As the debate about Trump’s taxes and bankruptcies continues, it’s important to remember that financial trouble happens to everybody regardless of age or net worth. I recently came across an article that discussed some politicians who have struggled with debt. Some of the names will surprise you:
Thomas Jefferson: The man behind the Declaration of Independence came from the upper-class of colonial Virginia, who had reputations for accruing large amounts of debt due to their expensive tastes (one family held onto a debt for 150 years!). And Thomas Jefferson was no exception; while his prestigious reputation saved him from creditors while alive, after his death his family was forced to sell much of his property to pay off his enormous debt (estimated to be between $1 and $2 million in modern money).
George McGovern: In 1984, the former US Senator and presidential hopeful amassed around $113,000 in campaign debt, but was saved by three other contenders for the 1984 Democratic Nomination that set up a fundraising party for him. Four years later, McGovern opened a hotel that shuttered and fell into bankruptcy in less than two years.
Linda McMahon: In 1976, long before she ran for the US Senate, Linda and her husband racked up about $1 million in debt, partially due to a bad investment in an Evel Knievel stunt. They made up for it later in life, with a combined net worth of $370 million when she ran for senate in 2010.
Abraham Lincoln: Lincoln may be known as one of the greatest Presidents in US history, but he certainly had a lot of setbacks. Early in life, he owned a general store that amassed $1,000 in debt, a massive amount in the early 19th century that brought him to court. Lincoln was forced to forfeit a horse, and took several years to pay back what he owed.
Marco Rubio: While Trump’s money has raised questions this election, he wasn’t the only candidate with money problems. Rubio has long struggled with debt for everything from education to mortgages. After an $800,000 book deal in 2012, Rubio’s money problems seemed to be over, and he celebrated by buying an $80,000 luxury speedboat. While Mitt Romney’s campaign was vetting Rubio as a possible running mate, this financially careless decision caused them to think twice.