Commentary

 By Samantha Chang  October 28, 2021 at 4:49am

Former President Donald Trump is inching closer to announcing a second White House run, based on a bombshell hint he just dropped.

The real estate mogul made the provocative suggestion Wednesday while blasting Democrats’ “billionaires tax” proposal, which he said could compel the superrich to leave the United States.

“What country will be the primary beneficiary from a ‘Billionaires Tax,’ or Wealth Tax?” Trump said in a statement posted Wednesday to his “Save America” website.

“Where will wealthy people and companies move to, leaving the United States high and dry? Most don’t need to be in the U.S. anyway. I know all of those very smartly run countries, and they are all thrilled by what the Radical Left maniacs are doing in Congress.

“I just wonder, will I be allowed to run for president again if I move to another country? No, I guess I’ll just stick it out, but most others won’t!”

NEW!

President Donald J. Trump:

“What country will be the primary beneficiary from a “Billionaires Tax,” or Wealth Tax? Where will wealthy people and companies move to, leaving the United States high and dry? Most don’t need to be in the U.S. anyway… pic.twitter.com/zKBdDNpG9E

— Liz Harrington (@realLizUSA) October 27, 2021

Essentially, Trump suggested that he might leave the United States to avoid prohibitive taxes in favor of countries (such as Switzerland) that are tax havens for the ultra-rich.

However, he dismissed that option because doing so could prevent him from running for president in 2024. This is the strongest hint yet that Trump intends to return to the White House.

As usual, his statement prompted divided reactions on Twitter. Supporters were energized and pumped at the prospect of a 2024 run.

https://t.co/IZJAQQ7yit pic.twitter.com/kLfZ1WXXQ6

— 🚔Sandieinsunderland (@Saminsunderland) October 27, 2021

Is this an official announcement he’s running? https://t.co/jbDpl2kZpA

— Casey Flores (@caseyjflores) October 27, 2021

Donald J. Trump W

Trump is at his best when he trains his fire on radical Bolshevik communist Democratic policies like the unrealized capital gains tax. https://t.co/KYKNe0YvuL

— Reaganite 🇺🇸🇬🇧🐘🎃 (@emperoreagan) October 28, 2021

Predictably, Trump-haters were triggered and annoyed by his statement. Some claimed Trump has no need to worry because they said he’s no longer a billionaire — though Forbes pegged his net worth at $2.5 billion in an Oct. 5 article. Others were simply insulting:

Donnie is nuts https://t.co/ifGCGbTdbK

— Hunterseekercat (@hunterseekercat) October 27, 2021

“Most don’t need the U.S. anyway”? #TraitorTrump

I have a suggestion.

Why don’t you leave it then? pic.twitter.com/fdDVhAK3us

— MarieTheBorderCollieLover🌊🌊🌵🌴🌲🎶🐩🐴 (@BHappyLoveLaugh) October 27, 2021

Trump was referring to a new Democratic proposal that would impose a 23.8 percent capital-gains tax rate on the unrealized investment gains in publicly traded assets held by individuals who have at least $1 billion in assets or $100 million in income for three consecutive years.

The “billionaires income tax,” which was introduced Wednesday by Democrat Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden of Oregon, would apply to roughly 700 taxpayers in the United States.

There are two tax codes in America. One that’s mandatory for workers and one that’s voluntary for billionaires. We have a historic opportunity with the Billionaires Income Tax to restore fairness to our tax code. I’m all in to get it done. https://t.co/3oQR0MHS2l

— Ron Wyden (@RonWyden) October 27, 2021

The tax plan ignited massive backlash, including a scornful rebuke from Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who warned that it would unleash a slippery slope that would trickle down to every single American.

“Eventually, they run out of other people’s money and then they come for you,” he scoffed on Twitter.

Musk, who’s on track to become the world’s first trillionaire, could face a whopping $10 billion annual tax bill under the Democrats’ “billionaires tax” plan, Business Insider reported.

Exactly. Eventually, they run out of other people’s money and then they come for you.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 26, 2021

Meanwhile, there’s mounting speculation that a second Trump presidential run is all but certain.

In August, former White House press secretary Sean Spicer essentially confirmed the rumors with a pithy, “He’s in.”

At this point, timing the announcement is a bigger issue than whether Trump will run again.

Insiders — including son Eric Trump — have expressed concern about the Democrats’ malicious prosecution of his father to prevent a reelection bid. If Trump announced his run now, it would give his enemies more time to launch a full-frontal attack on his businesses and his supporters.

Do you think Trump will run in 2024?

There’s also apprehension that an announcement now could hurt Republicans by being a distraction from the 2022 midterm elections.

Either way, numerous Democratic strategists are terrified at the prospect of a Trump campaign for another four years as commander in chief.

“There’s not a strategist or insider that I’m hanging out with who would like to see Donald Trump running again,” Democratic pollster Rachel Bitecofer told The Hill earlier this month. “Nobody should think he would be a weak nominee.”

Samantha Chang is a politics writer, lawyer and financial editor based in New York City.

Samantha Chang is a politics writer and financial editor based in New York City.

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