One of the few silver linings of the Donald Trump electoral victory has been an increased scrutiny and exposure of the ways in which our economic systems are rigged in favor of the wealthy.
In particular, the investigations into Donald Trump’s finances have revealed how the rules of the real estate game are specifically designed to facilitate the concentration of wealth in the families of the wealthy and prevent any of their questionably-gotten gains from going towards anything that might benefit anyone but themselves.
The Pulitzer-prize winning investigators at ProPublica have discovered how Trump openly and legally launders his wealth to his children without paying any taxes on it.
In April 2016, Eric Trump purchased two condominiums in New York’s Trump Parc East building for $350,000 each – but just two months before, the apartments were valued at around $800,000.
Usually, when one sells real estate for less than its value, one has to pay huge “gift taxes” on the difference – but not if you’re a real estate developer. It appears that Trump just didn’t pay any taxes, as noted by ProPublica:
But other taxes paid on the transaction suggest gift taxes were not paid. Trump paid a total of $13,000 in city and state transfer taxes, New York City property records show. Those transfer taxes, according to a spokeswoman for the city’s Department of Finance, are not usually paid when “bona fide gifts” are involved.
Eric Trump can now re-sell those apartments at a huge profit, and given the long history of the Trump family dodging their fair share of taxes, none of those profits will “trickle down” to the rest of American society.
Instead of being used to repair roads or fund public schools or put to any kind of socially productive use, it will be hoarded in Trump bank accounts, only to be withdrawn to gold-plate a golf cart, or buy his grandchildren admission to Harvard, or whatever else the ultrawealthy squander their obscene funds on.
This is just a tiny glimpse into the elaborate system of tax loopholes and shady but legal tricks that allow the wealthy to continue concentrating their gains in their own families and dodging their taxes while the IRS continues to nickel-and-dime the American worker who struggles to put food on the table.