Coherent Identifier About this item: 20.500.12592/z3x774

Pandemic Profiteers: Under Trump Michigan Billionaire Wealth Soars, Local Communities Suffer

13 October 2020

Summary

Despite making up 14% of the state's population, Black community members represent over 40% of Michigan’s COVID deaths.5 Meanwhile, five of Michigan’s eight billionaires saw their net worth surge by an estimated $43.6 billion, a 360% increase, since the beginning of the pandemic.6 Two of Michigan’s billionaires with some of the largest increases in their wealth are well connected to the Trump Admi. [...] Then Michigan Governor Rick Synder approved the selection of the tracts for the program.17 2 After receiving the opportunity zone designation, Gilbert’s lobbyists continued to push for changes to rules and regulations that would further specifically benefit Gilbert’s planned developments in the tracts.18 Gilbert is well known in Michigan for building a fortune off of predatory lending practices, a. [...] Although Penske did not donate to Trump during the presidential campaign, he visited the White House twice in early 2019 to celebrate the winners of the Indianapolis 500 and NASCAR Championship.23 In June 2019 Trump announced his intention to award Penske with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor for a civilian which is typically given to those who make significant contributions to. [...] Foss has donated almost exclusively to Republican federal candidates and causes in the past, though he has not donated directly to Trump.42 In June 2020, he donated $12,500 to Concerned Citizen of Michigan, a PAC that opposes Michigan Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib.43 Foss’ donation to the PAC in June is his only donation in 2020 and is the largest individual donation listed in the PAC’s FEC filings. [...] As a result of decades of tax cuts and sweet deals, the favoritism shown to the state’s billionaires has starved Michigan’s Black and working class communities of the investment they deserve.

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