A friend who works in accounting at a local plumbing company once told me “I know how some rich people have so much money — they never pay for anything.” Maybe that explains how Donald Trump is so wealthy.
Stories about Trump and his debt have been out there for some time. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that estimates place the debt of the Trump Organization at somewhere around $1 billion. Bankers and other well-off entities hold much of that debt. But some of it is owed to small businesses that have been contracted to do work on Trump properties.
The most recent report about Trump’s refusal to pay people who do work for him comes from Washington, D.C. where his newest hotel opened in October. According to Bloomberg Politics, the property is the subject of $5 million in liens.
Two D.C. area companies are owed about $3 million of that amount, according to The Hill. A small Virginia firm, A&D Construction Inc., that did finishing work on the property filed a lien the day after the election, saying Trump owes them almost $80,000. Then, in late December, Joseph J. Magnolia Inc., a small plumbing company, filed a lien claiming they are owed over $2.9 million for work they have completed over a period of two years. The Maryland-based AES Electrical Inc. is the third company that has placed a lien on the property, saying they are owed $2 million.
When confronted during the campaign with past claims of non-payment for services Trump explained that he sometimes will withhold paying due to substandard work. He claims it is a negotiating tactic. In other words he agrees on a price but when the work is completed he complains about the quality in an attempt to pay less than he agreed to. And this isn’t something that happens on occasion with Trump. Based on reports it appears to be standard practice for the president-elect.
Trump has routinely claimed he is for the American worker. But he has a funny way of showing his appreciation for what they do. $5 million may seem like a small amount of money to him, but it probably means a lot to the companies he owes it to. Many times just a few thousand dollars can mean the difference between the survival or the closure of a small business. And then there are the employees, who don’t get paid if the company’s cash flow dries up. But that doesn’t matter to The Donald. Trump constantly proves that it matters little to him who else might get hurt, as long as he comes out ahead.
Featured image via Wikimedia Commons
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