The Taxes Matter; The Emails Matter; Your Vote Matters; and The VP Debate Matters (A Little)

The Taxes Matter; The Emails Matter; Your Vote Matters; and The VP Debate Matters (A Little)

By

Leonard Zwelling

         While Donald Trump is making fun of Mrs. Clinton’s stamina and marriage, he ought to be doing a little damage control after the NY Times published three pages of his 1995 tax return that showed he had declared an almost $1 billion loss and with that loss had probably not had to pay any taxes in quite some time. Of course, it is all legal. That’s not the issue. (see link below)

         What are Mr. Trump’s claims to his worthiness to hold the highest office in the land?

         First, above all else, he’s a great businessman and built a great company. Really? Then why has he had to declare bankruptcy at least four times?

         Second, that he is smart. Really? How does a smart person lose almost a billion dollars in one year?

         Third, that he has sacrificed for the country. Really? How is not paying your taxes a sacrifice and, even if it is all legal, do you feel no obligation to assist in the running and defense of the country that allowed you to make (and lose) all that money?

         Fourth, that he is the most knowledgeable about the tax laws and so is primed to fix them. Really, you were the smartest of them all and managed to lose all that money? How does that work and why should we listen to you about the tax code when your abuse of it kept you afloat along with your father?

         There are some things that can be safely said about Mrs. Clinton. Yes, she is secretive. I suggest that you watch the two-hour documentary called The Choice on PBS’s Frontline to get a good understanding of where both of these candidates gained the personas they so clearly embody now (http://www.pbs.org/show/frontline/).

         Mr. Trump was raised by a workaholic bully of a real estate developer who only believed in winners and losers and insisted that his son be a winner—even after having lost. It was his father who bailed Donald out when his casinos were in trouble in Atlantic City as the NY Times has reported. He’s no great businessman, but is rather a wealthy scion of wealth unused to actually having to work for a living.

         Mrs. Clinton, by contrast, is a workaholic herself. She had a pretty normal middle class upbringing near Chicago but was turned on to politics rather early and blossomed while at Wellesley. She is obviously a brilliant woman, who chose a rather challenging life partner who was a better politician than she, but more apt to give in to his lesser angels.

         Mr. Trump has made some truly awful business decisions and managed to stay out of debtors’ prison with the power of his personality. I don’t get this at all, but I don’t get reality television either, so I am no source of wisdom on the appeal of a bigoted uninformed overweight white guy.

         Mrs. Clinton has made some horrible decisions. She supported the War in Iraq. She completely dropped the ball on health care in 1994, although she did manage to get the Children’s Health Insurance Program through thereafter. Her handling of her marriage and her husband’s infidelities could have been a lot better and a lot more honest. And then there are the emails…

         No one with an ounce of intelligence would call Mrs. Clinton an ideal candidate. She is probably older than is optimal for a President. Being her age, I can identify with this. She has been on the public stage too long. That’s OK when you are Merryl Streep, but less so when you have been around in the political wars.

         But as I have said before, I know you want strawberry, but all they have is chocolate and vanilla and you have to choose. It’s really not a choice at all. He’s unsuited for public service. She’s been doing it for years. It’s not really close and the taxes are the final straw.

         Then last night we got to see what adults look like when they debate. Mr. Kaine was a bit shrill and testy. Mr. Pence was calm given his awful job of having to defend an odd man at the top of his ticket. The debate was substantive and, while combative, at least looked like the heavyweight fight the Presidential debate was supposed to be, but was not.

         Mr. Trump may be a good showman, but he’s a lousy businessman and the 1995 taxes make that clear. Goodness knows what the ones since then would show.

         Donald Trump is not ready to be President of the United States—period. If you vote for him in some sort of protest against Mrs. Clinton and the status quo and he wins, you will have been responsible for a host of bad things that will inevitably ensue should Mr. Trump ascend to the Oval Office.

         How do I know?

         Let me give you 916 million reasons why. The rest I will leave to Mr. Pence who was often flat-footed trying to defend his boss. I actually think these tickets should both be inverted and then we might really have a choice.

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