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elbanditoroso's avatar

Which is worse for Trump? Perception or reality?

Asked by elbanditoroso (28832points) October 3rd, 2016

I’ve been reading a lot about this $915 million tax loss that Trump had 17 years ago, and how it means that he likely hasn’t paid taxes for that amount of time.

From what I read, this is more a testament to what a crappy businessman he is, and much less interesting as a potential tax dodger, since this seems to be all legitimate.

So this seems to be all about perception – people are aghast that he didn’t pay any tax for 15 years. But if it was legal not to, then why should he?

So this big to-do about taxes seems like artificial outrage.

The question is: does Trump have more to fear from the perception of tax cheating, or from the actual reality?

TO what degree does mob perception overwhelm the truth?

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4 Answers

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Clearly perception.

MrGrimm888's avatar

It’s a perception thing. Most of us wouldn’t pay taxes if we didn’t have to. But the perception of uber rich assholes not paying their share ,and getting richer for it, isn’t an image anyone running for office wants.

Either way, if you’re running for president, you most likely are a corrupt, lying, piece of shit, who has circumvented, or flat out broken many laws to get where you are.

LostInParadise's avatar

It is interesting how the pieces fit together – not paying taxes, the Trump University scam, not paying employees and contractors, illegally using charity contributions for personal expenses. The picture that emerges is that of a scam artist.

Soubresaut's avatar

I agree that the deduction by itself, taken as an isolated incident, doesn’t necessarily say much. It was legal. It was also the work of the people he hired to manage his taxes, and they, being experts trying to save their clients money, found the ways to do so.

I also agree that it’s the reasons he was in the position to take such a deduction that are troubling, and that point towards a larger pattern of poor business acumen. To quote the Times, the deduction was “derived from the financial wreckage [Trump] left behind in the early 1990s through mismanagement of three Atlantic City casinos, his ill-fated foray into the airline business and his ill-timed purchase of the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan.”

His business has been in dire situations many times over the decades, but he has had the socioeconomic standing to be helped through those situations. The fact that he is where he is today seems like less of a testament to his own abilities, and more to the advantages he had being someone who started out with abundant means (especially money and business connections through family ties), and who was able bounce back from so many near-failures or actual failures because of the economic support he had from others. In this particular case, it was the tax expert who first worked for Trump’s father, and then for Trump, and who in 1995 figured out how to use Trump’s poor 90’s decisions in Trump’s favor.

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