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Free Minds & Free Markets

Trump Isn’t a Self-Made Man. His Wealth Is the Product of Years of Government Subsidies.

The family real-estate business was powered by subsidies and cheap government-backed loans.

Greg Lovett/ZUMA Press/NewscomGreg Lovett/ZUMA Press/NewscomLast week The New York Times released a major investigative report into President Donald Trump's personal finances. The story, which took over a year to produce and relied on a massive trove of confidential documents, describes the accumulation of the Trump family's real estate fortune and the mechanisms that Trump's father, Fred C. Trump, used to pass wealth on to his children, with Trump receiving an outsized share. The story is relevant because the president's refusal to release his tax returns has left the public with few detailed glimpses into his financial dealings.

The report makes a strong case that Trump's public claims to being wealthy as a result of his business acumen ("I built what I built myself") are a myth created by Trump and abetted by allies in the media.

Trump has said that he built his empire with a "very small" $1 million loan from his father. The Times reports that, in fact, Fred funneled some $413 million to his son over the years, keeping him afloat through an array of splashy but disastrous real-estate investments that collapsed in a series of high-profile bankruptcies. The report also advances the idea that the generational transfer of wealth was illegal, accusing Trump in the very first sentence of having participated in "outright fraud."

Although it is not the focus of the story, the Times also makes clear that Trump's father—and subsequently Trump himself—amassed a real estate fortune in large part by taking advantage of various government-backed real estate loans and subsidies.

"Fred Trump would become a millionaire many times over by making himself one of the nation's largest recipients of cheap government-backed building loans," the report says, citing Gwenda Blair's book The Trumps: Three Generations of Builders and a President. And the elder Trump passed on both the knowledge of how to use subsidized loans for personal profit and the profits themselves to his son:

Fred Trump began taking steps that enriched Donald alone, introducing him to the charms of building with cheap government loans. In 1972, father and son formed a partnership to build a high-rise for the elderly in East Orange, N.J. Thanks to government subsidies, the partnership got a nearly interest-free $7.8 million loan that covered 90 percent of construction costs. Fred Trump paid the rest. But his son received most of the financial benefits, records show.

Within just a few years, the younger Trump was earning the contemporary equivalent of $305,000 annually from the project. Government subsidies combined with parental largesse made his early earnings effectively a free ride.

I am highly sympathetic to the view that individuals should be free to structure their finances however they please, within the limits of the law, to pay as little tax as possible. But the Times' reporting suggests that Trump did not merely bend the law—he broke it. The front-loaded description of Trump's behavior as fraudulent, without any caveat, indicates the Times' confidence in its work, especially given how litigious Trump has been in response to media reports on his personal life.

Nor should be it be overlooked that the alleged tax dodging was focused on avoiding the estate tax; no less than James Buchanan, an eminence of libertarian economics, has argued for a 100 percent inheritance tax.

But even if you are unmoved by the charges of tax dodging, the report nonetheless effectively dismantles Trump's self-serving mythology. It makes clear that Trump is not a successful businessman; he is a successful financial sponge—off his father, and off the government subsidies that enabled the family real estate empire to grow in the first place.

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  • Uncle Adolf's Gas and Grill||

    For fucks sake, will somebody just give Suderman a hanky already?

  • geo1113||

    And some preparation H.

  • Fats of Fury||

    This entire column is a Mr. Hanky.

  • Johnny B||

    Leave the guy alone! His wife moved up from Bloomberg View to the Washington Post, and he's stuck writing for an on-line rag that employs the likes of him, Robby, and Shika. You would be all "Trump is so mean and doesn't deserve to be the President" too!

  • tzx4||

    Gotta love it.The first four comments are essentially shooting the messenger.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Messenger implies unbiased deliverer of information.

    Hes a propagandist.

  • Kazinski||

    The old adage is that a Libertarian is a Republican trying to get laid, but of course alpha males like ourselves are going to get laid regardless.

    However Beta makes like Suderman and Soave have to try something, it's not going to work, but you have to give them credit for trying.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    "Gotta love it.The first four comments are essentially shooting the messenger."

    Messenger of what? "Trump is a big meanie"?

    Nigga, please.........

  • mondo_cane||

    That's because the message is trash. No self-respecting person would deliver a message like this.
    So that leaves the only option -- shoot the messenger.

    You don't "gotta love it" tzx4. But you must accept it. Does the truth hurt?

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    I wish they would hire her asswipe husband to join her over there already.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    The talent in the publishing world tends to be female, because the gigs can be done at home while the kids are in their rooms.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Its why the worlds media leans emotional and avoids facts.

    Women dont want to know how things really work. They will tell you how they should work.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    lol.

    It's funny 'cause it's true.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    My mother is like that. Sister too, although she is the handy one in our generation.

  • Lester224||

    As if women were some kind of a monolithic block. You guys are making the #notallmen stuff look hypocritical.

  • Fancylad||

    "His wife moved up from Bloomberg View to the Washington Post"
    He has to whine about Trump for the sake of his poor wife.
    Could you imagine working at the WaPo and your boss finds out you're married to a Libertarian who isn't doing his bit for the resistance. She'd have to divorce him or face career suicide.
    But if he writes slimy little mendacities like this, she can show them to her editor and avoid a witch trial.

  • Wise Old Fool||

    Nope this was a good overview of the NYT article. It points out exactly how much bullshit flows from The Donald's lips like a river of diarrhea.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Were calling suderman diarrhea lips now?

    Ok

  • mondo_cane||

    You may be a fool, but you're obviously not wise.

    "Bullshit" "Diarrhea" What a clever remark. (sarcasm)

    How low will you go to criticize someone? The NYT article is nothing but recycled garbage. They've said things like this so often I'm sure they have a "set piece" they use.

    So you'll get down in the gutter just be part of the world's most Liberal newspaper.

  • SIV||

    Without those government loans and subsidies everyone would have lived in mud huts and caves.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    And who knows what sort of things people might get into being all cooped up like that, amirite, SIV?

  • Procyon Rotor||

    cooped

    I see what you did there.

  • geo1113||

    The real question is why are those programs even in place to allow someone to do that.

  • SIV||

    Shorter Suderman:

    "You didn't build that"

  • SQRLSY One||

    Well yes, in this case it is true! Trump didn't build it...

    Underpaid illegal human workers on his construction projects built it.

    We taxpayers built it by funding loan subsidies on loans that he defaulted on.

    We consumers paid for it in higher prices arising from higher time-value-of-money prices charged by banks to make up for his "welching" on his loans.

    Now he wants to do the same thing with our national debt! Partial defaults on the feds borrowing our money! See what THAT does to USA financial solidity if-when THAT happens! Greece and Venezuela, make room for the USA!
    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05.....-less.html Donald Trump's Idea to Cut National Debt: Get Creditors to Accept Less

  • tzx4||

    SHHH, carful, this site is loaded with Trumpistas. Skewering their sacred cows will cause them discomfort, and insults and short ideological sloganeering will ensue.

  • Fancylad||

    Trumpistas, Trumpistas everywhere... and Russian bots... stealing elections and sloganeering.... Trumpistas... you gotta be careful....

  • Oli||

    No Russian bots here, only fanboys of a politician who, for whatever reason, swarm a libertarian news site like flies swarm a turd. As a result they're constantly switching between outrage and glee, because, as libertarians do, they criticize both Dems (->glee) and Reps (->outrage).

  • Oli||

    they criticize = it criticizes*

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    "Trumpistas"

    In other words, you have no real credible information or argument to make. So you invent this bullshit term to dismiss your betters.

    Bitch, please..........

  • Bob Armstrong||

    If they were underpaid , how come they worked for him ?

  • SQRLSY One||

    Because they expected to be fully paid, and he ripped them off! They made the HUGE mistake of BELIEVING Trump, just as the voters did! And last but not least, if you are an illegal human, you will be VERY afraid to go and complain to the authorities, when you are underpaid or not even paid at all, for your work, for fear that you will be deported, and maybe even your baby will be snatched from Momma's arms, and sent to some far-distant concentration camp, and lost track of.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

    What a bunch of shrill bullshit. Seriously, you're embarrassing yourself.

    Stop while you can.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    So fucking what? This is my last click for Suderman. I withheld my essence from Dalmia's article earlier - no clicks for her either.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Well, obviously a State-worshipper such as yourself would have no problem with that.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    - no clicks for her either.

    But ... but ... but, what about soup?

  • Don't look at me!||

    Didn't Obama say this about everyone already?

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Obama blamed others for getting $413 million from their daddy and then claiming that they are some kind of self-made business genius?

  • Brett Bellmore||

    People talk about that, but always omit the part where Trump was running his father's business for him for about a decade.

  • Wise Old Fool||

    and very poorly too, barely made a profit, he was just keeping it together until the old man kicked it and he could sell off all the assets. He sold about as quickly as he could to convert it to cash.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Such a shitty business man yet beat Hillary.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Indeed, a shambling mess of character defects without even one redeeming quality, with barely the intellect to keep breathing, (Bad breath, mind you.) who somehow managed to beat the entire Republican field AND Hillary spending half the money and with the media and half of his nominal party arrayed against him.

    This running for President thing must be pretty easy, no? At least so I gather.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Trump's campaign against Hillary was almost literally "Hold my beer while I do this.....".

  • Bronze Khopesh||

    Savvy men play system that was designed by savvy men so that savvy men could play the system.

    I'll be in my safe space hugging a coloring book while I rage-doodle on a puppy.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    lmao

  • Cloudbuster||

    Thread winner.

  • Dadlobby||

    Wow, what a fucktard Obama like assessment this is. Every businessman operates within the regulatory oversight and corporate welfare of government. Maybe the "he didn't" crowd will go out and make a few $million in real estate since it is so easy.

  • DiegoF||

    Well maybe the poor working-class bastards being priced out of San Francisco should go out and get a rent-controlled apartment in its toniest districts. Or have a property eminent-domained and make a fortune. Or become a green energy baron. Or get a huge structure built for their business at public expense. Or line their pockets as a beneficiary to a political machine. What's stopping them?

    Perhaps it's that there's a reason it's called crony capitalism, rather than free stuff for everybody who might want it capitalism. Namely that you have to have connections to exploit them, which you do at the expense of the hoi polloi.

    Of course every business is going to seek maximum profit within the rules set out for it--just as you were not about to reject the benefit you may have gotten from protectionism and minimum wage laws for your first job. It's ridiculous to condemn Trump for that. But you don't have to go from there to the opposite extreme, where you claim that it's just as much of an accomplishment of skill to make the most of a rigged system's riggings. It's not. That's not what we think about Elon Musk on these comment boards, and it shouldn't be what we think about Trump. Plus morally defending, perhaps even actively fighting for such cronyism, rather than against it, earns you our active contempt. And again, what is true of sugar barons, monopolists, and the like should indeed be true of Trump.

  • DiegoF||

    ...If the omnipresence of government activism benefiting business is used as a rhetorical tool to smear all players with a "you didn't build that" label as a socialist talking point, then it indeed must be resisted. It's of course just the game progs have been playing and winning for 150 years--government creates an injustice, which then is perversely used as a demand for more government to remedy it. But there the key is the service that the observation is being put to--namely, a call for yet more, "remedial," government activism. Debating the material aptitudes of a businessman, however much we may support him, carries no such stakes.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Yeah man DiegoF you go Dude!!! I just hope that Government Almighty will listen to you and me some sunny day...

  • tzx4||

    There are big examples over the years that it is socialism for the 1%, and sink or swim capitalism for the rest if us.
    Crony capitalism? How about plain old predatory capitalism? The left fears plutocrats, the right fears big government. The joke is on both sides. Big money corps/plutocrats, and the lip service to the Constitution Government are one and the same.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    1) The hypothetical San Francisco resident can move to Patterson, NJ and commute to the new Google headquarters in Chelsea. A mortgage of $800 per month gets you a Patterson home if you are willing to put up with the parking disputes.

    2) Considering the federal funding for academia, how is this morally different from being a tenured professor?

  • Dturtleman||

    Dude, I work in Paterson. I don't recommend that people live in Paterson.

  • Robert||

    But is that actually the case? Anybody here know enough of the details to tell whether you need to know somebody to qualify for those programs, or whether you just have to, you know, qualify for those programs? Let's get Matt Lesko in here.

  • Wise Old Fool||

    No, you didn't read the article. There are multiple sources of the Trumps waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyy underpaying their taxes. This is also why more than likely NY state has a strong case against Trump for tax issues building. Another reason he nominated Kav. Kav is know to believe the executive branch has dictatorial privilege and is above prosecution while in office. Well that may be, but it won't help him when he loses in 2020.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Yeah, he's been cheating on his taxes all along, it's just that, somehow, the IRS never noticed, despite continual audits. It took the NYT to notice.

    And we all know that a NY prosecutor could never have any ulterior motive for investigating a Republican President.

  • Don't look at me!||

    In order to cheat on taxes you need to have profits that are taxable income. So did he make profit like a smart business man or did he not pay taxes because he didn't have any income and therefore didn't cheat?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    More TDS bullshit. You fags would be amusing if you weren't so unimaginative and tiresome.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Maga

  • Eddy||

    OK, but many Americans still think this horrible welfare queen (/sarc) is better than the alternatives (/not sarc).

  • Bronze Khopesh||

    But not ALL! Not even HALF! Remember that KKKTrump lost the poplar vote!

  • DiegoF||

    KKKTrump

    Bah. Doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, does it? We're going to need something better.

  • tzx4||

    How about Criminal Trump?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    That sounds like traitor talk to me.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Shit, neither side got half of all Americans.

  • DiegoF||

    Nor of all poplars, it would seem. (One may presume that they vote heavily Green Party.)

  • Benitacanova||

    But he really made out with the willows.

  • Cloudbuster||

    End Oak Oppression!

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Well, of course, that depends on how horrible the alternatives are, doesn't it? But if you try discussing the alternatives, it's "whataboutism".

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    But the Times' reporting suggests that Trump did not merely bend the law—he broke it.

    What a bombshell! I hope Robert Mueller is aware of this. Just on the slight chance he's unable to prove Russian collusion, he needs a plan B to give the Democrats a reason to kick Drumpf out of office when they take over Congress next year.

    #Impeach
    #Resist
    #ItsMuellerTime

  • ArgentAegis||

    You didn't build that.

    Reason Magazine

  • buybuydandavis||

    Next up: "Ayn Rand was evil for cashing her social security checks"

  • Brett Bellmore||

    "But the Times' reporting suggests that Trump did not merely bend the law—he broke it."

    I think we can be reasonably certain why they only suggested it: If they'd said it outright, they might have faced a libel suit they could have lost unless they were able to prove they had some reason to believe the suggestion was true.

    Let me suggest that with the economy roaring along, record low unemployment, and the Hillary Beast not on the evening news every day, I don't give a bucket of warm spit if Trump and his father took advantage of some really stupid but legal subsidies. He's already said that he didn't write the laws, he just did business under them.

  • Tony||

    And when the recession hits, it won't be Trump's fault, will it?

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Whether it's his fault will depend on whether he did something to bring it on. I personally think that Presidents have very little capacity to create a good economy, but they've got huge potential to tank the economy. So, when the economy doesn't tank, you've got to give them credit for not doing it.

  • Tony||

    You just suggested that Trump can be forgiven for being a treasonous criminal because the economy is doing well in certain ways.

  • Vulgar Madman||

    Stop huffing paint.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    No, because I never said anything about him being a criminal, let along treasonous.

    In fact, I said that the reason they're only suggesting it would be because they don't have evidence enough to protect them from a libel suit.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Tony, YOU are a treasonous criminal, just like all progressives. Trump is our president, and so far is doing ok.

    You really do belong face down in a landfill. But then, I'm sure you ve been face down and ass up in filth before.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Tony, it's so simple. Anything good that happens while Trump is in power is directly attributable to his benevolent tweaking of the economic dials. Anything bad that happens is either a hold-over from Obama, or a proggie gremlin stuck between the gears of the well-oiled MAGA machine running every trade between the two coasts.

    This is how it also worked when Obama was in power for the lefties.

  • TuIpa||

    You've reached the point where you're openly wishing for a recession just so you can show up your political opponents.

    That is pure garbage human behavior.

  • tzx4||

    No, Obama's and Clinton's. Obviously.

  • tzx4||

    Instead we have Donald Beast not only in the evening news, but twitter, other social media 24/7. Some fair trade, right?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Are you a sock for one of the existing progtards here? Or a new progtard?

  • Tony||

    It's okay if you're a Republican. The deranged inbred morons commenting here would probably even forgive him if he had a professional life in *shudder* academia.

  • TuIpa||

    You're just jealous, we already established this.

  • Johnny B||

    So says the associate professor emeritus!

  • Johnny B||

    Tony, not Tulpa!

  • buybuydandavis||

    "deranged inbred morons"

    Lefties do so hate the proles

  • Sevo||

    "The front-loaded description of Trump's behavior as fraudulent, without any caveat, indicates the Times' confidence in its work,..."

    Well, my gosh! I guess that settles it then!
    Did they print any evidence for that claim? Or are we to take it on the NYT 'rep'?

  • Bronze Khopesh||

    It's a credible accusation.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Was the author a woman?

    #BelieveHer

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Hey, the accusation is credible, right? Who cares if "credible" has come to mean, "Not categorically impossible."?

  • Nardz||

    From the quality of his work, Suderman's salary sure seems like a subsidy to me

  • ||

    That was illuminating.

    Not sure the point of it but hey.

    Like who gives a fricken rat's ass what Fred did? Is this even relevant to how Trump governs? Gee, I know people are all hot and bothered by his bragging but gee-whiz.

    Trump's family are corporate bums! Peter, come see Quebec with its dairy farmers, the Bombardier family and other families in Canada who became corporate royalty thanks to corporate hand outs. It's par for the course pal and Trump is hardly an exception to this rule.

    I ask why is Reason sponging off a NYT report - of all places. King of the Retraction and #resisthim movement - to point this out?

  • Woody Chip Hurrrrr?||

    Weak sauce. Taking advantage of government handouts still takes some cleverness, because they aren't infinite. Anyone who has a choice of free government money would be a fool to not take it.

    Elon Musk is another one of these. SpaceX is not nearly the government-handout queen that Tesla is, because SpaceX does have a good cheap product; I don't think they got any government subsidies along the way. Tesla certainly took advantage of all the tax credits it could, but one could say the was the intent of the credits, and AFAIK, Tesla only got benefit from customers applying for the credits.

    So what if The Donald knew how to game the system? He may be a liar and fraud and terrible company, but if these government subsidies are so easy to get, why has no one else duplicated what he and his father did?

    Look at how rich the Clintons got from explicitly illegal behavior. Look at the Obamas, far richer on leaving office than can be accounted for by salary alone.

  • tzx4||

    I for one do not blame these individuals the way it seems to me that you are. I blame the system, that would be the laws and tax structures that tip the playing field towards those among us that need it the least, the richest among us. Bezos, Musk, Zuckerberg are all recent creations of how the legal/tax framework is currently constructed here in the USA.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "I blame the system"

    Systems are not proper objects of blame, people are.

    Blame the people who use their power to keep corruption in place.

  • Bubba Jones||

    Our entire economy is subsidized by military spending to protect international shipping and domestic spending to enforce contract law.

  • DiegoF||

    Have we bitched about this yet? Because we need to start bitching about this.

  • Jerryskids||

    At least when Trump grifted for every government hand-out he could get his tiny grubby hands on, he didn't waste it all - some of it he donated to his good friend Hillary Clinton. Oh, sure, he trots out the "lock her up" stage act when he needs to, but his good friend Hillary knows it's just the way the rubes get played and she good-naturedly plays the stooge. What a trooper she is!

  • John||

    She was not his friend. She was his contract employee.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Actually, you've got the power relationship backwards: It was protection money.

    Trump was doing business in cities where you had to be thought a Democrat, or your permits would be slow walked or rejected for trivial reasons.

  • An Innocent Man||

    Man, I bet this time you got him nailed good. This'll be the straw that breaks his backers. Collusion and Kavanaugh couldn't do it, but this....this is...subsidized gold.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "This time, we've really got him!"

    The wish fulfillment fantasies just keep on coming.

    No matter how many times reality pulls the football away, the Left keeps running up for a kick.

    It really is kind of disturbing how insane they've gotten.

  • Colossal Douchebag||

    Oh FFS, stop it already.

  • Ron||

    Suderman does not understand how development works. Any developer worth his salt will proceed to get as many government subsidies and/or grants as possible in order to stop the NIMBYs from stopping your project. Once you have the governments approval through such methods it can't be stopped. Its an unfortunate fact of life for developers for any city of any size, its also how the government gets its hand into everything. You want to build that let us help you wink wink.... kick backs etc...

  • Cynical Asshole||

    So... he's the Elon Musk of real estate?

  • John||

    Pretty much. But Musk is cool and Trump is icky. So that is different.

  • tzx4||

    Trump at Burning Man, now there's a concept. Just keep him away from some of the activities where people are naked, okay?

  • sharmota4zeb||

    You can't juggle cats without grabbing some pussy.

  • John||

    The Times only suggested Trump broke the law not because he didn't but because they like him so much and we're going easy on him. Fuck off Suderman.

    It is good to see that Suderman is no longer deranged when talking about Trump like he was during 2016. Now he is merely dishonest and tiresome. So I guess those few months away from writing after the election was spent getting the help he clearly needed

  • Number 2||

    You mean Trump isn't the business/real estate genius/artist of the deal that the news and entertainment media consistently portrayed him as until about three years ago? Color me shocked!

  • Ken Shultz||

    Grandpa Trump made his money running brothels, especially during the Alaskan gold rush.

    "Trump Isn't a Self-Made Man. His Wealth Is the Product of Years of Government Subsidies."

    I guess this is Suderman's version of "You didn't build that". Maybe Suderman and Obama should go bowling.

  • TuIpa||

    And take the skinheads with them.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "Grandpa Trump made his money running brothels"

    Where are the ENB articles championing Grandpa Trump for providing gainful employ to so many sex workers?

  • Truthteller1||

    You mean wealthy people game the system. Breathtaking.

  • tzx4||

    Shocked! Shocked! That I can tell you!

  • Truthteller1||

    This is how it works. The author must be a seventh grader.

  • tzx4||

    With all due respect, at what age might you guess Trumps emotional development ceased?

  • Brett Bellmore||

    72?

  • GoatOnABoat||

    "Times' reporting suggests that Trump did not merely bend the law—he broke it"

    You mean the DNC Newsletters' reporting?

    This story reminds me of Obama's "you didn't build this" speech...

  • Ken Shultz||

    "The Times reports that, in fact, Fred funneled some $413 million to his son over the years, keeping him afloat through an array of splashy but disastrous real-estate investments that collapsed in a series of high-profile bankruptcies."

    So, you're saying he did or didn't benefit from these loans?

  • Heraclitus||

    This will just push his supporters into new post hoc territories. Anyone with the ability to con the masses into believing he was a self-made man is, paradoxically, a self-made man. In other words, you have to admire his ability to scam. Might makes right.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "In 1972, father and son formed a partnership to build a high-rise for the elderly in East Orange, N.J. Thanks to government subsidies, the partnership got a nearly interest-free $7.8 million loan that covered 90 percent of construction costs."

    I see these kinds of criticisms of Musk, sometimes, and they drive me nuts.

    As a dyed-in-the-wool libertarian from way back, I want to see almost all of the government's services privatized. If you see NASA dry up and start using private contractors to develop new rockets and supply their space station, that is not an excellent example of crony capitalism. That's an example of privatization.

    Sometimes I wonder if my fellow libertarians might have opposed the collapse of communism if it meant privatizing state industries. After all, doesn't that lead to some people getting favors at the expense of others?

  • tzx4||

    Somewhere I recently read where some private space agency, I think it is Musk's is selling a trip to the moon and back for some Japanese billionaire. If this report is true, how is the the resource use, both economic and natural resources, benefit or advance humanity? A joy ride for one gazillionaire while millions if not billions of fellow humans are suffering malnourishment?
    There are functions in a society that require a government, a public realm. A society where all morality and functions are driven by nothing else but profit would indeed be an ugly distopia. We need a government best that does what it does, and private enterprise doing what it does best. The two need to check and balance and compliment one another

  • Ken Shultz||

    "I think it is Musk's is selling a trip to the moon and back for some Japanese billionaire. If this report is true, how is the the resource use, both economic and natural resources, benefit or advance humanity? A joy ride for one gazillionaire while millions if not billions of fellow humans are suffering malnourishment?

    Do you not appreciate that Japanese billionaire is helping to offset the cost of SpaceX's remarkable engineering and technological breakthroughs?

    5G will apparently make 3d porn available everywhere. It will also make remote surgery possible.

    Not everything needs to be of benefit to all of humanity, and one instance of someone doing some conspicuous consumption isn't indicative that any such consumption is truly of benefit to no one.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    +1

  • Ken Shultz||

    The roadmap between here and Libertopia goes straight through such privatizations of our own. It is absurd to want the government out of certain industries because their "ownership" necessarily leads to cronyism--and oppose privatization because it can't be done without some forms of favoritism.

    Yeah, in Libertopia the government might privatize land to cattle ranchers, give other patches to environmentalist groups like the Nature Conservancy, outsource the construction of senior housing in low income neighborhoods to developers like Trump--who are only in it for the money. Ross Perot made a ton of money processing Medicare claims with computers "costing" the taxpayers money as a private contract but saving the taxpayers billions in funds, not to mention an army of extra government workers.

    Libetarianism is about transitioning away from government services by transferring them to private industry. I'm not about to stop being libertarian like that just because Suderman hates Trump. If Disney takes over our national parks, I hope they make billions and save the taxpayers even more.

  • Cyto||

    You guys are all worried about Trump fixations, but I just read that there's a libertarian argument for a 100% estate tax, which, now that Trump's name is attached to estate taxes, Suderman appears to be in favor of.

    Holy Crap! So, once you die, all your property is handed to the state. Because, I suppose, being dead you no longer have property rights.

    I get there are some practical arguments against building an aristocracy through inheritance of wealth, but Libertarian? I can't think of many things more anti-libertarian than simply confiscating everything you've accumulated throughout your life at the moment of death.

    And how's that even work? What about a surviving spouse?

    And if you allow a surviving spouse to inherit the estate, but not other heirs, aren't you simply going to have professional spouses under contract to marry the surviving spouse? Then that professional spouse can marry one of the heirs and pass along the estate. It is pretty stupid, but what choice would you have if you wanted your kids to continue owning and running the business you spent a lifetime building.

  • Cyto||

    Or suppose I have a hundred million bucks. And my wife and I are killed on our way home from a Halloween party, leaving my children orphans.

    I have an arrangement with my brother to take the kids in such a circumstance. But they wouldn't be able to benefit from a lifetime of work to give them a good lifestyle? And my brother just has to eat the cost of raising them and sending them to college? Even though I have a hundred million bucks?

    And what of non-liquid assets. Like my house. I assume that goes to the state. So the kids don't have anywhere to live. And the furniture? That's worth a lot of money. So the state gets that too? So my kids don't have a bed to sleep in? And what of the TV, playstation, computers..... all part of the estate. Do they get to keep any of it? How do you tell the difference? My $500 60 inch TV gets confiscated? What about my $60k diamond cuff links. Do they get to keep their clothes? Their toys? What if their toys include $15k jet-skis?

    It sounds like an absolutely insane idea.

  • Johnny B||

    Cyto — great examples! James Buchanan had more hits than misses, and I see from the Tyler Cowen link that this was part of his response to east coast elites (he taught at Virginia), but it wasn't well thought out. People can do lots of things to give their kids a leg up, starting with their education and moral upbringing. So the advantages to the well-off are not easily countered. I think forcing Harvard to accept solely on merit might have a lot bigger impact than death taxes in curbing the elite by heritage, but that isn't very libertarian, either. J.B.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Don't worry, they get to live in the youth shelter next to the low-income kids who remember them as the spoiled rich kids. They don't get to pick their roommates, and the staff finds most of the shanks. Remember those social media posts your kids wrote about the need to lower taxes and eliminate welfare? Cause their new roommates read them.

    And you thought being orphaned was the worst part of the story.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    But enough about Hackensack.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    They get electroshock to confiscate the good upbringing and education you gave them, too.

  • tzx4||

    The propagandistically named "Death tax" serves a very democratic function. It means to prevent economic dynasties from forming and destroying Democracy. Trump, the Kochs, (I am sure there are more) come immediately to mind as examples of inheritors of wealth who are undermining Democracy. Please don't think for a moment that rich dynastic plutocrats care for libertarian values for anyone other than for billionaires.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Thanks for expanding my vocabulary. After learning that particular word's etymology, I now have more respect for the lord of the underworld. No wonder people were paying to get into his kingdom. Compared to that guy, Satan was a petty narc.

  • Bob Meyer||

    Since you left out Stiers and Bloomberg I assume it's because they are "good" billionaires whose money only goes to "good" progressive causes that don't undermine capital "D" Democracy.

    Fuck democracy. It's an idea whose time is past. It didn't work for the Greeks and it has never worked anywhere. It always follows the same pattern, first they eat the rich and then they eat their pets.

  • Azathoth!!||


    The propagandistically named "Death tax" serves a very democratic function. It means to prevent economic dynasties from forming and destroying Democracy. Trump, the Kochs, (I am sure there are more) come immediately to mind as examples of inheritors of wealth who are undermining Democracy. Please don't think for a moment that rich dynastic plutocrats care for libertarian values for anyone other than for billionaires.

    Why not just post 'Look, everyone, I'm a retard!!!' over and over again?

    It would say the same thing and save the rest of us the time it takes to scroll past your drivel.

  • mtrueman||

    "aren't you simply going to have professional spouses under contract to marry the surviving spouse? "

    Isn't that how Trump got his wives? Seems like a perfectly acceptable arrangement if you can swing it.

    "but what choice would you have if you wanted your kids to continue owning and running the business you spent a lifetime building."

    By all accounts, the kids are pretty dim. One of those professional spouses might be the better way to go.

  • Vernon Depner||

    You could say the same about Batman.

  • Ron||

    Are you suggesting that Trump is Batman and not Bruce Wayne?

  • tzx4||

    Perhaps the Joker is more appropriate ?

  • buybuydandavis||

    Donald Trump - I Am Batman
    https://youtu.be/GQsjBLPBB8M

  • TJJ2000||

    And that is WHY I vote Republican!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Democrats continuously and compulsively pass legislation for MORE hand-outs, more subsidies, more communism, etc. etc. etc...

    Then they have the NERVE to complain when anyone uses them???? What in the world gives there? There complaint (whenever they untwist their twisted brain) part I agree with and so does the Republican platform -- GET RID OF THE HAND-OUTS! Its not the governments job to shovel your hard earned money into pockets of ANYONE who didn't earn it... LIMITED GOVERNMENT!!!! Good grief the left is dumb.

  • wearingit||

    Yeah, way to go genius. Republicans are obviously not giving out money left and right. It's evidenced by their 1.5 trillion more in debt that we just handed out. /s

  • tzx4||

    Republicans continuously and compulsively pass legislation for MORE hand-outs, more subsidies, more communism, etc. etc. etc... to the 0.01%. There, fixed it for you.

    That is why I vote Democratic.

  • Bob Meyer||

    You and TJJ200 are the reasons that I don't vote.

  • TJJ2000||

    Please DO write an article WHEN the Republicans push for more hand-outs......

    I will be more than extremely happy to write my representatives and tell them - that is not what Republicans stand for and I'm extremely disappointed....

    Now unless Democrats are willing to base their platform on the same -- "limited government". I guess trying to blame Republicans is about as pointless as blaming others for your own stupid mistakes.

  • TJJ2000||

    Please DO write an article WHEN the Republicans push for more hand-outs......

    I will be more than extremely happy to write my representatives and tell them - that is not what Republicans stand for and I'm extremely disappointed....

    Now unless Democrats are willing to base their platform on the same -- "limited government". I guess trying to blame Republicans is about as pointless as blaming others for your own stupid mistakes.

  • mchughjj||

    I guess we should fear the ghost of Fred Trump leaving another $413 million for his son's 2,000-mile, beautiful wall. Oh, wait a minute, that would need $413 Billion. Well, nevermind, Mexico's paying for it.

  • wearingit||

    Uh oh Peter, you're gonna upset these embarrassed Republicans in here who love Trump (but claim to be all libertarian.)

  • Rockabilly||

    The Times also reported that Saddam had WMDs.

    Well, where are they?

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    C'mon Reason. This is a petty article about our president that is beneath you. You should stick to substantive issues!

    Hey wait - didn't Alexandria Ocasio Cortez say something stupid? Quick let's write a whole article mocking her!

  • buybuydandavis||

    #SocialistDingbat

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    Only the New York Times could consider this "news". This story has been around for several years, and is hardly relevant or ground-breaking now.

  • EZepp||

    Self-serving mythology? By a politician? By a TV celebrity?

    I'm shocked. Just, so, so shocked!

    Now do Schumer.

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    As SIV accurately noted up above, this is the Block Insane Yomomma argument.

    Because of government roads, schools, etc etc "you didn't build that" all by yourself, you ungrateful little wretch!

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Fred Trump began taking steps that enriched Donald alone, introducing him to the charms of building with cheap government loans. In 1972, father and son formed a partnership to build a high-rise for the elderly in East Orange, N.J. Thanks to government subsidies, the partnership got a nearly interest-free $7.8 million loan that covered 90 percent of construction costs. Fred Trump paid the rest. But his son received most of the financial benefits, records show.

    The NY Times is shocked, SHOCKED, that there's a government program to give people a financial incentive to build housing for elderly people, because ... ?

  • sharmota4zeb||

    no less than James Buchanan, an eminence of libertarian economics, has argued for a 100 percent inheritance tax.

    I would rather not give elective officials that much of a financial incentive to hope that people die.

  • Bob Meyer||

    Why wait for people to die? Let's have a 100% pre-inheritance tax to be applied whenever the government wants more money.

    It could be triggered by a 5% drop in a person's net value thereby protecting the government from the possibility that the money might be spent before the mark..er..citizen dies.

  • crufus||

    Trump made a career of defrauding contractors, vendors, investors, and customers, so why would anyone believe that he hasn't also cheated on his taxes?

    The NYT story is extremely unsurprising, but that doesn't mean Trump isn't a major asshole.

  • No Yards Penalty||

    Thank goodness the NYT is CONFIDENT.
    Then it must all be true.

  • Procyon Rotor||

    Geeze, with this whole Kavanaugh circus going on, we've been forgetting to talk about TRUUUUMP! Thank goodness Suderman is here to get us all back to what's important.

  • Bob Meyer||

    "Nor should be it be overlooked that the alleged tax dodging was focused on avoiding the estate tax; no less than James Buchanan, an eminence of libertarian economics, has argued for a 100 percent inheritance tax."

    Buchanan was no libertarian anything if he called for a 100% inheritance tax. It is punishment for being successful and could be the absolute worst idea any economist ever came up with. Be inspired to build an empire so that the government can have it?!!

    I'd burn the cash, blow up the buildings and set fire to anything of mine that could burn before I'd let the government use it to buy votes and pad the retirement of the bureaucrats who spent their lives trying to ruin mine.

    Suderman: I can't stand Trump either but I'll be damned if I'd let that move me to quote the single dumbest thing Buchanan ever said.

  • mtrueman||

    "It is punishment for being successful "

    It's punishment for those dimwits who choose to die. Those who choose life can keep their money as long as they can hold on to it.

  • Robert||

    See "The Quick, The Dead, and The Libertarian", an article in Dandelion defending 100% inheritance tax on a libertarian basis. I forgot what issue it was in.

  • Cyto||

    I can see a defense of inheritance taxes on an utilitarian basis. And that utilitarian basis could be as a safeguard of a libertarian system from an aristocratic takeover.

    But declaring that all of your possessions belong to the state after you die is not libertarian. Not even a little bit.

  • mtrueman||

    Apparently the Trump money started in Dawson City, the Yukon, during the Klondike gold rush at the turn of the last century. Trump's grandfather was the proprietor of the a brothel cum hotel/restaurant. It made the German barber a rich man.

  • Doug Heffernan||

    Donny is a very stable bidness genius. Why shouldn't Fred have helped Donny learn the family bidness?

    What was done is exactly what a very stable bidness genius would do. Therefore, Trump is a genius. Q.E.D.

    If the NYT piece doesn't convince you, watch the 5 part "Trump: An American Dream" on nexflix.

    What you'll see is nearly half a century of applied Trumpian bidness genius. Should be required viewing for all aspiring geniuses.

  • Rob Misek||

    Is Israel not a state because it was stolen by the allies and propped up with hundreds of billions of military aid by US taxpayers?

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Trump is what many uneducated, unskilled, unaccomplished persons figure a successful, able person must be like.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    And Trump lives the way most yahoos would if they inherited or won a bunch of cash.

  • Don't look at me!||

    So how many big buildings have your name on them? Where all of your wives hot?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Arty, YOU are an uneducated, unskilled, unaccomplished person.

  • Lee Moore||

    If the government, in its idiocy, chooses to subsidise real estate development, then that's the business environment in which real estate developers operate. Unless there's some suggestion that the subsidies and cheap loans were selective, and dependent on political favors, then anyone with capital could have benefitted from them. Hence - absent evidence of special treatment or bribes, the fact that Fred Trump operated in a subsidised line of business does not make him any less a successful businessman.

    The government, in its idiocy, chooses to subsidise things it wants more of. Responding to the incentives is a sign of a good nose for business. Eschewing government subsidies that are offered may be very pure and libertarian, but it's not how good businessmen behave.

  • ArgentAegis||

    So, a little more seriously...

    Are we really at the level of purity that we want to damn people for taking advantage of the systems in place in the government? I'll agree that subsidies, loan programs and market restrictions shouldn't exist, but if they do, are we to just ignore them?

    Do we excommunicate people who take tax deductions too? Student loans? Limited issue hunting licenses?

    If there was bribery or other corrupt behavior, sure, hose him. If someone's first in line because they're paying lawyers to be first in line...that sounds like getting the best of a bad system.

  • Wise Old Fool||

    Nope if you read the article you would know that he got away with massive amounts of tax fraud. If that would have been me or you we would still be in prison, but since his family knew people and had the lawyers to figure out the best way not to get caught they made out like bandits while fucking over, tenant, contractors, and government loans.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    No, if you read the article you'd know that the NYT wants you to think he got away with massive amounts of tax fraud, but is afraid to come out and say it, because they haven't got any proof.

  • Don't look at me!||

    In order to have tax fraud, you have to have made profits that are taxable.
    Did he make profits like a successful businessman or did he lose money all the time as claimed?

  • ArgentAegis||

    I have trouble telling the difference between what you're saying here and everything I've ever heard that begins with "Millionaires and Billionaires are evil because..."

    It's just a bit weird to me when I'm on Reason and people start lighting torches because someone avoided paying taxes.

  • Wise Old Fool||

    The funny think is he would have had a lot more money if he would have just put that $413 million in a S&P 500 Vanguard fund. LMFAO

  • Brett Bellmore||

    People keep saying that, but the challenge isn't to put money in the S&P 500, walk away, and have it be worth more when you come back decades later.

    The challenge is to do that while all the while taking profits and living like a king. Which requires you to actually be beating the S&P 500, for the mathematically challenged.

  • Wise Old Fool||

    Good for NYT calling him out on his BS. "Fake news" indeed lol

  • AmosArch||

    Even if you believe every word of this yellow journalism it still was a career of far more risks and operating more independently than a lifetime at the government teat like the last few Democratic Presidents and candidates. .

  • JSinAZ||

    Fuck the racist NY Times.

    Find different sources Suderman; any cite that depends on a disgusting rag that hires unrepentant racist scumbags to their editorial board is no longer dependable - and if you depend on those fuckwads, neither are you.

  • Kazinski||

    I don't get it. Isn't that what businessmen do is see an opportunity and then take advantage of it? Did the Don or Fred bribe government officials to get the loans? I didn't see that allegation. The government officials were offering bribes, subsidized loans, to do what government couldn't do.

    I hate government subsidies and loans as much as anyone, but I still remember taking and interest free (or close) student loan during the Carter administration and putting the money in a 16.5% 2 1/2 year certificate account. So write a NYT article about it.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    I remember those years. I was dumping every cent I could into a universal life insurance policy I took out on leaving college, because it had a fabulous rate of return. (The people who offered the policy apparently thought high inflation was going to be around forever. I didn't.)

    I also remember that, a few years after inflation declined again, the insurance company went to a judge and got the contractually guaranteed rate of return reduced to bupkis, because reasons. So much for my dreams of retiring at 40.

  • Rob Misek||

    Welcome to the world of greed and false hopes.

    Interest is a faulty concept. Wealth nor debt grows on trees.

    Money is simply transferrable work. Our economy is strong when we are working on the things our society needs.

    A market based economy is a casino with house rules and odds.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    You don't really understand much of anything.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "100 percent inheritance tax."

    Another "Libertarian Moment" at the new and postmodern Marxist Reason magazine.

  • GoatOnABoat||

    Oh I don't think Reason has gone full Marxist... yet.

  • Benitacanova||

    Kind of like the myth that obama was smart enough for harvard.

  • gphx||

    Trump claims his family had the estate proceedings audited and approved by the IRS in real time. The 'alleged tax dodging' should be simple to prove or disprove but idiot authors have no interest in the truth.

  • gordo53||

    Trump was and is in the urban real estate development business. It is a nasty business that forces you to get in bed with slimy politicians. Yes, he did that. There is no end to the government "deals" available for those who want to take on big projects in a large urban setting. Everybody gets paid. End of story.

  • vek||

    I have yet to read the full NYT piece, although I intend to. That said, from what I know of Trumps rise to wealth, it would be nonsense to say he made it all on his own... He started out on 3rd base for sure... BUT it would also be nonsense to say that it was all handed to him.

    There were TONS of people born into families as wealthy, or far wealthier, than Donald was... Almost NOBODY has as high a net worth as he does. He is one of the wealthiest people in the entire world, whereas probably many thousands of people born into families as wealthy as his are not.

    If he had been born into a middle class family, perhaps he would have only ended up being worth a couple hundred million by now, but he would almost certainly have been a fairly successful hustler. I don't like his salesmany business strategy, but it is an oft used, and oft successful one.

    As far as using cheap government subsidized loans... They shouldn't exist... But they do! If you're in an industry where the Guvmint subsidizes shit, you HAVE TO take advantage of this stuff, because everybody else does, hence you can't be profitable without them most of the time because of the distortions caused. Also, anybody here have a Freddy/Fannie/FHA backed mortgage? That's what I thought.

    As far as Suderman whining like a little bitch and taking cheap jabs at Trump, it's ridiculous. As per usual. Just typical TDS stuff. He's not The Messiah, but he's not as dumb, or as evil as TDS sufferers think either.

  • Lester224||

    It *was* all handed to him. By his dad.

  • vek||

    That is simply not true. Trump had a vastly higher net worth than his father, WHILE HIS FATHER WAS STILL ALIVE.

    Therefore it is impossible for that statement to be true... Nobody can debate that his father helped him out via connections, bailing him out when he hit rough times, etc... But the fact that he blew past his fathers net worth while he was still alive, by orders of magnitude, completely contradicts the assertion it was all handed to him. IIRC he inherited something like 200 million from his dad when he died... Donald was already post BK and worth a few billion at the time.

    So don't be daft. He was born on third base. No sane person would argue otherwise. But there's a big difference between that, and having it all handed to you like saaay David Rockefeller.

  • TJJ2000||

    I long for the day when both the left and right can come together and get rid of this communist structure being increasingly legislated into the American politics.

    If Democrats want subsidies all for themselves ONLY here's the answer - A Democratic member-ed Coop corporation with Democratic taxed(i.e. billed) membership and benefits. You see Democrats; you can be communist without government. Someone please tell me WHAT law keeps them from starting a communist club??? If there isn't one; Its pretty obvious the only intent in STEALING from UN-willing participants through the force of law.

    I find it really hard anyone can blame Trump though for communist legislation; since taking office he has cut the "communist" legislation in half of what it was while during the Obama administration communist legislation was increased.

    If the left REALLY has a problem with Trump corporate using communist legislation to increase income -- maybe they ought to wisen up and stop supporting the welfare/communist legislation.

    But I'm willing to bet my dollar against a penny; Most Democrats are all for more communist legislation - but only complain when a Republican figure uses it? I have rich friend who is a Democrat and got a $27,000 subsidy check for installing Solar power on his house -- largely passed passed by the left's "climate change" hoax hand-out. Oh, wait, he's Republican - No Democrat or wait; does it even matter! Isn't it BS either way?

  • vek||

    That's actually a good idea.

    The shit libs can simply form a huge mutual aide society. Bible thumpers actually have this for medical stuff, no reason shit lib atheists can't do it too!

  • Lester224||

    All the retards who believed Trump was a "self made man" won't read this stuff. If they do, they will say, well, we don't care. This was a useless exercise.

  • James_R||

    Trump supporters just want someone who routinely hurls childish insults at anyone on team D. It makes no difference to them if that person hires illegal aliens, files for bankruptcy 7 times, stiffs his creditors, bangs hookers, abuses eminent domain laws and owes most of his wealth to government subsidies. Trump is stupid and mean but with an unparalleled ability for self-aggrandizement. One that hypnotizes his low IQ base of supporters. Nothing in this article seems partisan or vindictive. If anything, it seems rather tame.

  • James_R||

    Trump supporters just want someone who routinely hurls childish insults at anyone on team D. It makes no difference to them if that person hires illegal aliens, files for bankruptcy 7 times, stiffs his creditors, bangs hookers, abuses eminent domain laws and owes most of his wealth to government subsidies. Trump is stupid and mean but with an unparalleled ability for self-aggrandizement. One that hypnotizes his low IQ base of supporters. Nothing in this article seems partisan or vindictive. If anything, it seems rather tame.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Another low rent progtard.........

    We got plenty of your kind already. But don't worry, the way things are going you will be euthanized soon enough.

  • vek||

    I'm not going to throw around any numbers here... But I did score a genius level IQ when I took an official IQ test in school. I support Trump. Not on everything, but on enough. Because letting the perfect be the enemy of the good is usually a bad idea in the real world.

    And all of your anti-Trump statements, other than banging hookers (which I have no problem with as a libertarian!), are exaggerations of things that have a bit of truth to them... But still don't make him the worst person EVAR!

    You're grasping at straws to try to fine zero redeeming qualities in the guy, when in fact he's decent on plenty of fronts. Plenty of flaws too, but that's life. Even Washington, Jefferson, etc had plenty of flaws, and they were some of the best leaders any nation has ever had in all of human history. Holding your breath until the "perfect" president comes along is simply a fools errand, because it will never happen. We'll probably never get anybody as good as Jefferson ever again.

  • James_R||

    What Trump related statements did I make which were exaggerated? He has a very well documented history of fraud, swindle, making poor business decisions and relying on the government to line his pockets. I would be shocked if a person with a genius IQ would approve of such a person and want to be associated with his supporters.

  • vek||

    All of it was exaggerated.

    hires illegal aliens = Yes, as someone who employs THOUSANDS of people, some illegals have ended up working for him... No large employer in the country can honestly claim otherwise. He's never made a point of going out of his way to hire though like in many industries though. He has brought in foreign workers legally to work at some of his places, but that is actually a weird thing to be "exotic" that is done at many high end resorts, one I used to live next to did the same.

    files for bankruptcy 7 times = 7 INDIVIDUAL ENTITIES out of around 1,000 he's owned IIRC. Not a horrible batting record. He only went fully BK once. Which happens to lots of guys in business, and many companies. Apple was bailed out by Microsoft, Henry Ford nearly went under in the 30s, etc.

    stiffs his creditors = Yeah, he has with businesses that went BK. I personally don't like the idea of rich people using entities to do stuff like this, but it is common practice. As far as him stiffing contractors, he has done so, when he wasn't happy with their work... I know developers who have done the same. If somebody does a shit job, it may not be nice, but sometimes people stiff 'em because they feel they didn't fulfill their end of the deal.

    bangs hookers = Probably! And don't care. I'm not a SoCon.

  • vek||

    abuses eminent domain laws = I will give you this. Sadly, this is common practice for large developers, you'd be hard pressed to find one who has never done it.

    and owes most of his wealth to government subsidies. = Same as above. Elon Musk owes far more of his fortune to actual subsidies than Trump. Getting favorable interest rates on a loan is stuff I don't like, but if every developer is doing it, you can't NOT do it and stay in business.

    As for a genius level IQ person supporting him... I do. And according to my government issued (NOT internet based) IQ test, I am a genius.

    Why do I support him? Because he's better than any other recent president on actual policies. Even if he was a horrible person in his private life, I wouldn't care much. Nobody is perfect. He's not that bad though, so that just makes it easier. Churchill drank a bottle of champagne BEFORE getting out of bed every morning... He still helped Britain win WWII. Jefferson probably banged a slave he owned, still was the best president we ever had.

    Trump policies have been solid so far. No massive new wars, lower taxes, lower regulations, he's hammering away at getting trade barriers lowered for US businesses (even if you don't like his methods, this is a good end goal), taking in fewer refugees and trying to reduce low skilled immigration, and plenty of other stuff.

  • Duelles||

    So sorry you have such a narrow mind. Why do bother with you. . . . Oh! Just a mild insult I suppose. Does being shallow come with narrowness of mind?

  • MJBinAL||

    Typical Suderman, bullshit special.

    So, according to Suderman, every developer that takes advantage of subsidized loans and aid is no longer "self made"? So the only way you can be a success according to Suderman is to avoid what all the other developers are using and put yourself at a self imposed disadvantage. Then of course, since you are still paying all the taxes and penalties but not taking any of the deals you will be a no good screw up according to Suderman I suppose.

    Well, I don't like the "deals" with the government, but Trump plays by the rules the government sets, and succeeds or fails by those rules. If we don't like those rules, and I don't, it is not Trump's fault, and we need to get the rules changed.

    And Suderman, you are still a dumb ass.

  • vek||

    Well, I guess Obama was right then! NO, you didn't build that!

    Because EVERY major industry in this country has their share of tax incentives, special loopholes, etc. Real estate, being one of the largest industries in the country, has plenty... But so does agriculture, pharma, oil, aerospace, technology, etc. They ALL have carve outs. And there is a 110% chance that anybody who built a multi-billion dollar fortune in any of those industries used said tax incentives, rebates, loopholes etc.

    So he basically just argued that not a single billionaire on earth is self made, because they all used some distortion or another created by government. The sad fact is that when such distortions exist, you basically have to take advantage of them, or you can't compete. If Trump managed to get it done in a system like we have where he did well compared to other developers, I imagine if everybody had no subsidies he would have done equally well, as everybodies situation would have been equal in that scenario as well.

  • Duelles||

    So not one senior who accepts SS or medicare can be self made! Not one person who bought and electric car or solar panels is independent. What bull shit. Vets who use veterans benefits or discounts are dependents on Government subsidies. If the government is dumb enough to give money away and we are smart enough to take it good for us.

  • Two Buck Chuck||

    He didn't build that.

  • ejhickey||

    One thing the NYT article failed to mention was that while the Trumps were trying to avoid the gift and estate taxes , a revenue stream was created that passed money to DJT and his siblings that was reported to the federal and state agencies and upon which income taxes were paid. Income taxes were at a lower rate than gift taxes, but what the Trumps did may have been merely a choice of which rate to be taxed at , not a complete evasion of taxes . Note that the only way the NYT was able to piece together this article was because the Trump organization filed tax returns which must have been reviewed and probably audited by the IRS and the State of NY. What the NYT claims is tax fraud more than likely had the approval of both the Feds and the State and was not complete avoidance. Again , I point the NYT ignored this and made it seem as if the Trumps completely avoided taxes.

  • Duelles||

    If you want to see my tax returns, get a job with the IRS that allows you to audit me. Otherwise screw off. Politicians that give up that information are merely sucking up to a gotcha media and not particularly bright.

  • Gellero||

    Good for him.......taking advantage of the system......why not??

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