It only took a moment, while driving into Atlantic City, that the legacy of Donald Trump is still a source of how his casino empire fell and almost took the city with him. The former Trump Plaza has been reduced to a fading tower of busted stucco and siding. The building will be torn down at some point but for some, it can’t happen soon enough.
Cab driver Joe, (didn’t want to give out his last name) said that there will be a big party for a lot of people whent he building comes tumbling down. “He stole from workers and reneged on contracts to pay workers. He is a disgrace and if it were up to me, he would be in a debtors prison somewhere, not in the damn White House.’
Joe wasn’t far off in his accusations of workers who were never paid. According to The Unite Here Local 54 casino workers union, they had negotiated a deal in 2009 with Trump Entertainment Resorts that required the company to pay certain employees in the event that Trump Plaza closed or sold and that happened when Trump Entertainment filed for bankruptcy in 2014 and shuttered operations at the 900-room hotel and gaming venue. Yet, it took until last week for the employees to receive their promised paychecks. One reason was the Trump property was aquired by Carl Icahn. Icahn still owns the Trump Plaza which is slated for demolition at the cost of $13 million.
At the time when Trump was buying up Atlantic City properties and becoming what he predicted, a savior for Atlantic City, local contractors were hired to complete the Trump theme in his casinos and hotels. Yet, within 2 years of Trump’s so called successful business skills, 235 contractors were in the midsts of leveling contractor legal suits against Trump.
One of the hardest hit was marble supplier John Millar, who was owed $3.9 million for the work done at the Trump Plaza. Another contractor Mario Paone, president of Hastings Pavement, only received $100,000 for $1.3 million for the work his company provided to Trump. One of the hardest hit was marble supplier John Millar, who was owed $3.9 million for the importer marble that Trump had installed throughout the casino hotel.
For Millar, Trump caused the destruction of his own business. Millar had to lay off workers, shut down his business Avalon Commercial, close many of his retail stores and borrow from friends to make ends meet, according to court documents and Millar’s lawyers and former employees. In 1996, he filed for personal bankruptcy. All because Trump did not pay what was owned to the company.
In Atlantic City, the mention of Trump causes a furor and it would appear with good reason. According to Trump, while campaigning in 2016 for President, “I have a tremendous amount of cash”, yet his own accountants showed that in 1990 Trump had been burning through cash in his personal accounts so fast that it would take less than a year for all of this capital to be exhusted. Trump declared bankruptcy in 1991 with vendors and contractors only receiving about 30 cents on the dollar, if they were lucky. Some never saw a paycheck.
In contrast to Trump not paying for the labor that created the hotels and casinos in Atlantic City, Trump is billing the naion for his golf course, cart fees, food and lodging for not only himself but his family and even the Secret Service who are protecting this President. Since taking office in January 2017, President Trump has reportedly spent more than 150 days at his company’s properties. His trips also often include White House staff and other executive branch officials.
Trump has reportedly been on the grounds of his golf courses or played golf 159 times since becoming President as of October 7th, 2018. Golf News reports that “Trump has spent nearly 25 percent of his days in office at one of his golf properties for some portion of the day. There have been days where Trump has visited one of his golf clubs and not played golf. He made a 40-minute visit to his Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Va., and he has made a three-day visit to Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., to watch the 2017 US Women’s Open, unfolding at that club. Trump spent a 17-day “working vacation” at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., in August, which meant all of those days count as days on his golf courses, even though he didn’t necessarily play golf on all of those days.” https://thegolfnewsnet.com/golfnewsnetteam/2018/10/07/how-many-times-president-donald-trump-played-golf-in-office-103836/
What is the cost to the taxpayers for these days away from the White House. The precise number is not known yet but according to estimates for the cost of security, rental fees to his clubs and food, the cost will total about $78 million. (https://trumpgolfcount.com/#costModal) Will the Trump organization take 30 cents on the dollar like the contractors in Atlantic City had to take? We are not quite 2 years into the administration of Donald Trump which begs the question how much more money will he make on the back of taxpayers?