The New York Times will undoubtedly win a Pulitzer Prize for reporting that Donald Trump had some bad business years in the late 80s and early 90s.
They got him. The media is celebrating like it’s their birthday; they think they have shown that Trump is a fraud and terrible businessman. They claim that he is only wealthy because of his father, Fred Trump.
What the New York Times Reported About Trump’s Income Losses
The New York Times reported:
“The numbers show that in 1985, Mr. Trump reported losses of $46.1 million from his core businesses—largely casinos, hotels and retail space in apartment buildings. They continued to lose money every year, totaling $1.17 billion in losses for the decade.”
Doesn’t look good.
The Times continued, “In fact, year after year, Mr. Trump appears to have lost more money than nearly any other individual American taxpayer.”
Again, doesn’t look good.
“His core business losses in 1990 and 1991—more than $250 million each year—were more than double those of the nearest taxpayers in the I.R.S information for those years. Over all, Mr. Trump lost so much money that he was able to avoid paying income taxes for eight of the 10 years. It is not known whether the I.R.S. later required changes after audits.”
The optics aren’t good, but the report lacks proper context of Trump’s business career.
This report brings up a pressing question: Who cares?
The American people are not real concerned with Donald Trump’s income from 25 to 30 years ago. They care about what is happening now.
The American people have a lot to be happy about right now. The hardworking taxpayer is more concerned with his or her paycheck than that of Trump’s from decades ago.
Bravo, New York Times. Top-notch reporting.
The only people who care about this are people who already hate the president. This isn’t going to take many votes away from President Trump in 2020.
If anything, it may help him.
Why Trump’s Business Losses Help Him
Donald Trump has been a business mogul since the 1970s — and his father was before him.
He has been in the national spotlight for decades.
He has had many successes and failures.
Welcome to capitalism.
It takes a level of guts to take chances in the economy to make a profit. Most business ventures don’t work out. Businesses go out of business all the time.
Trump wasn’t immune to failed endeavors. Trump Casino in Atlantic City and Trump Airlines were short-lived. His USFL football team failed when the league collapsed. He lost money on other apartment development projects.
He also had massive successes. He was able to build the TRUMP brand into an internationally recognizable brand. He essentially sold the rights to his name to developers, who now have the privilege of putting the name TRUMP on their high-rise buildings. He was also the host of a very successful TV show, “The Apprentice.”
He was able to overcome those losses to earn a net worth of $4.5 billion. One could argue the money he lost during his string of failures laid the groundwork for his eventual comeback. Trump thought big, and sometimes he gambled and lost. However, in the long run, this added to his allure and enticed investors and property owners to seek out his business.
One thing is for sure: Donald Trump is a brilliant marketer.
If I had one critique of the president, it would be this: He should point to his business failures to make a point about capitalism. Trump has a good story to tell when advocating for the deregulation of the economy. He was able to overcome his business losses to become wealthier than ever. He persevered.
His opponents don’t know the first thing about what it takes to run a business, especially one the size of the TRUMP organization.
If the president admits he lost a few, but then recovered, it may appeal to some voters.
However, most voters probably don’t care either way. The New York Times report was a waste of ink; the average American couldn’t care less.