Opinion

Trump owes it to Americans not to profit off his businesses while serving as president

To the editor: It seems pretty clear, as Doyle McManus states, that it would not be practical for the president-elect to have a fire sale on his holdings. Simply evaluating the various holdings of real estate, partnerships, corporations and licensing deals, which the public is still in the dark on, would be a major undertaking. (“Trump admits he has a kleptocracy problem, but so far, he hasn't got a solution,” Opinion, Nov. 27)

But that shouldn’t let Donald Trump off the hook. 

I propose an alternative: Trump should irrevocably assign all his income and profits from all of his various holdings for the duration of his term in office to a blind charitable trust with an independent trustee who would have unlimited authority to donate all after-tax income to charity. The independent trustee should have full authority to audit all of the sources of income and to review all tax returns to assure compliance.

Walling off the profits may be sufficient inducement to keep Trump focused on the public interest and make sure that any private profit he pursues will be diverted to a good cause. Meanwhile, he should be able to live on his presidential salary and cash savings. 

Kenneth Scholtz, Los Angeles

Follow the Opinion section on Twitter @latimesopinion and Facebook

Copyright © 2017, Los Angeles Times
54°