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War of the worth by @BloggersRUs

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War of the worth

by Tom Sullivan

A month ago, I pondered how — beside an election loss in 2020 or conviction in the Senate — the Trump presidency might end more quickly:

Is there any way to leverage him out? Pressure him to resign? A way to make staying worse than leaving? Make him a deal? (He understands deals.)

In considering ways to get Donald Trump simply to go away, his greed seemed his weakest point. The stonewalling on producing his taxes may be intended not only to conceal financial crimes, but to keep from exploding the myth of fabulous wealth he created for himself to inhabit.

If Trump succeeds in walling off his presidency from congressional oversight, either through bald-faced criminality the system is not designed to repel or through Democrats‘ inability to stop him from creating an imperial presidency, that’s the republic. “Hasta la vista, baby.”

Right now, there seems no stopping him. Then again. A report by David Fahrenthold and Jonathan O’Connell suggests greed may yet be the point to target. Revenues at the Doral resort, one of Trump‘s premiere golf clubs, are in steep decline. Net operating income is down by 69 percent:

“They are severely underperforming” other resorts in the area, tax consultant Jessica Vachiratevanurak told a Miami-Dade County official in a bid to lower the property’s tax bill. The reason, she said: “There is some negative connotation that is associated with the brand.”

The Trump Organization tells the Post fears of the Zika virus and hurricanes have kept visitors away. Those alleged fears have not depressed the business of nearby resorts. Only Trump‘s.

Although, his emolument-subsidized Washington, D.C. hotel seems to be doing well, Doral is not the only property where the Trump name is an albatross around his company’s neck. Occupancy at Trump‘s namesake Manhattan tower has plummeted, Bloomberg reports. Vacancy rates are twice the city’s average. The property’s net income is 26 percent below bank expectations, propped up by Trump‘s 2020 campaign spending $890,000 to rent space over the last two years. Trump Tower is now one of the least desirable properties in New York City. Prices are “listed as negotiable.”

“No one wants in that building,” former resident Michael Sklar told Bloomberg. Living there amidst additional security is a hassle, Sklar explains. Plus, “the name on the building became a problem.”

What’s more, a commercial real estate broker’s surveys show “prospective tenants won’t consider a Trump building until he’s out of office.”

Perhaps instead of asking Trump policy questions or about his battles with Congress, would-be intrepid reporters should hound Trump about his failing businesses. Badger him about his declining net worth, his billion-dollar losses, about his tumble down the Forbes 400 last fall. (He’s up again, but only because others’ wealth shrank.)

Trump has green-and-gold visions of being king and owning it all. Of joining Vlad and Viktor, Rodrigo and Recep in the He-Man Autocrats Club. But his wealth is his blue blanket. Threaten that and might he crack? He does not fear jail. Pardons will shield him, plus institutional reluctance to jail a former president. But if sufficient financial or psychological pressure were brought to bear, either by disgust among the elite or a nagging press or by New York‘s attorney general, might Trump be brought down by his own greed and need to save his fortune?

The situation recalls the fate of H.G. Wells’ Martians. After Earth’s armies whither in the face of their heat ray and noxious vapors, the Martians succumb to earthly pathogens, slain “by the humblest things that God, in his wisdom, has put upon this earth.” Not microbes and viruses in Trump‘s case, but by greed.

It is a reach, of course.

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