Donald Trump on Corporations

2016 Republican nominee for President; 2000 Reform Primary Challenger for President


Get U.S. money back into U.S.: address corporate inversion

What's happening right now is something that not been a subject of conversation by politicians. They haven't talked about a corporate inversion. Companies are leaving the United States to go to other countries. They have trillions of dollars in those other countries. They can't get their money back in. It's probably two and a half trillion. All of that money could be used to rebuild our country.
Source: Fox Business/WSJ Second Tier debate , Nov 10, 2015

2002: Participated in development boom of Jersey City

Jersey City at the time had been coming off one of the largest building booms in history. Top developers, including Donald Trump and suburban home builders such as Toll Brothers and K. Hovnanian Homes, were putting in thousands of new residential units. The tallest building in NJ, the Goldman Sachs Tower, designed by renowned architect Cesar Pelli, had been planted along the waterfront just a few years earlier. With so much new construction, they were calling the downtown area around City Hall a gold coast, permanently transforming a city once left for dead.
Source: The Jersey Sting, by Sherman & Margolin, p.120 , Apr 10, 2012

0% corporate tax would create millions of jobs

We need to lower the U.S. corporate tax rate from 39 percent to zero. America's corporate tax rate is the second highest on the planet. The international average is 26 percent. How can we expect companies to hire American workers and locate their business in America when our government taxes them at exorbitant rates for doing so? That's crazy. I want to encourage American companies to stay here and hire American workers, and I want foreign companies to relocate their businesses to the United States and create jobs here. We are the greatest country on planet earth--the world's companies want to be here. A zero percent corporate tax would create an unprecedented jobs boom. Millions of jobs would materialize.
Source: Time to Get Tough, by Donald Trump, p. 63 , Dec 5, 2011

Fight crony capitalism with a level playing field

One thing the Tea Party folks and the Occupy Wall Street people can and should agree on is tackling the rampant problem in the Obama administration of crony capitalism. We've already seen with Solyndra and Fisker how the president's pals and big time campaign donors all got sweetheart loans and deals and stuck taxpayers with the bill. I predict we haven't heard the last of it and that the Obama administration engaged in many more cases of funneling money to companies connected to the president and his donors. Mark my word.

I love capitalism enough to protect it. There has to be a level playing field where everyone can compete fairly. The guy swinging a hammer all day shouldn't have the government reaching in his pocket and handing his taxes to Obama's big shot donors. It's wrong and unfair.

Source: Time to Get Tough, by Donald Trump, p.188 , Dec 5, 2011

Wealthy move assets around globally based on tax incentives

[Trump's tax proposal] in 2000 was to impose a one-time 14.25% tax on the assets of people and trusts worth $10 million or more. Conservative critics attacked the plan, using arguments similar to those made by Trump today to deride Obama's proposal. Pat Buchanan, who was then Trump's main opponent for the Reform Party nomination, said the tax proposal would prompt the wealthy to move their money out of the U.S.

When questioned, Trump also argued that the tax would drive the wealthy to shift their assets, the developer dismissed those concerns: "Well, I just think that the booming economy that we create by my plan would keep the money here because it's incentive. They're going to want to be where the action is. They're going to want to be where the good economy is. And they move their money around, hey, including me. You move your money around where the action is, and now it's a real world economy. But this country would be booming. We'd have no debt. It would be unbelievable."

Source: Marcus Baram on Huffington Post , Apr 26, 2011

First real estate deal: 1,200-unit residential foreclosure

In college, I spent my spare time reading about real estate and foreclosures. I read on my own because I was interested and truly wanted to learn, not just to pass a test. My extracurricular studying led to my first successful real estate deal in which I earned enough money to start building my own business. I found a 1,200- unit residential development that had 800 vacant apartments. It was a disaster. Although the developers had gone under and the government foreclosed, I saw it as a great opportunity. I worked hard and learned a lot, which gave me confidence and increased my thirst to move forward in my real estate career. I've continued the pattern I began with that first deal throughout my life: Before I commit to any venture, I study it fully because I want to know all the facts.
Source: Trump 101, by Donald Trump, p. 27 , Oct 20, 2006

Vulture lawyers look for businesses known to settle cases

Lawyers in general did really bother me. For instance, often a case will be presented to me in which I am being sued for X dollars and a settlement will be offered for substantially less than what my legal fees would be. Depending on the type of case it is, I will often reject the settlement. When a businessman becomes known as someone who easily settles cases, it creates a very bad precedent. While it may often be the thing to do, it allows vulture lawyers to watch various companies and see who are and who aren't the "settlers." The moment someone settles or makes it easy for a particular lawyer, he will inevitably return with another suit a short time later. Also, his scavenger friends who were watching will likewise find reason to sue.
Source: The Art of the Comeback, by Donald Trump, p.103-4 , Oct 27, 1997

Litigation system is abused to force deal negotiations

Litigation has gotten totally out of control. It has actually become an accepted business practice for people to use the court's time, money and energy in order to effect deals, break up deals, and receive money unjustly. I know people who virtually can't function without starting a lawsuit, thinking that this will give them the upper hand in even the most simple of negotiations.

Politicians ought to be ashamed of themselves for perpetuating this ridiculous situation. Court systems have become backlogged for years with superfluous cases. In New York in particular, a case will often take seven or eight years to actually get to court. This is certainly not the judge's fault, because most of the judges in New York are hardworking, diligent men and women with brilliant legal minds. The fault lies in a system that is meant to be abused, and which is costing states and the country hundreds of millions of dollars. Perhaps more important, its creating centuries worth of delay.

Source: The Art of the Comeback, by Donald Trump, p.104 , Oct 27, 1997

Any business of any size will pay no more than 15% tax

My approach to tax policy will do just what needs to be done. For all Americans the uncertainty and complexity of a tax code written for special interests and the very rich will be removed and a clear future will be available for all.

The plan states that any business of any size will pay no more than 15 percent of their business income in taxes. This low rate will make corporate inversions unnecessary and will make America one of the most competitive markets in the world. This plan will also require companies with off- shore capital to bring that money back to the United States at a repatriation rate of only 10 percent.

Source: Crippled America, by Donald Trump, p.152-6 , Nov 3, 2015

Donald Trump on Business Advice

I've used bankruptcy laws to do a great job for my companies

Q: Trump corporations, casinos and hotels, have declared bankruptcy 4 times. Why should we trust you to run the nation's business?

TRUMP: Because I have used the laws of this country, the chapter laws, to do a great job for my company, for myself, for my employees, for my family. I have never gone bankrupt, by the way. I have never.

Q: But your companies have gone bankrupt.

TRUMP: Out of hundreds of deals that I've done, on 4 occasions I've taken advantage of the laws of this country, like other people. The difference is, when somebody else uses those laws, nobody writes about it. When I use it, they say, "Trump, Trump, Trump."

Q: Trump Entertainment Resorts went bankrupt in 2009; lenders to your company lost over $1 billion and more than 1,100 people were laid off.

TRUMP: These lenders aren't babies. These are total killers. These are not the nice, sweet little people that you think, OK? I had the good sense to leave Atlantic City; every company virtually in Atlantic City went bankrupt

Source: Fox News/Facebook Top Ten First Tier debate transcript , Aug 6, 2015

Business is an acquired skill based on discipline & focus

A lot of people think I'm natural at business, but it's also an acquired skill that takes discipline & focus, just as being an athlete or a musician takes perseverance & training. Before I decided to go to the Wharton School of Finance, I had thought about studying film, but once I decided on Wharton, I was very serious and focused business student.

There's a certain amount of bravado in what I do these days, and part of that bravado is to make it look easy. That's why I've often referred to business as being an art.

I received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2007, which was a big surprise for someone who opted for a real estate career. Did I have a natural talent for the entertainment industry? Maybe, but I've always paid attention to it, and I'm always learning. When I was in school, I always studied on my own in addition to what was required. I've noticed that a lot of very successful people have done the same thing, no matter what their respective fields might be.

Source: Think Like a Champion, by Donald Trump, p. 57-8 , Apr 27, 2010

Pragmatic positive: be positive, but be realistic

I'm a pragmatic positive thinker. When I hear people saying that anything you what to do is possible, that seems childish or at least uninformed to me. Some things are not going to happen. For example, if I suddenly decided tomorrow that I wanted to win a gold medal at the Olympics as a swimmer, and I was sure I could because I was so positive about it, well, I think I'd have to have some mental checks. It's not going to happen, no matter how hard I train. Or if I decide I was going to give Tiger Woods a run for his money as a golfer, starting tomorrow, I think I'd have to worry about being a little irrational. Be positive, but be realistic.
Source: Think Like a Champion, by Donald Trump, p.140 , Apr 27, 2010

Being a know-it-all shuts the door on new ideas

It's important to remain open to new ideas and new information. Being a know-it-all is like shutting the door to great discoveries and opportunities. Keep your door open every day to something new.Once in awhile ask yourself this question: What do I need to know more about?

If I'd started in business thinking I knew everything, I'd have been sunk. Don't make that mistake. There are a lot of hidden aspects in every industry, and you will find out how complex seemingly simple things can be.

Source: Think Like a Champion, by Donald Trump, p. 15-6 , Apr 27, 2010

In the game of life, money is how you score

Don't think about how you can make money. Instead think about what you can produce or what service you can offer that is valuable and useful to people and to your community.

Sure, you need to get paid for your work, and you will if you provide something valuable. In the game of life, money is how you score. Yet the real fun is not in simply scoring; rather it is in the excitement you will have coming up with creative ways to get the ball in the goal. Find your passion in doing something useful for people and the money will follow.

It may sound simple, but I have become a billionaire many times over by sticking with this simple philosophy. Many people believe that I started out with a lot of money from my father. The truth is that when I started out in business, I was practically broke. My father didn't give me much money, but what he did give me was a good education and the simply formula for getting wealthy: work hard doing what you love.

Source: Think Big, by Donald Trump, p. 43-4 , Sep 8, 2008

A great deal when both sides win? That's a bunch of crap

One of my greatest passions is making deals. I love to make the big score and to make the big deal. I love to crush the other side and take the benefits. Why? Because there is nothing greater. For me it is even better than sex, and I love sex. But when you hit, when the deals are going your way, it is the greatest feeling! You hear lots of people say that a great deal is when both sides win. That is a bunch of crap. In a great deal you win--not the other side. You crush the opponent and come away with something better for yourself. In negotiations I love to go for the complete win. That is why I have made so many good deals.
Source: Think Big, by Donald Trump, p. 48 , Sep 8, 2008

I trust my instinct on business deals as well as personal

When I was acquiring 40 Wall Street, literally every person recommended that it be turned into residential units, but I did not agree. My gut instincts told me it was a great business location. I trusted my instincts and the building now houses many thriving businesses.

When I first started building golf courses, my instincts told me it was a good business decision. I knew if I combined my passion for golf with my knowledge of real estate, I would succeed. The results have been spectacular.

Practice listening to your instincts. Play with this skill, and test it out on small decisions. Learn to trust it. You will acquire a real edge in both your business and your personal life. Use this skill to choose who you date and who you trust to babysit your children.

Many things are hidden from us that we cannot articulate logically, but somehow we know they are there. We have a vague feeling that cannot be explained. Your instincts are there to guide you. Use them.

Source: Think Big, by Donald Trump, p. 91-2 , Sep 8, 2008

Recuperated from debt with hard work and intelligence

[In 1991, I owed bankers $149 million, but I went to a bankers' dinner where I knew I would face those to whom I owed]. Most of the supersuccessful people I know worked hard to create their own luck. Remember, "The harder I work, the luckier I get." One day, in my darkest hour, I went to a bankers' dinner in Manhattan. That one event changed the course of my life. If I had not gone to that dinner, I may not be writing this book. I hated to go to that dinner with bankers. I went because it was my job to go there. It was work, horrible hard work, but I worked hard, and I got lucky; that is why I am here today. You can make luck happen through hard work and intelligence. Sure, bad things can and do happen--be prepared for the worst, but if you work hard and are smart, luck comes your way when you least expect it.
Source: Think Big, by Donald Trump, p.133-4 , Sep 8, 2008

How big you think determines how big a success you become

In a lot of ways it is easier to do things on a large scale. It is easier to build a skyscraper in Manhattan than it is to buy a bungalow in the Bronx.

Bankers would much rather lend money for a big project than for a small one. If you succeed with the big project, you stand to gain a lot more money.

The first step to success is to make the leap from being nobody to being somebody. Most people are afraid to think big. They just can't do it. Why? Because they cannot imagine themselves doing big things; they do not have the knowledge, experience, or track record. They have none of the trappings that a successful big- thinking person has. When it comes to thinking big, you are your own worst enemy.

Do you believe that thinking big is reserved for people with money, college degrees, family connections, or even intelligence? That is not true. Anyone can think big. The most important thing is the size of your thinking. How big you think determines how big a success you become.

Source: Think Big, by Donald Trump, p.268 , Sep 8, 2008

Look below the daily news to identify big sweeping changes

Take advantage of big trends. Many events that occur appear surprising to most people but are really quite inevitable and predictable. Look below the surface of the quickly changing daily news to the big sweeping changes that take decades to play out. That is where you can find ideas. There are demographic, cultural, financial, technological, and medical trends in place now that will produce results years from now. There are shortages of doctors and nurses, and at the same time the population is aging rapidly. There is a growing Hispanic population, a migration out of the suburbs to the far suburbs, called the exurbs, a growth in the number of single people, and a cultural shift in people thinking more ecologically. There are huge opportunities for profits if you can think big and create big solutions for human needs brought about by trends.
Source: Think Big, by Donald Trump, p.288-9 , Sep 8, 2008

Learning to be spontaneous takes preparation & practice

When I started in business, I spent a lot of my time researching every detail that could affect the deals I was considering. I still do today. People often comment on how quickly I think on my feet, and they think I've had this gift from birth. Actually, I make decisions quickly because I always do my homework. Outsiders never see the thorough research, analysis and all the other preliminary work. They only see the results, which are just the tip of the iceberg. Ironically, learning to be spontaneous takes preparation and practice.

Few people are naturally gifted extemporaneous speakers, but most can learn. It usually takes training, experience, and discipline. If you want to learn how to talk on your feet, know your subject inside out so that you will never have to hesitate or bluff because questions will not surprise or stump you. You'll know every answer, and each question will give you a great opportunity to show how good you are and how much you know. Master your subject; know it cold.

Source: Trump 101, by Donald Trump, p. 64-5 , Oct 20, 2006

Move quickly from seeing problems to seeing solutions

Pay attention to your business. Find out what problems exist and anticipate those that are likely to arise. Nip problems in the bud before they grow into more serious and hard- to- solve issues. In other words, take responsibility. People who take responsibility have no need to blame or continually find fault with others. Naysayers rarely contribute much, and they usually don't amount to much.

By now, I've been in business long enough to have had ups and downs. I've enjoyed magnificent victories and suffered painful defeats. I've learned to go quickly from seeing problems to seeing their solutions. The secret to resolving problems is to emphasize the solution more than the problem; accentuate the positive without ignoring the negative.

Source: Trump 101, by Donald Trump, p.141-2 , Oct 20, 2006

12-hour working days are my norm, not an exception

People are surprised to learn that I put in 12- hour working days. For me, that's the norm, not the exception. To remain successful, I have to be persistent and work hard; I work long hours to get everything done. If you usually work a 40-hour week and then add on another 20 hours a week for a few weeks, you'll be surprised at how much more you can accomplish. Productive people accomplish more for a reason--they work long and hard.
Source: Trump 101, by Donald Trump, p.146 , Oct 20, 2006

Do your research, but then trust your instincts

Questions from Readers of the Trump University Blog:

Q: I'm starting a small business, and I have a clear vision of what I want my business to become. What do you think are the five most important aspects to consider when opening a small business in a small but global (when tourism is considered) town?

  1. Know the market.
  2. Do your research.
  3. Go with your gut. Trust your instincts.
  4. Be prepared to work every single day at full capacity.
  5. Don't give up--ever. Be tough and tenacious.
Source: Trump 101, by Donald Trump, p. 54 , Oct 20, 2006

Personal bankruptcy is a negotiating tool; I'd never do it

In March of 1990 I told Wall Street I might miss Trump Castle's $43 million principal and interest payment. This announcement reverberated around the world because I had never missed any payment before. Suddenly bankers--some I'd worked with for a decade--were doubting my ability to make upcoming payments on my other loans. They were right to be skeptical. I wasn't sure myself where the money would be coming from. The problems at the Castle could have triggered a series of defaults, forcing me into personal bankruptcy. And there was no way Donald Trump was going bankrupt! I would talk about bankruptcy and I would use that possibility as a tool to negotiate, but I'd never do it. That would end the game.
Source: The Art of the Comeback, by Donald Trump, p. 12 , Oct 27, 1997

We've all been victims of herd mentality on Wall Street

Business was great. So I said, "Let's go. It's time to go public." At the height of the market, we hit. I raised over $2 billion. While my casinos are individually doing very well, casino stocks have been hit very hard. Wall Street has been tough on us. I find this somewhat unfair, being grouped with a lot of companies that are fundamentally different. The only thing we have in common is that we run casinos. My company, Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts, is incredibly liquid, with four magnificent casinos, including one in Buffington Harbor, Indiana, right outside of Chicago. To a large extend, we've all been the victims of Wall Street. There can be a bit of a herd mentality there. Once on analyst starts dumping on an industry, often the others follow. Right now, as I write this chapter, the casino markets have been lousy. They will come back, though. I have tremendous confidence in the future of Atlantic City and my hotels in particular. Time, I believe, will prove me right.
Source: The Art of the Comeback, by Donald Trump, p. 41-3 , Oct 27, 1997

Other candidates on Corporations: Donald Trump on other issues:
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George W. Bush (R,2001-2009)
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Bill Clinton (D,1993-2001)
V.P.Al Gore
George Bush Sr. (R,1989-1993)
Ronald Reagan (R,1981-1989)
Jimmy Carter (D,1977-1981)
Gerald Ford (R,1974-1977)
Richard Nixon (R,1969-1974)
Lyndon Johnson (D,1963-1969)
John F. Kennedy (D,1961-1963)
Dwight Eisenhower (R,1953-1961)
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