There's one anecdote in the NYT tax returns story that proves that Trump is the worst businessman

There's one anecdote in the NYT tax returns story that proves that Trump is the worst businessman
Photo via Michael Vadon.

If nothing else, this weekend's revelation about Donald Trump's tax returns prove that he is a business failure. Nothing summarizes the New York Times story better than this:

To be clear, he was fabulously successful as a TV reality star: "'The Apprentice,' along with the licensing and endorsement deals that flowed from his expanding celebrity, brought Mr. Trump a total of $427.4 million." Those earnings were legit. His problem is that just like bankrupting a casino—literally a money-printing operation—his investments using that money have all been stunning failures.

In fact, he's so deeply in debt that "he is personally responsible for loans and other debts totaling $421 million, with most of it coming due within four years." And that doesn't even include $72.9 million that he likely owes the IRS for bullshit tax refunds.

Trump's businesses reported just $34.7 million cash on hand in 2018, meaning that Trump corp will have to start selling assets off to pay off those debts. It also explains why he's so adamant about charging the federal government for the use of his properties, like overcharging Secret Service personnel for stays at his golf resorts.

But nothing was funnier than this one vignette from the story:

After plans for a Trump-branded mini-city on the Far West Side of Manhattan stalled in the 1990s, Mr. Trump's stake was sold by his partner to Vornado Realty Trust. Mr. Trump objected to the sale in court, saying he had not been consulted, but he ended up with a 30 percent share of two valuable office buildings owned and operated by Vornado.
His share of the profits through the end of 2018 totaled $176.5 million, with depreciation factored in. He has never had to invest more money in the partnership, tax records show.

Nothing beyond his earnings from The Apprentice have been as successful as the $176.5 million Trump made from his share in these properties. Now look at how he got there:

  • Trump plan for mini-city fails
  • Trump's partner says "fuck it" and sells
  • Trump says he didn't approve sale, sues, and gets 30% of the properties
  • Some other company manages those properties, and makes bank
  • Trump makes $176.5 million

Got it? Everything Trump has managed has failed and is deeply in debt. He somehow lucked into this 30% share of this one project that someone else took over, and it made him $176.5 million.

When he had control, it was a failure. When someone else took over, it made a ton of money. Does anything prove his shiftiness as a businessman better than that?

Or does bankrupting a casino still win?


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