September 22, 2016


Tale of Two Charities: Trump's Helps Trump While the Clintons' Is the Real Deal. : The facts speak for themselves: The Clintons have been quite literally a thousand times more charitable than The Donald. (David Cay Johnston, 09.22.16, Daily Beast)

Trump claims he is worth more than $10 billion. That means his verified gifts since 2001 come to less than four one-hundredths of 1 percent of his claimed wealth. Even if we accept his claim of $102 million--and count it as all being donated since 2001--his total giving would be just 1 percent of his claimed net worth.

The Clintons are worth no more than $62 million, their financial disclosure forms show. Their charitable donations since 2001 come to at least 37.6 percent of their maximum net worth.

This means that, relative to wealth, the Clintons have given at a rate a thousand times Trump's verifiable charitable giving. Even accepting Trump's claim that his giving is much larger than the public record shows, the Clintons gave at more than 37 times Trump's rate.

The Clintons' tax returns show that they tithe, giving away a tenth of their income, mostly, like Trump, to foundations bearing the family name.

Now what about the uses of these known charitable gifts? Giving money away is easy, while making a measurable difference is hard.

The Trump Foundation shows mostly small gifts, from $1,000 to $25,000. The three largest grants it made in 2014, its latest tax filing shows, all had an element of self-interest.

The largest grant, $100,000, went to Citizens United Foundation, which promotes anonymous donations to influence elections.

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of West Palm Beach was next at $50,000. It pays Trump to host fundraisers at the Trump-owned National Doral Miami, a luxury hotel, and charity golf tournaments on the Doral's links.

The Trump foundation also gave $50,000 to Columbia Grammar and Prep School in Manhattan, a private school whose students include Barron, the candidate's youngest child.

Those three grants come to more than a third of the Trump Foundation's 2014 grants, which totaled $591,450, a piddling sum for the self-described 10 billion-dollar man.

The self-interested nature of those grants fits with another pattern. The Trump foundation has made eight improper gifts, some of which are flatly illegal, reporting by David Fahrenthold of The Washington Post and others shows.

These include a $25,000 political donation--a no-no for any charity--to help Pam Bondi win a second term as Florida attorney general. The Trump foundation improperly reported the gift on its annual tax filing, then offered a convoluted story about confusing the names of a Kansas and California charity with Bondi's campaign group, whose treasurer said in 2013 it had no problem with accepting a campaign donation from the 
Trump charitable foundation. Trump says he paid a $2,500 penalty for the illegal campaign donation and donated $25,000 as a replacement of the money to his foundation.

The Trump foundation also paid off personal and business obligations of Trump, The Washington Post reported this week. That is known as self-dealing, which is also an illegal use of charitable funds. These include buying two paintings of himself for $30,000 and shelling out $258,000 to settle lawsuits.

And the Clinton Family Foundation and the related Clinton Global Initiative? The foundation is a grantmaker, while the initiative facilitates action by others.

At least 11 million people are breathing as this is written because of the Clintons' charitable endeavors, which increased the number of poor people overseas getting life-sustaining drugs to suppress HIV from about 250,000 to nearly 12 million.

Posted by at September 22, 2016 6:06 PM