No, Donald Trump is not that genius self-made businessman billionaire he plays on TV and the presidential campaign trail. Trump was born with the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth, given an Ivy League education only a favored few are blessed with and made his money the old-fashioned way — he inherited it. As President Barack Obama would say, the Donald didn’t build that real estate and entertainment corporation without a lot of help from governmental laws and regulations that some call corporate welfare.
As Ross Douthat explains, with the help of the government and banks, Trump used eminent domain, taking homes and property from ordinary people to further expand his corporate wealth. Sen. Ted Cruz has an ad out that highlights the widow whose boarding house Trump wanted to take with eminent domain and demolish to make room for a limo parking lot for one of casinos.
Trump was able to further expand his corporate wealth with bailouts from banks and with governmental approval such as the 1990 bailout “deal.” In that bailout with scores of banks, Trump’s corporate empire, with the blessing of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission, was given a “yuge” $65 million line of credit, a $20 million bridge loan, and a five-year deferral on interest and principal payments on about $850 million of Trump’s nearly $2 billion in bank debt. And even after that bailout, Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection for the third time in February 2009.
Then there are Trump’s other failed ventures, such as Trump University, Trump Airlines, Trump Vodka or Trump Mortgage. What about all the people that lost their jobs or livelihoods with those failures even as Trump corporate wealth continued to grow. Or the people who ponied up for sham degrees from Trump University.
And how much of Trump’s so-called success is attributable to his alleged dealings with the Mafia?
As Douthat stated in his article, “Trump is a salesman: That’s been a big part of his campaign’s success.” He is such a good salesman in an earlier time he might have made a fortune selling snake oil. If you want to stop Trump these are the lines of attack to use. You flip a salesman like Trump’s brand by showing and persuading people that he’s a con artist, and they are his marks.