Forbes just dropped Donald Trump from its 400 List Of Richest Americans. Donald Trump is worth an estimated $2.5 billion, leaving him $400 million short of the cutoff to make this year’s Forbes 400 list of America’s richest people.
Forbes says he’d still be on their list if he’d followed ethics recommendations at the beginning of his presidency.
“If Trump is looking for someone to blame, he can start with himself. Five years ago, he had a golden opportunity to diversify his fortune. Fresh off the 2016 election, federal ethics officials were pushing Trump to divest his real estate assets. That would have allowed him to reinvest the proceeds into broad-based index funds and assume office free of conflicts of interest.”
“Trump decided to hang onto his assets. At the time, they were worth an estimated $3.5 billion, after subtracting debt. If he had instead chosen to sell off everything off, there is a chance that he would have had to pay significant capital-gains taxes. Trump acquired his five most-valuable holdings long ago, so he likely has huge untaxed gains locked in each of them. If he paid the maximum possible capital gains tax—23.8% to the federal government, plus 8.8% to the New York State authorities on every penny he owned—that would have shaved about $1.1 billion off his fortune, leaving him with $2.4 billion on the first day of his presidency. But what would have appeared to be a huge sacrifice at first could have turned into a lucrative realignment. By plowing that $2.4 billion in an index fund tracking the S&P 500, for example, Trump’s fortune would have ballooned to $4.5 billion by now, leaving him 80% richer than he is today. His refusal to divest, in other words, cost him $2 billion.”
Trump is still, on paper, a wealthy man, but not wealthy enough to make their list of the 400 richest people in America.