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Letter to the Editor: The Trump Myth

By Mike Lane of Dawsonville 

My brother-in-law recently told me: “I don’t like Trump, but he has helped the economy because he is a good businessman.” I hear that a lot, but what is the real story on Donald Trump?

The truth is that Trump has a long history of business failures, and we really don’t know his real financial worth because he keeps on clamoring to keep his tax returns hidden from the public.

Here is what we do know. From 1985 to 1994, core Trump businesses lost more than a billion dollars. In 1990, banks had to take over control of Trump’s businesses while providing an additional $65 million in credit to save him from total collapse. In 1991, all of Trump’s Atlantic City Casinos declared bankruptcy. In 1992, Trump’s Plaza Hotel went bankrupt and creditors repossessed Trump Shuttle. Other more recent failures include: Trump Beverages, Trump Magazine, Trump Mortgage, Trump Steaks, (travel), Trumpnet (Telecom), Trump Tower Tampa, Trump University, and Trump Vodka. Trump’s business history is more like a season of Sneaky Pete than a successful business career.

As for the economy, it has continued to do well in spite Trump’s erratic actions like his trade killing tariffs. The economy has continued to grow primarily because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Unfortunately, this gave the lion’s share of tax savings to the wealthy and big business, while exploding the deficit. In 2018, the U.S. Government collected $3.3 trillion while spending $4.1 trillion. This method of growing the economy has worked in the short term, but is not sustainable.

“But, what about the stock market?” The Dow has averaged 16% annual growth for Trump, but it averaged 18.6% for Obama. After the stimulus and borrowing required to halt the Great Recession of 2008, Obama reduced annual deficits, but they are now growing again. Trump has reduced unemployment from 4.7% to 3.3% (1.5%), but Obama took it from the recession high of 9.9% down to 4.7% (5.2%). The reality is that Trump inherited a good economy; he didn’t create it. And, if he continues to run up the national debt, our country will wind up just like his businesses – bankrupt.