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.
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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