One of the standard narratives the Democrats and mainstream media like to repeat about President Donald Trump is that he became President simply because he wanted to enrich himself.
If that is the case, it is not working out very well for him.
According to Forbes, Trump was worth $4.5 billion in 2015 before he ran for President.
Forbes estimated his net worth at $3.1 billion in 2019. It is undoubtedly worth less right now considering how much of Trump's assets are in New York City and are tied to the hospitality industry and are invested in commercial real estate.
Forbes reports that Trump has dropped from the 156th wealthiest American to 275th since he became President.
Another narrative that the Democrats and mainstream media like to perpetuate is that they need to see Trump's tax returns because he might be hiding potential conflicts of interest or economic ties with foreign interests (Russians!).
As I have pointed out in the past, a tax return is a very poor vehicle to do this. Trump's personal tax returns would be very limited in understanding his entire financial picture. They would only provide details related to his specific individual items and any sole proprietor income. They would not provide any detail on income, expenses or debt on those things held in partnerships, limited liability companies or corporations. A financial disclosure form is much more informative for someone like Trump who has significant and wide ranging business interests.
All federal executive branch officeholders are required by law to file an annual financial disclosure statement. President Trump recently filed his for the calendar year 2019. It is 78 pages long and provides almost everything anyone would want to know about Trump's financial situation. You can view it yourself here.
Here are Trump's checking and savings accounts and investment in gold (very minimal considering his net worth).
Here are all of Trump's liabilities.
Here is an example of some of Trump's assets and the "income" associated with the assets. Note that what is reported are revenues. This should not be confused with the net income that went into Trump's pockets. These are gross sales before expenses or cost of goods sold. Trump's hotel in DC. grossed over $40 million. If he was lucky, he netted no more than 10% of that.
When it comes to the subject of enriching oneself as President let us now turn to Barack Obama.
When Barack Obama was first elected to the United States Senate in 2004 he was a law professor making $85,000 per year. Forbes did an analysis shortly after he left office of the income of Barack and Michelle Obama made between 2005 and 2016.
Since the Obamas are now private citizens there is no official document that tells us exactly what their income is or how much they are now worth. However, those amounts are surely small potatoes compared to what they are now bringing in.
The International Business Times estimates the Obama's net worth today at $70 million. Obama receives a reported $400,000 per speech. The couple also have a lucrative production deal with Netflix that is reported to be worth $50 million to them. There also must be a number of other revenue inflows that we don't know about.
What we do know is that Barack Obama has become a real estate baron in his own right since he left office. I am not talking about hotels, golf resorts and commercial properties like Donald Trump. I am talking about residential real estate.
Let's look at the houses that Barack and Michell Obama own.
He reportedly still owns the house that he had in Chicago when he first ran for President. Zillow currently values the house at $2.5 million.
They own this house in the Kalorama neighborhood of Washington, D.C. which they paid $8.1 million for in 2017.
They own this home on Martha's Vineyard which they purchased for $11.75 million in 2019.
Reports surfaced this week that Obama is also in the process of building a home in Hawaii that he will use as a "retirement home". It made news because Obama's front man is reportedly using a planning loophole to circumvent some environmental regulations during the building process. That property cost $8.7 million and that is before the costs of tearing down the house on the property and the costs to be build a compound with three new houses on the tract of land for the use of Obama and visitors.
The building site is famous as being the exterior shot used to represent the mansion in the Magnum PI tv series.
This is the 3-acre site overlooking Waimanalo Bay.
This is the view looking out over the bay.
This is the house that was on the property before it was torn down. $8.7 million before it was torn down? Whoever knew that being a private investigator was such a lucrative business?
|Credit: Armando Rossi via The Daily Mail|
“There’s only so much you can eat. There’s only so big a house you can have. There’s only so many nice trips you can take. I mean, it’s enough.”