When Donald Trump was still just that “asshole running for president” and not our embarrassment in chief, people began to point out how most of his businesses were just the result of a rigged real estate system. Like many one percenters’ achievements, these deals promoted corruption over merit and left the taxpayers fronting the bill. A prime example is Donald Trump’s Golf Links course at Ferry Point in New York City. 

Contrary to statements made by the Trump campaign during the Republican convention, the city, not Mr. Trump, built the golf course at Ferry Point, for $127 million. Four years ago, in a deal finalized under Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s administration, the Trump Organization came on board to operate the course, assume the expense of upkeep and build a $10 million clubhouse, yet to be erected. Nevertheless, the greenway, maintained to luxurious standard, has the effect of abrading principle away. [...]

The structure of the deal the city forged with the Trump Organization at Ferry Point does not require it to remit licensing fees to the city until 2019, at which point the company will pay 7 percent of gross revenue (or $300,000, the cost of a well-appointed summer rental in Southampton, whichever is higher). In its first year of operation, according to the city, revenue totaled $8 million, meaning that if fees had been collected, the city would have received $560,000 — $175,000 short of what, in its contract with the Trump Organization, it projected it could make during the first year. Leaving that aside, even if the city were bringing in one million or even two million dollars annually from the partnership, we would still be looking well into the second term of a Barron Trump — or Barron Trump Jr. — presidency before the city would be getting back much of the $127 million of taxpayer money it spent to create the course in the first place.

Well, any hopes of getting back some of that money sooner than later, like everything Trump touches, has turned into soot. Over the past 12 months, according to the Washington Post, the course has reported a 12 percent decrease in revenue.

That drop in business at the Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point in the Bronx was revealed in documents that the Trump Organization filed with the city of New York. The city owns the course, built on an old garbage dump, but Trump’s business has a 20-year contract to operate it and will pocket nearly all of its revenue.

The documents on the course were obtained through a public-records request by NYC Park Advocates. The nonprofit group then provided them to The Washington Post.

According to the documents The Post obtained, less golfers are golfing there, less “banquets” are being held there, less snacks are being eaten at the snack bar. Like most things Trump, it’s all expensive with no substance.

For New Yorkers, an 18-hole round of daytime weekend golf there starts at $175 — more than three times the price at the city’s other public courses, where weekend rates range from $20 to $51.

You’re paying for the brand and the brand isn’t worth the garbage it’s built on.