What do billionaires think of Donald Trump

Is Donald Trump even a billionaire?

According to the New York Times, President Trump paid little or no income tax for years. This begs the question of whether he is even as wealthy as he likes to claim.

That happened: The New York Times has leaked Trump's tax returns for fifteen years. According to these, Trump paid just $ 750 in income taxes in the last two available years, 2016 and 2017. In ten of the fifteen years he even paid nothing, writes the newspaper. This cannot be verified, as she keeps the original receipts to protect their source.

When someone pays so little in taxes, one might get the idea that they might not own anything. Why are his taxes so low? According to the New York Times, Trump has long used loss carryforwards to reduce his tax liabilities. In this context, a casino project that ran into difficulties in the 1990s is important. Trump is said to have declared $ 917 million in losses that reduced his income taxes over almost two decades. High consultancy fees, including for his daughter Ivanka, also raise questions.

From 2005 he paid substantial taxes on his income from the reality show "The Apprentice" for the first time. But through a new tax law in the wake of the financial crisis, with which one wanted to support companies, he got back $ 73 million retrospectively. However, Trump is in a dispute with the tax authorities about this payment that has now been going on for a decade. Should he lose it could cost him over 100 million.

Therefore it is important: It has been the practice for presidents to disclose their tax returns for nearly fifty years. In 1973 it was found that President Nixon had only paid around $ 800 in taxes on his six-figure income. For reasons of privacy, nobody has to publish their own tax return - not even a president. American presidents have been doing this since Nixon to rebut allegations that they are involved in conflicts of interest. President Trump has broken with this tradition. He argues that an unresolved dispute with the tax authorities made the publication impossible for him (which the director denied).

This is what we mean: Estimating the value of Trump's assets is not easy given a network of 500 companies. The business magazine “Forbes” has dedicated itself to this discipline. The focus is on Trump's valuable skyscrapers in New York and his stake in a real estate company. The journalists take the net operating income and add an industry-standard multiplier to estimate the value of a building. According to the New York Times, the golf courses in particular burn money. However, they are of minor importance for total assets.

Trump's portfolio is estimated by "Forbes" at $ 3.7 billion. The debts, which are estimated at a good 1.1 billion, have to be deducted from this. That leaves $ 2.6 billion - a few hundred million less than last year. The pandemic could lower the value of real estate further.

In the 2016 election campaign, he boasted that his fortune was even beyond the $ 10 billion mark. That can be dismissed as wishful thinking. If the estimates are even roughly correct, Trump is still the first billionaire in the White House - and one who has paid almost no taxes in many years. That may inspire his die-hard followers. However, it will hardly improve his election chances with people who are torn between him and Biden and could thus tip the scales on November 3rd.