New York Times: Tax documents show Trump businesses lost more than $1 billion in a decade
"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.
"In fact, year after year, Mr. Trump appears to have lost more money than nearly any other individual American taxpayer, The Times found when it compared his results with detailed information the I.R.S. compiles on an annual sampling of high-income earners. 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."
More than $1 billion in losses in a single decade!
More than double the losses of the nearest other taxpayer in 1990 and 1991!
The single biggest loser (of money) of all American taxpayers in the period 1985-1994!
What the Times story does is something simple but profound: It punctures the balloon -- puffed up by years of Trumpian marketing and salesmanship -- that the President of the United States was some sort of business genius. In fact, Trump was one of -- if notthe-- biggest failures (in terms of money making and losing) in the country during a decade-long stretch. His ability to maintain his wealth and, eventually, to grow it was born of taking advantage of a system of tax laws and loopholes friendly to big business.
"Real estate developers in the 1980's & 1990's, more than 30 years ago, were entitled to massive write offs and depreciation which would, if one was actively building, show losses and tax losses in almost all cases. Much was non monetary. Sometimes considered 'tax shelter,' you would get it by building, or even buying. You always wanted to show losses for tax purposes....almost all real estate developers did - and often re-negotiate with banks, it was sport. Additionally, the very old information put out is a highly inaccurate Fake News hit job!"
Here's why this Times story matters so, so much: Trump explicitly ran for president on the idea that his business acumen gave him a unique -- and more valuable -- perspective on how to run the country than anyone else who had ever held the office (and certainly the other Republicans and Democrats running for the White House in 2016.)
"So I have a total net worth, and now with the increase, it'll be well-over $10 billion. But here, a total net worth of -- net worth, not assets, not -- a net worth, after all debt, after all expenses, the greatest assets -- Trump Tower, 1290 Avenue of the Americas, Bank of America building in San Francisco, 40 Wall Street, sometimes referred to as the Trump building right opposite the New York -- many other places all over the world.
"So the total is $8,737,540,00.
"I'm not doing that to brag, because you know what? I don't have to brag. I don't have to, believe it or not.
"I'm doing that to say that that's the kind of thinking our country needs. We need that thinking. We have the opposite thinking."
The logic is simple: I am rich. I made all of this money for myself over all these years but now I want to make the country -- and you, individual voter! -- rich too. Trump was pitching a secularized version of the Joel Osteen aspirational gospel; I can teach you to think and act like me, and, in so doing, you can be just like me!