Monday, June 26, 2017

Washington Post -- Trump seeks sharp cuts to housing aid, except for program that brings him millions

It is clear that President Trump’s policy initiatives are meant to do two things: gut as many of former President Barack Obama’s policy initiatives as he can and to enhance his business empire’s bottom line.

One example of Trump’s policy initiatives that exploits his position as President to financially benefit himself and represents his continuing conflicts of interest problem is investigated by the Washington Post’s Shawn Boburg.

Here are a few paragraphs from his report:

“President Trump’s budget calls for sharply reducing funding for programs that shelter the poor and combat homelessness — with a notable exception: It leaves intact a type of federal housing subsidy that is paid directly to private landlords.

“One of those landlords is Trump himself, who earns millions of dollars each year as a part-owner of Starrett City, the nation’s largest subsidized housing complex. Trump’s 4 percent stake in the Brooklyn complex earned him at least $5 million between January of last year and April 15, according to his recent financial disclosure.

“Trump’s business empire intersects with government in countless ways, from taxation to permitting to the issuing of patents, but the housing subsidy is one of the clearest examples of the conflicts experts have predicted. While there is no indication that Trump himself was involved in the decision, it is nonetheless a stark illustration of how his financial interests can directly rise or fall on the policies of his administration.

"The federal government has paid the partnership that owns Starrett City more than $490 million in rent subsidies since May 2013, according to figures provided by a spokesman for the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Nearly $38 million of that has come since Trump took office in January.

“That subsidy generates steady income for Trump and his siblings, each of whom inherited an interest in the property when their father died. Although it represents a small portion of his overall wealth, it is one of the few examples of money the president derives directly from the federal government he oversees.”

Trump seeks sharp cuts to housing aid, except for program that brings him millions

By Shawn Boburg