Dem Congressman asks Trump to return $150K he received from 9/11 small business fund
Rep. Jerry Nadler, whose district includes lower Manhattan and Ground Zero, has written an open letter to Donald Trump asking him to return a $150,000 grant he received from a fund that was supposed to help small businesses near Ground Zero in the aftermath of 9/11.
The New York Daily News reported last week, for example, on a post-9/11 program, designed to help small businesses around Ground Zero after the terrorist attacks. According to the article, the state “didn’t enforce federal guidelines on what defines a small business” at the time, and Donald Trump took advantage, receiving $150,000 in taxpayer money for “swanky property” he owned on Wall Street.
The Daily News added that the money was supposed to help “mom and pop shops make it through an incredibly difficult stretch,” and yet, Trump, a self-professed billionaire, sought and received a slice of the pie.
Today, the New York Times reports that Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), whose district includes Ground Zero and Lower Manhattan, wrote an open letter to Trump, asking for a refund.
“When do you plan on returning the taxpayer money that was designated to ease the suffering of our city’s small-business owners?” Mr. Nadler wrote in the letter, a copy of which his office provided to The New York Times. […]
“It’s been reported that on your grant application, you claimed 40 Wall Street L.L.C. – which employed 28 people and had $26.8 million in annual revenues at the time – as a ‘small business,’” Mr. Nadler wrote. “Despite the federal definition of a small business as having less than $6 million in revenue, you accepted a $150,000 payout.”
He added, “In grabbing that money with both fists, you took it out of the pockets of small-business owners in New York who were truly hurting, and prevented them from taking full advantage of the relief so generously offered by their fellow citizens.”
The Democratic lawmaker went on to urge Trump to “return the funds you received or donate them to a charitable organization dedicated to providing legitimate support for the victims of 9/11.”
Nadler concluded, “Whatever the size of your business, we need no further proof that you are a small man.”
If you don't know by now, rich people get rich because they've figured out how to game the system to get money from government. Doing business with government, getting grants from government, carving out exemptions from government rules - it's amazing what a rich man can do with an army of lawyers and friendly politicians in his pocket.
Trump is a crony capitalist, manipulating government to get what he wants. This, apparently, doesn't bother his supporters much, which means this revelation will be shrugged off by voters. At this point, for those who would never vote for Trump, it is further proof of his unfitness for office. For those who have already decided to support him, no revelation could emerge that would change their minds.
Trump may or may not have broken the rules in getting this money. Without knowing all the details, it seems premature to condemn him for it. But even if he did nothing wrong, he certainly didn't deserve this money and he should either return it or donate it to a worthy 9/11 charity.