Jan 11, 2021
"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:
- Gas pipeline magnate Kelcy Lee Warren, worth $2.9 billion, gave eight donations totaling $2,248,906.
- Retired CEO of Marvel Entertainment, Isaac Perlmutter, is worth $5.8 billion and donated $1,871,200.
- Telecommunications mogul Kenny Troutt, worth $1.5 billion, donated $1,849,000.
- 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.
- Casino magnate Steve Wynn, worth $3 billion, contributed over $1,523,500.
- Casino owner, Phillip Gene Ruffin, worth $2.3 billion, donated $1,375,000.
- Owner of ABC Supply, the giant home supplier, Diane Hendricks $8 billion (Forbes), donated $1,175,000.
- 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.
- Texas Banker Daniel Andrew Beal, worth $7.5 billion, gave $1,161,200.
- 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.
\u201cAmong the most steadfast enablers of this insurrection:\n\nBillionaires.\n\nOur @Chuck99to1 & Omar Ocampo expose names\u2014and dollar amounts\u2014in @inequalityorg:\nhttps://t.co/1gxvh2vFdd\u201d— Institute for Policy Studies (@Institute for Policy Studies) 1610393000
"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."
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