On Sunday, in the wake of a New Times article regarding a partial 1995 Trump tax return which it had received, Rudy Giuliani appeared on CNN’s State of the Union.
During the interview, in what is a norm for not only Giuliani, but also Trump, Giuliani launched into a parade of lies and inaccuracies, not the least of which was to call Trump a genius for losing $1 billion.
The former mayor has been among the most outspoken advocates of the Republican presidential nominee, so much so, that there are multiple articles by reputable publications questioning his sanity based on some of his commentary.
He was no less controversial in this latest CNN interview. While he may have been correct to state that Trump legally took advantage of the tax code, that hardly can be the basis for claiming that Trump is a genius. The truth is that all Trump did was to hire accountants in order to declare a loss, one of the most basic things that are available under the tax code. Whether a business loses or makes money is the very basis for its tax liability. It is unquestionably not genius.
Giuliani misses a number of very key issues that only prove the opposite of his claim that Trump is a genius.
First, Giuliani completely misses the point that the reason that Donald Trump was able to take advantage of the nearly $1 billion deduction was that he was so bad at managing his casinos that he was losing unprecedented sums of money.
Second, the bombastic former mayor fails to realize that not only were such losses unprecedented in the casino business, but Trump was managing to lose money at a time that other Atlantic City casinos were making money hand over fist. This again shows that Trump was not just a bad businessman and manager, but that he was the worst businessman and manager in all of Atlantic City.
Third, the tax returns that the Times analyzed were not the corporate tax returns of the casinos in question. These were Trump’s personal tax returns. There are two significant issues raised by this one fact. First, it is unknown the untold amounts that the companies were losing. Indeed, this was just how much of it was Trump’s personal responsibility. It is almost certain that the companies themselves were losing far larger sums. Second, contrary to Giuliani’s claims, Trump did not have a fiduciary duty to investors and employees when it came down to his personal tax returns.
Fourth, and perhaps the most offending part of Trump’s $1 billion deduction, is that hardly any of it reflects Trump’s own money. The vast majority, if not all of it comes from Trump’s personal guarantees to lenders and investors. Simply put, it is common knowledge that Trump leveraged the casinos to the point that it was all but impossible for them to make money. He then paid himself with money that the casinos borrowed. And on top of all that, took a deduction for the personal guarantees that he had signed for the money the casinos borrowed. The deductions are not Trump’s money, but a portion of lender and investor money that Trump had managed to squander.
Trump’s 1995 tax returns say so much, not any of which is at all good about Donald Trump. And they certainly do not prove that Trump is a genius. In fact, they point to the opposite.
They are another piece of evidence that Donald Trump is anything but a good businessman. Time and again, his businesses have failed and failed miserably, even where others in the same business and in the same location did very well. What is continuing to emerge is that Trump took over a very successful family business — his father’s — which was worth hundreds of millions of dollars, and by creating press around himself, was able to create a brand that he used in order to bilk billions of dollars from investors and lenders who ultimately, not only did not make a profit on Trump, but only recovered a small fraction of their investments.
The thoughts and opinions expressed here are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of Citizen Slant.