The Wizard of Orange

I have used this analogy before, but there is a certain Presidential candidate who is doing his best impersonating the Wizard of Oz. The other night on PBS Newshour, two financial reporters, who had delved deeply into this candidate’s business affairs, used that term to describe his poor business management skills – he does not want you to look behind the curtain. They did say he was superb at public relations skills equating him to P.T. Barnum, of circus fame, who once said “There is a sucker born every minute.”

A lot of this poor management is likely apparent in the candidate’s tax returns, yet he is the lone Presidential candidate to not release them since Richard Nixon started the practice. Some have provided two years, while guess who has provided the most in-depth release of 39 returns – one Hillary Clinton. While the man said no one cares about his returns, it turns out 67% of Americans do in a recent Rasmussen poll. The reason cited is he is under audit, but he would not be the first one to do so under audit, nor is an audit preventing him from releasing older accepted tax returns.

But, the lack of tax returns did not prevent these reporters from reviewing the man’s business history. His early career was heavily laden with debt financing, so much that it led to several bankruptcies of his companies. The corporate bankruptcies almost led to his personal bankruptcy. They noted the stories of his looking out only for his interests, while screwing others over through stiffing contractors, employees and co-investors are “all true.” They said he was quoted as saying about others “that is their problem.” This is a key reason for his many lawsuits, which number more than 3,500 per a USA Today article in June.

His later career is not using debt as much. He is “renting” his name to other developers where he has nothing to do with the property. This is so they can charge more to unwitting buyers. The candidate gets his royalties and goes about his business. I personally find this exploitive at best and unethical at worst, but he would not be the first person to sell his name. My guess is he loves this, as he gets money for very little risk, as he can pull out at any time, which has led to even more lawsuits.

These reporters were not high on the candidate’s business acumen. They added that he also seems to have less grasp of financing than he touts and has made several errors attempting to equate this business knowledge to federal financing. When pressed, they noted his consummate skill at PR. He can sell his name better than anyone can theirs. This is not the kind of man we need leading our country as he would not be putting the interests of others first.





10 thoughts on “The Wizard of Orange

    • Hugh, you are right about the folks who need to see this, not bothering to find it. While traveling, I saw a bumper sticker that said “Conservative, deal with it.” I don’t mind folks being conservative, they just need to be armed with facts and not what they get from Faux News and the radio shock jocks.

  1. Note to Readers: While Matt Lauer did not do a great job at the defense forum the other night, he did get in a priceless question on Mr. Trump. Lauer noted that Trump had been saying all along that he had a secret plan to defeat ISIS. Yet, Lauer noted in Trump’s speech the other day he said he would convene his generals and ask them what they recommend in 30 days. So, Lauer noted Trump’s secret plan was to ask others what they thought? Trump stumbled with this one.

    I actually thought Trump did horribly in a format that was suited for him. His comments about our generals, a Russia and Putin were absolutely embarassing. Trump noted Putin’s having an 82% favorability rating. Lauer should have come hard at him on this. He rates favorably because people know that the KGB is watching. Kim Jong Un has a 99% favorability rating as a no vote gets you killed. Plus, Trump defended the Russians when Lauer said the FBI has evidence that the Russians hacked the DNC.

  2. I didn’t watch the interviews the other night (with the inept Matt Lauer) but some of the snippets I heard of Trumps responses were so amazingly nonsensical. How his supporters can listen to him and not see him for what he is (or isn’t) shows the depths of their collective delusion.

    • Janis, David Brooks said on PBS Newshour last night that Trump said six inane things. To him, the worst is when he said we should take the oil from Iraq. That would be imperialism and make us look like a pariah. Irrespective of how folks feel about Clinton, this man should not have gotten this close to the Presidency. It is embarassing and dangerous.

      • Gronda, I expected Trump to do better than he did given the format. But. I thought he was horrible in manner, responses and lack of substance. By the way, the piece on his donation to the FL attorney general is prima facie evidence of the man he is and I hope it gets legs. Plus, an in-depth study of his Foundation, shows he donates other people’s money and takes credit. He refuted it on Twitter, but the reported tweeted back and said tell me where I am wrong. And, here are five questions you still have not answered, in essence, sticking by his story. Keith

  3. Note to Readers: Libertarian Gary Johnson is taking grief over not knowing what Aleppo, and he has owned his mistake. The same folks should recall that Donald Trump did not know what Brexit was two weeks before and he said to George Stephanopolous that he would not let the Russians into Ukraine. To which, George responded they are already there. While I do not agree with several things Libertarians stand for, I do know Johnson is a much better candidate than Trump, but lags behind Clinton on foreign affairs and helping those without. Unlike Trump, Johnson at least knows there is a climate change problem.

  4. Dear Keith,

    I admire the way Mr. Johnson handled the blow-back from his gaffe.

    Donald Trump will never release his tax records just as he will never release his medical records. Frankly, I am concerned about this. When someone like him points a finger at others, he may just as well point at himself. I can’t help but wonder if he is highly medicated which could explain his hyper state.

    I do not want a crazy president. Hillary Clinton makes boring an attractive quality. She is only boring when compared to DT.

    .No apologies, Gronda

    • Gronda, it is how we try to teach our kids. Say I messed up and I will do better. A much different approach from his male opponent who doesn’t apologize much at all, even when he clearly is at fault. Keith

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