Because Bankruptcy Isn’t an Option for America

It is regularly said of Trump that he would be a good economic leader because he is a successful business man. I get that. What’s the President, if not America’s CEO, right?

And let’s give credit where it is due. You don’t get to be a billionaire if you are completely incompetent. Donald Trump clearly has enough business acumen to keep a company alive and grow it over time. To that extent, sure, he’s successful.

But if business success truly is your priority in a candidate, it should be noted that last year there were 61 other privately owned companies more successful than Trump’s. Why not the leader of one of those? If his profits are relatively unremarkable even when publicly traded companies are removed, what is it that you could say makes Trump exceptional?

Let me answer that for you.  Over the past three decades, there is only one single ranking in which the Trump Organization tops all others, both private and public. In that timeframe, there is just one business milestone that only Donald Trump has achieved.

Over the past thirty years, no major U.S. company has filed for bankruptcy more times than Donald Trump’s. Not-a -one. The Trump Organization has filed for bankruptcy four times. According to CNN Money, a vast majority of major companies never file for bankruptcy at all, let alone with the regularity of Trump’s.

And while you can argue that he was just acting in the best interest of his business and that bankruptcy can sometimes be necessary to preserve your assets, you can’t ignore the fact that he was the guy that led the company to the point of bankruptcy in the first place.

This is savior of America’s economy? This is the visionary you want overseeing the largest economy in the world?

I get it. You want a person with great business experience and Trump is a name you know. So for your convenience, I’ve found a list of companies with alternative CEO’s who have not had to use bankruptcy as often as Donald Trump.

That list is called the Fortune 500.

Every CEO of every company on that list can confidently say that they haven’t had to declare bankruptcy as often as Donald Trump. Glance through it. Take your pick. Start a petition to get them on the ballad. You already know they’ll have our support, so long as they aren’t Trump.

We can learn a lot about Trump’s business philosophy by the justification he’s used over and over again when discussing his history with bankruptcy.

“I have used the laws of this country… the (bankruptcy) chapter laws, to do a great job for my company, for myself, for my employees, for my family” -Trump 8/6/2016.

As far as helping his employees… I doubt it.  Chapter 11 restructurings allow businesses to remove debts owed to employees, such as pensions. Between that and job loss, let’s chalk that part of his statement up as a lie.

But if we take the rest at face value, there’s a lot to be learned about who he is as a business man. Donald Trump filed for bankruptcy for his company, and his family, and himself. Donald Trump has always worked and will always work for Donald Trump.

Notice who is left out of his justification: his investors. Donald Trump saved himself and his brand at the expense of those who put their faith and funding into him.

If America is a business, the taxpayer is its investor. You the voter put your faith in the government to spend your money well, grow the economy as a whole, and return your investment to you in the form of some societal benefit.

Trump has never been concerned with returns for his investors. I hardly expect him to be concerned with returns for his taxpayers. He files for bankruptcy for one reason: personal survival. You can bet that same motivation will drive his economic policy.

Sure, his company has survived. If that’s your ambition for our country, maybe this guy is right for you. But if you are the type of person who truly values economic success, I expect you would hope for more than just survival from our nation’s CEO.


CNN Money 8/31/2015

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