping off the government — that’s everyone’s secret dream — but that he didn’t do a damn thing to earn his money and just sat there and let it roll in.
So what if he lived off Fred’s money? Lots of presidents have been set for life from the time they were born, including FDR, JFK, and the Bushes, just to name a few. It never seemed to bother them that they were to the manor born. The big difference, though, between Trump and the rest of the rich is that he wants everyone to think he did it all by himself. The rags-to-riches story, or so the thinking must go, is that it’s somehow more “‘Murican” if you started out with nothing — just a million or so inherited from daddy — and through hard work and smart deals you made your fortune. But with his fragile ego — and the rest of it — he just had to live a lie and make up all this bullshit so he’ll seem more genuine to the base.
We all knew he was a con. Now we have the proof. The sad thing is that the base — the ones he tried to con — will think he’s some kind of hero for ripping off the guvamint.