To no one’s surprise, it turns out Trump is not a business genius after all…

The New York Times has gotten a hold of Trump’s tax records, or should I say lack of tax paid records. It turns out you and every reader of this site likely pay more tax than the self-proclaimed billionaire. Some key points from the coverage:

  • Mr. Trump paid no federal income taxes in 11 of 18 years that The Times examined. In 2017, after he became president, his tax bill was only $750.

  • He has reduced his tax bill with questionable measures, including a $72.9 million tax refund that is the subject of an audit by the Internal Revenue Service.

  • Many of his signature businesses, including his golf courses, report losing large amounts of money — losses that have helped him to lower his taxes.

  • The financial pressure on him is increasing as hundreds of millions of dollars in loans he personally guaranteed are soon coming due.

  • Even while declaring losses, he has managed to enjoy a lavish lifestyle by taking tax deductions on what most people would consider personal expenses, including residences, aircraft and $70,000 in hairstyling for television.

  • Ivanka Trump, while working as an employee of the Trump Organization, appears to have received “consulting fees” that also helped reduce the family’s tax bill.

The consulting fees to Ivanka are estimated at $744K

As usual, his defenders can see no wrong. Many are pointing out the lack of tax shows just what a business genius he is, after all, who likes paying tax? That ordinary people defend the rich who are busy hoovering the cash out of all their pockets blows my mind. It brings to mind Leona Helmsley and her famous quote:

“We don’t pay taxes; only the little people pay taxes,”

Trump is a great marketer but a woeful business person. He got his money from his father, and if he had done absolutely nothing with it other than stick it in an investment account, he would be better off. The interesting question is who does he owe money too and for what purpose did they lend it? He was never considered a credible investment by banks. He also leaves a trail of unpaid suppliers for a lot of his business ventures.

It is astonishing with nearly a quarter of a million dead from Covid19 in the US, the economy in ruins and America’s international reputation at an all-time low, Trump is still in with a chance of getting re-elected. Historians and social scientists will be studying these times for decades to come.

The media are going to keep drip-feeding the scandals in the run-up to the election, keep the popcorn ready. I will leave the last word to a real billionaire:

In 1995, when he offered this company, if a monkey had thrown a dart, at the stock page, the monkey on average would’ve made 150 percent. But the people that believed in him, who listened to his siren song, ended up losing well over 90 cents in the dollar. They got back less than a dime.
—Warren Buffett on Trump’s Atlantic City hotels business

Photo by Mediamodifier is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

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