Skip to main content

Why are the billionaires always laughing?

Because they know the corporate media will never call bullshit on their bullshit.

US President Donald Trump stands on stage with billionaire GOP donor Sheldon Adelson ahead of his address to the Israeli American Council National Summit 2019 at the Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood, Florida on December 7, 2019. (Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

U.S. President Donald Trump stands on stage with billionaire GOP donor Sheldon Adelson ahead of his address to the Israeli American Council National Summit 2019 at the Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood, Florida on December 7, 2019. (Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

These 63 Billionaires Who Bankrolled Trump All the Way to Insurrection Have 'No Right to Feel Shocked'

"Will there be any accountability for these recent billionaire enablers of Donald Trump, who saw what damage he caused and still stood by him?"

Jon Queally

"Will there be any accountability for these recent billionaire enablers of Donald Trump, who saw what damage he caused and still stood by him?"

"Among the most steadfast enablers of this insurrection: Billionaires."
—Institute for Policy Studies

That's the question asked Tuesday by Chuck Collins, director of the Project on Inequality and the Common Good at the Institute for Policy Studies, following the release of a new analysis that identified 63 U.S. billionaires—worth a combined $243 billion—who collectively gave $33 million to the Trump Victory Fund over the last two years leading up to the 2020 presidential election.

In the wake of last week's insurrection at the U.S. Capitol building by a pro-Trump mob incited by the president himself, Collins said these "titans of our economy have no right to feel shocked" over what happened.

"They enabled Donald Trump. They bankrolled his campaigns. And they cheered as Trump cut their taxes, swept away regulations that pinched their profits, and packed the courts with judges eager to wink at their transgressions," said Collins.

The Trump Victory Fund through which these individuals showed their support to the president and bankrolled the wider pro-Trump movement was created as a joint fundraising account for the Trump 2020 campaign and the Republican National Committee. In a statement on Tuesday, IPS detailed the top ten billionaires who gave to the fund as:

  1. Gas pipeline magnate Kelcy Lee Warren, worth $2.9 billion, gave eight donations totaling $2,248,906.
  2. Retired CEO of Marvel Entertainment, Isaac Perlmutter, is worth $5.8 billion and donated $1,871,200.
  3. Telecommunications mogul Kenny Troutt, worth $1.5 billion, donated $1,849,000.
  4. Biotech investor Robert Duggan, worth $2.6 billion, donated $1,638,200 to the Trump Victory Fund. In the final days of the campaign, Duggan gave $4.6 million to various Trump campaign groups, according to Forbes.
  5. Casino magnate Steve Wynn, worth $3 billion, contributed over $1,523,500.
  6. Casino owner, Phillip Gene Ruffin, worth $2.3 billion, donated $1,375,000.
  7. Owner of ABC Supply, the giant home supplier, Diane Hendricks $8 billion (Forbes), donated $1,175,000.
  8. Casino megadonor Sheldon Adelson, and his wife Miriam Adelson, worth over $35.9 billion (Forbes), contributed $1.16 million, along with massive donations to other Republican PACs and candidates.
  9. Texas Banker Daniel Andrew Beal, worth $7.5 billion, gave $1,161,200.
  10. Software entrepreneur David Duffield, worth $13.3 billion, donated $1,151,600.

Included in that list is Sheldon Adelson, the casino magnet and far-right supporter of Israel's apartheid policies, who died Tuesday. Other notable billionaires in the total list include: Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman, worth $20.9 billion, who gave $355,000; Hedge fund manager John Paulson, worth $4.2 billion, who donated $831,372; and Johnson & Johnson heir Robert Wood Johnson IV, worth $2.5 billion, who contributed $575,000.

"Unlike those who gave to the 2016 campaign but distanced themselves from Trump after seeing him in action," lamented Collins, "these billionaires and plenty of others gave substantial donations in 2019 and 2020, when it was clear that Trump was causing a crisis in our democracy."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

'Hanging Your Constituents Out to Dry': 5 Sinema Advisers Quit in Protest

"You have become one of the principal obstacles to progress, answering to big donors rather than your own people."

Brett Wilkins ·


Leaked Docs Reveal Fossil Fuel-Soaked Nations Lobbying to Sabotage Climate Action

"They are using every opportunity to protect their corporate interests and continue with business as usual while the planet burns."

Andrea Germanos ·


Big Pharma, Rich Nations Have Delivered Just 14% of Vaccine Doses Promised to Poor Nations

"It is painfully clear that the developing world cannot rely on the largesse and charity of rich nations and pharmaceutical companies, and hundreds of thousands of people are dying from Covid-19 as a result."

Julia Conley ·


Sinema Shatters Democrats' Plan to Raise Corporate Tax Rate

Although "all of President Biden's Build Back Better agenda can be paid for by fairer taxes on the wealthy and corporations," noted Americans for Tax Fairness, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema's refusal to support tax hikes on the rich could kill the bill.

Kenny Stancil ·


AOC Warns That Corporate Lobbyists Would Love People to 'Give Up Before the Deal Is Done'

"It's way easier for them to try to get away with the things that they're lobbying for and against if people at home aren't watching," said the New York Democrat

Jon Queally ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo