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A billionaire for president?

By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Posted: 1 pm ET

Love him or hate him, there's never been a shortage of opinions on Donald Trump. There's also little doubt that he has any hesitation about courting controversy.

As most of the country now knows, the billionaire is talking about becoming a Republican candidate for president in the 2012 election. He has said he's willing to spend $600 million of his own money to win. Forbes Magazine estimated his net worth at $2 billion in 2010.

"Part of the beauty of me is that I'm very rich," he said in an ABC news interview last month.

So will the real-estate mogul/television celebrity appeal to wealthy voters or to the masses? In the ABC interview, Trump said he believes he'd do well with ordinary Americans, and that he gets along better with middle class and poor people than he does with the wealthy.

How this translates into his ideas on public policy and taxes hasn't been made clear yet. He has criticized President Obama for surging oil prices and our relationship with China; he thinks China is getting rich off the U.S. and proposes charging an import tariff on Chinese products.

As for taxing wealthy American individuals, as Obama has been pushing, Trump has said that if we bring jobs back to this country, there will be no need to tax the wealthy. Back in 1999, when he was considering a presidential run in 2000, he proposed a one-time tax of 14.25 percent on those with a net worth of $10 million or more as one way to solve the national debt.

This year, the nation's budget deficit is in the limelight again. Just last week, the credit rating agency Standard & Poor's threatened to downgrade the country's AAA credit rating if the Administration didn't come up with a plan to cut the budget deficit within two years. The national debt is projected to top $15 trillion this year, and Trump has expressed concern over the state of the economy, citing fears about rising oil and food prices and jobs being shipped overseas.

Various polls this month show Trump either in the No. 1 or No. 2 spot as front-runner for likely Republican candidate. How do you feel about Trump for president?

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David King
April 27, 2011 at 10:31 pm

Using other people's money doesn't count.
Mr Trump may have trouble putting together 20m let alone 600m.
Unlikely to run for office as he would, under US law, have to disclose his true net worth.

Huckster superlatives are never hard cash.

April 27, 2011 at 8:15 am

I think what is appealing about him is he has no problem voicing his opinion. He answers questions CLEARLY and to the point. He doesn't go round and round in circles to hide his true intentions, like most politicians. For instance, Obama made a big speech yesterday about how gas prices are affecting the average citizens, then at the same time he turned around and asked democratic members of the house and senate to bring forth legislation to increase corporate taxes on the oil companies. Does he truly believe the oil companies are going to dig deep into their OWN pockets to pay any extra tax? OF COURSE THEY WON'T! They will pass that bill right on to the consumer, so again the average citizens will have to pay more for gas that they NEED in order to get to and from work!

I live in a state where most jobs in my field are concentrated in one city. That city is 45 miles from my home and I travel in constant traffic the whole way. (My average speed on this all highway commute is 33 mph!) I have to drive 20 miles to get to the nearest train if I wanted to commute this way (which I don't bc it's dangerous, constant gang activity...two men beaten almost to death by a group of 20 gang members for a small amount of money!) USE YOUR BRAINS POLITICIANS!

Michael Atwater
April 25, 2011 at 1:47 pm

Yes! Better to have someone who has worked all of his life and has a proven track record for earning a dollar and keeping it rather than stealing it and giving it away. Trump understands finance....something that politicians do not understand. The finances of American Politics have been "tax and spend...then, tax more and spend more" with no focus on fiscal responsibility even for how much we pay for products and services. With his business organizational skills, Trump can identify the huge amount of excess federal jobs and agencies that are out there and trim the fat. It is actually plausible to take in tax revenues and use them in a manner that invests in our economy and makes it stronger. Trump recognizes how to build....our politicians have been involved in the process of erosion of our economy and our global financial strength for way too long.