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Letters for Oct. 5, 2023

Trump exaggerates net worth

Judge Arthur Engoron’s 35-page ruling in the civil lawsuit brought by the New York attorney general found that Donald Trump and his company deceived banks, insurers and others by massively overvaluing his assets and exaggerating his net worth on paperwork used in making deals and securing financing.

For example, Trump claimed that his three-story penthouse was nearly three times its actual size with a value of $327 million. No apartment has sold for close to that amount in New York City. Court finding: “A discrepancy of this order of magnitude, by a real estate developer sizing up his own living space of decades, can only be considered fraud.”

As another example, Trump valued Mar-a-Lago as high as $739 million. His figure for the private club and residence was based on the premise that the property could be developed for residential use. Only one problem: The deed terms prohibit that. Court finding: “From 2011-2021, the Palm Beach County Assessor appraised the market value of Mar-a-Lago at between $18 million and $27.6 million. Donald Trump’s SFCs for 2011-2021 value Mar-a-Lago at between $426,529,614 million and $612,110,496, an overvaluation of at least 2,300%.

Donald Trump fits the image of a Mafia Don, not the image of a U.S. president. He needs to be incarcerated at ADX Supermax in Colorado, not in the White House.

Mike McCarty


Dress correctly to show respect

I have enjoyed Jim Camden’s columns for years, but his piece on Sunday telling us to “Stop worrying about what lawmakers wear” got me worked up.

I agree that just because you look nice doesn’t mean you will be, or act, nice. We are witnessing this being played out in Congress every week. Looking nice is not necessarily for the other side of the aisle, or even the same side, although it should be. Dressing up is to show respect for the United States of America and what it was built on. Respect for the people who gave so much to this country before us. People can wear whatever they want at home, but when you come to Washington, D.C., and enter the U.S. Capitol, representing your constituents, in front of the entire world, you should show respect by dressing respectfully. Hoodies and shorts will never convey that.

I cannot think of a wedding or funeral that I have attended where I did not see folks from all walks of life and various attire preferences trying to look and dress nice. Why? Because they dress up to show respect. Why would we not expect the same consideration from the people who work in the most hallowed halls on the planet? What’s next, staying seated when the national anthem is played because we prefer sitting? Give me a break. Buck up, ladies and gentlemen, and show that respect. I, for one, will demand it.

Harry Sladich


Stop the waste; protect a nation

For those who believe in “fiscal conservatism” and feel we need to cut our nation’s social programs, perhaps they should take a closer look at our largest expense, the military budget. Five times in a row, the Pentagon has failed audits. In 2022, it could not account for 61% of its $3.5 trillion in assets. That’s over $2 trillion that the audits can’t find which the Pentagon cannot explain.

Considering human nature, that’s a lot of fiscal wiggle room for waste, fraud and all manner of corrupt activity in which people can fill their pockets on the side without any oversight or paper trail to show where the money is actually going and why.

Since 1990, all government agencies have been required to pass audits and the Pentagon has yet to do so.

There has been a bipartisan bill introduced by Democrats and Republicans in the Senate to address this, but so far, I’ve not seen any progress getting it enacted and implemented. The Government Accountability Office needs the funding and staff to stop the thieves that are running away with our money.

Contact your senators and representatives to ask why this hasn’t been enacted yet.

David Cannon


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