Yeah, he lies about everything else. Of course he’s lying about how rich he is.
That said, I would assume most of his wealth is tied up in property and other investments. I don’t think much can be drawn from his personal income (except, of course, that he’s probably got a whole team of accounts happily lying for him on his tax returns.)
Wealth and income have very little in common, especially if you are talking about taxable income.
Let’s say Trump has Trump Corporation and he owns 100% of its stock. We say that Trump Corporation is valued at $10 billion, and that it made $1 billion last year. Let’s say it only pays Trump $100,000 in salary and paid no dividends. Given those numbers, it would simultaneously be true that Trump could be worth $10 billion, that his net worth increased by $1 billion in a year and that his income was only $100,000.
That’s only one example - there are so many ways to parse statements about wealth and income that you need some very specific information to assess the truth of the situation. Here’s another example that might apply to Trump: “I have $10 billion worth of assets” could be true even if “I am about to declare bankruptcy because of huge debts” is also true.
I tend to agree that Trump is lying about his wealth because it seems silly for him to start telling the truth about anything at this point, but I’m also fairly certain that any claims he’s made can be called true from a certain point of view.
Go find the article about how be basically bankrupted his own Atlantic City casinos and hung the investors out to dry by paying himself $44 million a year as CEO and taking huge fees out of the place while gradually selling his ownership to dupes that got screwed in the bankruptcy.
That’s his business model. Not very different from vulture capitalists like Bain (Mitt Romney), who buy a company, load it with debt which is used to pay ludicrously high ‘management fees’ then unload the bankrupt carcass on general investors.
Of course, Trump also profits on the other end by hiring contractors and then just never paying them. He’s currently involved in something like 3500 lawsuits, most of which are about his non-payment of debts.
Trumps talks a lot about how much money (wealth) he has, but that’s entirely different from how much he might make in any given year. Taxable income is something you try and minimize when you’re filthy rich.
You know, I thought about this some more, and I think that Cenk has it wrong. Cenk was basing this on Trump collecting a tax credit that’s supposed to be for households that make less than $500 000 a year. Trump has to have been paid over $1 000 000 a year for The Apprentice. So either Trump has been collecting a tax credit he shouldn’t, or his income is in exotic forms that avoid taxes.
The Economist came up with around $2bil. An author Trump sued for saying so came up with under $1bil. I wouldn’t assume I know anything for sure, but knowing Trump otherwise, and based on some of the known examples of components of his ‘net worth’ in the disclosures he’s made (eg. ‘the Trump Brand is worth $3bil’*) it seems much more plausible to me that those estimates comprise the ball park of the real number by normal standards of what counts, and Trump’s $10bil+ claim is a several fold exaggeration. And what reasonable person, even if supporting Trump by some indirect logic (‘lessor of evils’, ‘will shake things up’, etc) would be surprised if Trump is exaggerating to that degree?
On income, the full tax returns would be another angle on which to triangulate actual net worth. A disembodied total income wouldn’t necessarily, but who says the quoted source is reliable anyway.
*that’s like a normal person saying their career skills and expertise are worth $Xmil over their remaining work life and counting it in their current net worth.
I don’t know how they would have access to everything they would need to make the estimate. But at the very least, I’d like to see a link to the article making that claim and see what methodology they used, what caveats they put on their number, etc. More often than not, I find that posters tend to leave out important details that are in the source material.