While we live in an era where facts are often challenged, it is an unquestioned fact that Donald J. Trump was born into a very wealthy family. He was raised with wealth and privilege. When he got started in business, he did not do it all on his own – he “borrowed” millions of dollars from his father. He worked for his father and shared in some portion of a huge inheritance when his father passed away. Since Donald Trump hasn’t released his taxes, it is unclear as to the exact number but Trump has likely received millions from his father and his father’s estate (Marco Rubio claimed $200 million at the Feb 25, 2016 GOP debate).
There is nothing wrong with being born to a wealthy family. I would have been happy to have been born with a silver spoon in my mouth. However, the nepotism that comes with such a birthright does blur the lines between achieved success and given fortune. In 1974 Fred Trump made Donald the president of his real estate company and overnight Donald Trump’s net worth increased by around $40 million. This makes me think of the expression, “sometimes it is better to be lucky, than to be good.” Donald was certainly lucky but there is some question as to whether he is actually good at business.
The Problem: Trump supporters have claimed that Donald Trump will be a great president because he is great at business, evidenced by his great wealth. But that conclusion might not pass muster. Since Trump has been less than transparent with his financials it is equally likely that Trump is an incompetent business man whose wealth is exaggerated and built on a bedrock of questionable business deals and outright theft. If that is the case, then we, the American people, should be very concerned with how we will be “doing business” with the rest world.
As Politifact states:
And while Trump is quick to boast that his purported billions prove his business acumen, his net worth is almost unknowable given the loose standards and numerous outright misrepresentations he has made over the years. In that 2007 deposition, Trump said he based estimates of his net worth at times on “psychology” and “my own feelings.” But those feelings are often wrong—in 2004, he presented unaudited financials to Deutsche Bank while seeking a loan, claiming he was worth $3.5 billion. The bank concluded Trump was, to say the least, puffing; it put his net worth at $788 million, records show. (Trump personally guaranteed $40 million of the loan to his company, so Deutsche coughed up the money. He later defaulted on that commitment.)
And it is worth mentioning a 2015 article from the The National Journal by S.V. Date that argues, “by putting his inheritance into the stock market back in the 1970s, Trump might have been ‘really rich’ without all the drama.”