There’s a Glaring Flaw in Claiming Trump’s a ‘Genius’ for 18 Years of Tax Evasion

Since The New York Times released a rather bombshell report exposing the nearly one billion dollar loss Donald Trump took in 1995, possibly allowing him to avoid paying taxes for at least the next 18 years, the spin from his campaign and supporters has been to tout what a “genius” businessman he is and how “smart” he was to get out of paying taxes.



Here’s an FYI for those people out there who are saying this sort of idiocy: If everyone in this country managed to find a way to avoid paying taxes, the country would collapse. Not only would our military go unfunded, but so would Homeland Security and practically every aspect of our national security that works tirelessly to keep this country safe. To say nothing about all the programs tens of millions of Americans use that rely upon revenue generated by taxes.

So, when you brag about how “smart” Trump was to use our tax laws and loopholes while screwing over the rest of the country for his own benefit, all you’re really saying is that you’re a complete idiot who doesn’t remotely understand how our nation functions and how vital tax revenue is to keep this country going.

Oh, and all those years when you complained about tax rates, the national debt and how you were sick of an economy being built to favor the rich at the expense of everyone else — yeah, people like Trump and the lengths they go to avoid paying taxes are a fairly big reason why you have those complaints. It’s Trump and people like him who’ve bribed politicians and helped to shape the laws so that the 1% make out like bandits while the rest of us pick up the slack. And remember, this has been going on for over 30 years now.

But I’m not even going to go that deep into this, because I really don’t have to. This whole nonsense that somehow Donald Trump is the “smart businessman” or “genius” for possibly evading taxes for nearly two decades is so absurd that even a child should be able to spot the flaws in this defense.

First, let’s not forget that the reason why he might have gotten away with not paying taxes for nearly 20 years is predicated on the fact that he made such lousy business decisions, he lost nearly one billion dollars in a single year. Couple that in with the several bankruptcies that he’s filed over the years, and the fact that he seems willing to risk his entire campaign to avoid letting people see just how wealthy he is (or isn’t), and I’m not seeing a “smart, savvy businessman.” What I see is a con man who was given a big leg-up being raised in a wealthy family, who then went on to mostly con people into thinking his last name was valuable.

When you get right down it, Trump’s really nothing more than a brand. Most of the buildings bearing his name weren’t built by him, and aside from apparently being very good at finding ways to use the system to screw over everyone else for his own benefit, I don’t see a whole lot of business acumen in Trump’s career.

I’ll give him this, he’s an incredible salesman — no doubt. But then again, that’s typically a trait of every highly successful con artist, as well.



Then there’s always the glaring reality that Trump had almost nothing to do with possibly finding ways to avoid paying taxes for 18 years.

He didn’t sit there behind a desk, breaking down his financials and our tax code to come up with this “genius” way to make horrible businesses decisions that would ultimately be financed by the average taxpaying American — teams of accountants, tax professionals, finance experts and lawyers did all of that. Those are the people who worked countless hours, day after day, to find ways for Trump to game the system.

Now I know what some people are thinking: Yeah, but he hired those people — which was smart!

Yeah, probably not. Odds are the individuals doing that work were recommended to him by other people and intensely vetted well before he ever met them. I’m sure he played some part in the hiring process, but I’m going to say that was more or less just to give his “stamp of approval” on the hire based on the knowledge he had been given by other people, not some highly skilled businessman researching and locating the very best experts to help him exploit our tax laws.

Clearly there’s no way for me to know exactly how the hiring process went down, that’s just my opinion based on my knowledge of how a lot of this stuff works. I say with complete confidence that I don’t believe Trump had much to do with hiring the financial experts who helped him evade taxes other than giving the final “yes” or “no” to candidates who had already been highly recommended and vetted by other people — and I would be absolutely shocked if that’s not the case.

As I’ve said numerous times before, he’s nothing but a con man. He’s someone who’s built a career largely based on, “I’m the face, even though everyone else does the work. I get the credit — but none of the blame.”

It’s exactly what we’re seeing now.

When his campaign is doing well, usually it’s because he’s been reading speeches written by other people, he brags about how amazing he’s doing. When his campaign is spiraling into chaos because of something he’s said or done, he blames everyone else but himself.

Think about it, most of Trump’s “best” moments (or periods of time in his campaign) came when he wasn’t being himself. Yet every disaster, controversy or statement that caused his numbers to drop came directly from him. The only time he does well with more than just the far-right legions of sheep who follow him is when he’s doing everything possible to not be exactly who he is.

Donald Trump isn’t a “genius” or a “smart businessman” and he doesn’t even have a record of making smart decisions for anyone but himself. He’s nothing but a sleazy, manipulative fraud.




Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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