One of the biggest reasons that Donald Trump has become surprisingly popular in the 2016 presidential election is his status as an “outsider.” His brilliant campaign has portrayed him as the anti-establishment choice who is not afraid to go against political parties and say whatever he thinks. Trump often claims that he made a fortune without any help from anyone else, and he can use this supposed financial acumen to reduce government deficits. However, the New York Times has revealed some surprising information that shows his advertisements are actually very far away from the truth. Instead of being an anti-political self-made business man, Trump actually got a lot of his fortune handed to him through loopholes in government policies and money from his father.
According to the New York Times, at least $885 million of Trump’s fortune came through tax breaks and governmental grants. For example, Trump started his career with the wildly successful Grand Hyatt New York hotel renovation. However, over the course of forty years, Trump has received an astounding tax break of $360,000,000 for the Grand Hyatt alone. In 1980, it only cost him $120 million to renovate and build the property, yet for some reason, the government has given him enough tax breaks to completely recoup all of his financial investment in the hotel. Most businesses only receive brief tax breaks at the start of their business, yet Trump somehow managed to get a forty year break in taxes from New York.
Investigation reveals that a lot of these tax breaks may have just been due to Fred Trump, Donald Trump’s dad. His father was so powerfully involved in the New York City political scene that he was able to influence policies to create these unprecedentedly massive tax breaks and grants. In addition to making money off of his father’s influence, Trump also received money that adds up to about $6 million in modern currency to get his business off the ground in the first place. Even after Fred Trump passed away, Donald Trump managed to get an almost $10 million dollar loan from his father’s estate that was not even meant to be left to him in the will.
In the rare cases where his dad’s political connections were not enough, Trump played dirty to get the government money that he felt entitled to. There were New York City subsidies in place to help develop empty properties throughout the town into flourishing businesses. Trump wanted to demolish Bonwit Teller, a traditional department store, to build the tower that he would later name after himself. However, the City of New York felt that his business plan did not meet the requirements for the tax subsidies, so they finally quit giving Trump government help to further grow his massive portfolio.
When this happened, Trump decided to sue mayor Edward Koch. It took over two decades, but Trump managed to win this lawsuit and receive his tax breaks. During the acrimonious lawsuit, Trump decided to demolish the beautiful Jazz Age statues on the old Bonwit Teller building, which Trump had originally claimed would be donated to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. After completely demolishing the classic and architecturally significant building, Trump built a massive high rise filled with expensive condos and designer clothing stores. After all of this, he ended up with $157 million in tax breaks from his lawsuit. This sense of hypocrisy and entitlement is astounding. Trump constantly talks about how he plans to cut welfare and government assistance for the truly needy, yet he sued the government for assistance just so he could add more money to his trust fund.