Donald Trump
Donald Trump’x alleged tax evasion is coming to the fore again | Source: Brendan Smialowski / AFP

By CCN.com: Time to wake the f**k up. Donald Trump is not the self-made business genius you think he is.

The president is many things. He’s a great leader. He knows how to rally people and inspire action. He knows how to build a brand better than almost anyone on the planet.

But to call him a successful businessman and dealmaker is a long way from the truth. According to a New York Times report, Trump has lost more money than any other American and bankrupted his businesses six times.

Trump once said he would run America like his business and he’s doing just that. And you still trust him?

Trump, the billion dollar loser

As CCN reported this morning, the Trump business lost $1.17 billion dollars in a ten-year period between 1985 and 1994.

Having inherited almost half a billion dollars during his lifetime, he profited from basic market trends and then lost it with reckless business strategy.

He’s applying the same terrifying approach to the US economy.

What about the record economy?

Critics will point out that Trump presides over record employment and economic growth.  

This is true. The stock market is at all-time highs, GDP is solid, and unemployment is low.

But to give full credit to Trump is misleading.

Much like inheriting $413 million from his father, Trump inherited a strong economy when he moved into the White House. Here’s the chart of unemployment over the Obama and Trump years:

US employment rates
Employment rates under Obama and Trump show a steady trend. Source: BBC

Trump can’t claim credit for a trend that began nine years ago.

But the stock market is booming…

Critics will also argue that stocks are at record highs. But, again, this is the continuation of a ten-year trend.

Trump certainly fueled growth with monster tax cuts, but most economists will agree that credit for the record stock market surge lies with the Federal Reserve. A decade of ultra-low interest rates and long periods of quantitative easing lit a fire under the US markets.

As for the two years since Trump took office, the entire stock market rally can be attributed to just six tech stocks. Remove the tech stocks and the US market has delivered lower returns than Treasury bonds. Trump policies have done nothing to fuel growth in any other American industry.

Dow Jones Trump
The Dow Jones follows a clear ten-year trajectory, irrespective of Trump’s policies. Source: Yahoo Finance

Trump’s terrifying addiction to debt

Now that we’ve debunked the myth of the president’s midas touch on the economy, let’s turn to his financial strategies. The scariest of which is his addiction to debt. Trump claims he’s the “king of debt:”

“I’m great with debt. Nobody knows debt better than me… If things don’t work out I renegotiate the debt. I mean, that’s a smart thing, not a stupid thing.”

It is a stupid thing. His businesses have declared bankruptcy six times. The worst of which occurred in 2009 when he failed to pay a $53.1 million bond interest payment on Trump Entertainment Resorts.

Trump is playing the same dangerous game with the US economy. The president is funding his ambitious agenda with enormous deficits – raising spending while cutting taxes. The Federal deficit has ballooned in the last nine months to fund his policies and the total national debt now stands at more than $22 trillion.

You can’t just fail to pay interest on US debt and declare bankruptcy. The entire economy will collapse.

Trade wars are doing more harm than good

Despite losing over a billion dollars, Trump still claims he’s a world-class deal maker. But his heavy-handed approach to world trade negotiations actually threatens the US economy.

A report by the New York Central Bank, Princeton University, and Columbia university revealed that Trump’s tariffs hit Americans hard and killed income last year:

“[We] find that the full incidence of the tariff falls on domestic consumers, with a reduction in U.S. real income of $1.4 billion per month by the end of 2018.”

And far from generating employment, Trump’s approach could kill 366,900 auto jobs, according to research from the Center for Automotive Research.

Donald Trump is not the self-made businessman you think

Trump is the elite. He is the “swamp.” He inherited half a billion dollars, profited from basic market trends, and then lost it with reckless business strategy.

He’s doing the same thing with the US economy. We should be terrified.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not represent those of, nor should they be attributed to, CCN.

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