Donald Trump makes a big deal out of using his own money to finance his campaign. He mentioned it again last night when he was booed for insulting the audience:
Trump said he was self-funding his campaign, so Republican donors weren’t a fan of his candidacy.
“The reason they’re not loving me is I don’t want their money. I’m going to do the right thing for the American public,” Trump said.
Self-funding? Ignoring the immense free coverage he’s had from the media, which you paid for with your time watching ads, a lot of the actual money he’s using to finance his campaign came from you. The Donald brags about “leveraging” (to use a polite term) politicians, “I’ve got to give to them, because when I want something, I get it. When I call, they kiss my ass.”
He has reason to brag:
- “creative” tax accounting and government subsidies
- property-tax abatement, abuse of eminent domain
- capture of the regulatory state to disadvantage rivals
None of this (Except maybe the tax avoidance at the Grand Hyatt*, the unreported lobbying** against the Mohawk Casino and the attempt to screw an elderly woman out of her house.) was illegal. All of it shows Trump is a corporatist whore, whose “business” benefits from transferring taxpayer dollars to his pocket.
Trump says this demonstrates corruption in politics. If so, it also demonstrates corrupt “business” practice. He doesn’t talk about cleaning up the problem, he just says he’s above it now. Because he already got your money.
Doing “[T]he right thing for the American public?” Donald Trump: A consummate utilitarian ethicist.
*When tax receipts from the Grand Hyatt plummeted to $667,000 from $3.7 million the year before, the city budget director asked Auditor General Burstein to review the hotel’s financial records. Burstein said the Grand Hyatt, through “aberrant” accounting practices, had understated its profits by $5 million and shorted the city by $2,870,259 in taxes.
“The people who didn’t get the foregone taxes were the police, the schools and public hospitals of this city,” she said, adding that “Trump leveraged tax forgiveness and clout into a deal where he had essentially no risk at all; there was no downside. Then, having triumphed, he repaid his benefactors by excoriating them as inept, venal and useless.”
Although Trump pressured her to kill the audit, Burstein said, she insisted on publishing it.
**In October 2000, Trump and his associates agreed to pay $250,000 to the state and issue an apology because he secretly paid for the ads attacking the Mohawks and didn’t inform the state lobbying commission.