Thursday, June 2, 2016

The Huckster In Chief

It is going to be a fun summer as we watch the layers of the onion that is Donald Trump slowly peeled away.  Right now, The Donald is trying to deal with the release of documents related to multiple lawsuits filed against him for his now-defunct (an adjective we can use to describe many of Trump's business ventures) "Trump University".

Those documents include the "sales playbook" those working for the fictitious college were encouraged to use in order to get people to fork over the 35-thousand dollars to "enroll" in the "college".  That playbook included outrageous claims of financial profit for those who "graduate" and downplaying all of the risks involved with what Trump would be "teaching" them: Mainly to borrow a bunch of money to purchase distressed properties and then try to flip them for profit as soon as possible.

If that "curriculum" sounds familiar, that's because its the same "get rich quick" scheme that all of the TV infomercial "real estate experts" tout.  And that is quite fitting--as Trump himself is treating this Presidential election like his own informercial--except the TV networks are giving him all of the air time for free--where the "flippers" need to buy their ad time.

And just like the other "real estate experts willing to share their secrets with you" Trump used "reality" TV to first build a persona of someone who knows what they are doing.  I seem to remember my wife watching TLC show featuring many of the same people now "coming to your town" to reveal the "keys to becoming your own boss and make money fast".  Trump was smarter than those folks though.  He just filmed segments encouraging people to literally mortgage their futures and paid other people to sell it--rather than going around the country to peddle his snake oil himself.  And he charged people about ten-times as much as the small-time hucksters as well.

The next layer of the onion will likely be Trump's tax returns--which many people with the same level of claimed self-worth say will likely reveal that the "billionaire" may be a few zeroes short of that title.  And that through creative use of business and other investment losses--will have paid shockingly little in personal income taxes.  As a "salesman" you know that if the 1040's showed that Donald Trump was actually making big bucks--and paying huge amounts of taxes--he'd be flashing those forms in front of every camera he could.

I'm sure the Donald Trump onion will be peeled down to its smelly, rotten core by Election Day--but his supporters will choose to continue to ignore their nose--even though the rest of us thought something stunk from day one.

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