According to Forbes, GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump is exaggerating his wealth by 100 percent.
Yes, the bar for integrity and honesty among presidents has been pushed down into the deepest regions of the Mariana Trench over the past couple of hundred years, but this is pretty stunning.
Donald Trump started with what Forbes believes is a whopper. He claimed his net worth was nearly $9 billion. We figure it's closer to $4 billion—$4.1 billion to be exact.
This discrepancy is noteworthy, since Trump's financial success – he put his fortune at exactly $8,737,540,000—is core to his candidacy. "I'm proud of my net worth. I've done an amazing job," said Trump at his circus-like announcement, before referencing his autobiography. "We need a leader that wrote 'The Art of the Deal.'"
Much of the discrepancy is related to differences between The Donald's brand and the man's assets himself. As Erin Carlyle explains before tallying the numbers in very concrete, persuasive terms:
We break down what Trump says he is worth v. what we at Forbes estimate he is truly worth. The major difference: his brand. Trump claims that his brand and brand-related deals are worth some $3.3 billion. We value his brand at just $125 million; we give him another $128 million in management fees for Trump-branded hotels. Another major discrepancy is golf courses: Trump has been advocating for a valuation for his chain of American golf courses as high as $800 million. Independent valuation experts tell us our figure of $200 million is much closer to the mark. The other difference is properties under development. Trump claims nearly $300 million here; we don't give properties full build-out value until they're actually fully built and running.
Donald Trump is, in Matt Welch's evocative phrase, "the Idiocracy candiate." About the only the thing missing in Trump's bid is a merch deal with Mountain Dew and even more slagging of ethnic Americans.
But to the extent that any folks momentarily taken with a man whose greatest negotiating tactic is to tell his counterpart that his breath stinks, perhaps realizing that Trump is an even bigger blowhard than you can imagine might cause the scales to drop from your eyes.