Trump’s so bad at business his 1995 loss was 2% of the entire country’s

Thanks to the ace reporting of The New York Times, we all now can safely presume that, because Donald Trump cucked up his businesses so bad in 1995, he feasibly didn’t pay taxes until 2013. It was a risky suggestion for the Times to announce in a headline — the three pages of Trump’s ’95 return didn’t confirm he didn’t pay taxes for 18 years, and without any other corroborating evidence, it was possible Trump would release subsequent years’ returns and prove the paper wrong, destroying its credibility. But Trump hasn’t done that. In fact, his proxies have been forced to embrace the Times’ revelation and try to spin it as a positive — suggesting that whatever is in the rest of his returns, it’s much worse than a professed billionaire dodging his taxes for nearly two decades.

It’s worth taking a closer examination at just how awful this is for Trump. Setting aside the legal but shitty tax evasion for a moment, Trump lost nearly a billion dollars during a time when the U.S. economy was booming. Do you remember the ’90s? The GDP consistently grew each year. Unemployment was low. Businesses thrived. Snap bracelets were everywhere. Meanwhile, Trump consistently made a string of disastrous deals that tanked his casinos and airlines. Trump’s so bad at business, his losses in 1995 account for nearly two percent of the entire country’s.

That’s terrible. Yet Trump’s people are trying to call this guy a “genius.

“What it shows is what an absolute mess the federal tax code is, and that’s why Donald Trump is the person best positioned to fix it,” Chris Christie said. “There’s no one who’s shown more genius in their way to maneuver about the tax code as he rightfully used the laws to do that.”

Giuliani said much of the same, with a little added dose of misogyny, asking, “Don’t you think a man who has this kind of economic genius is a lot better for the United States than a woman? The only thing she’s ever produced is a lot of work for the FBI, checking out her emails.”

Trump has frequently said he does as much as he can to make sure he pays as little taxes as possible — that he owes it to his shareholders, investors, and workers to ensure his company is as profitable as possible. But when Trump annihilates his businesses via a series of boneheaded mistakes, adding two percent to the country’s total losses, and then gets a free pass on income taxes for 18 years, that’s not looking out for his people. That’s racking up a huge bill and then stiffing them with the check.

Thousands of Trump casino employees lost their jobs via his various bankruptcies throughout the ’90s. Contractors and small-time vendors were given pennies on the dollar of what they were owed by the Republican nominee. Stock and bondholders lost $1.5 billion while Trump managed to still earn millions each year via his salary, plus a $5 million bonus in 1996.

And Trump is trying to pass this all off as “smart” and admirable, all the while criticizing working Americans who receive government aid and complaining that “fifty percent” of the country don’t pay their fair share?

“Well, I don’t mind sacrificing for the country to be honest with you,” Trump said on Fox News back in 2012. “But you know, you do have a problem because half of the people don’t pay any tax. And when he’s talking about that he’s talking about people that aren’t also working, that are not contributing to this society. And it’s a problem. But we have 50 percent. It just hit the 50 percent mark. Fifty percent of the people are paying no tax.”

Remember: Whatever is actually in Trump’s taxes is worse than everything I just laid out, which is why he is never going to release them, no matter what he says about a supposed IRS audit. Luckily, the Times has hinted that there’s more coming, meaning Trump and his spox are going to have a lot more evidence of his “genius.”

[photo: Getty]