The buzz surrounding Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has boiled over and escalated to the level of outright phenomenon. With unprecedented rapidity, Trump has watched his public perception evolve from novelty to establishment annoyance to undisputed frontrunner.
For months now he’s maintained double-digit leads in each of the major polls. Debates regarding the legitimacy of his candidacy have ceased. Seasoned political “experts” have learned to stop publicly writing him off. The notion that he would eventually flame out or collapse under the weight of his perceived verbal faux pas has dissipated. As the dust settles and the smoke clears, an irrefutable consensus has emerged: Donald Trump is for real.
But how exactly has he done it? Trump’s success can partly be attributed to his willingness to speak his mind, regardless of whether or not it’s politically correct. This is exactly what America needs from its elected officials. From immigration to foreign policy to campaign finance, Donald has shown that he’s not afraid to speak the truth. He’s the only politician who has had the courage to call out all of the other candidates for taking massive sums of money from wealthy donors. As he said recently in an interview: “Bush is controlled by those people, Walker is controlled by those people, Hillary Clinton is controlled by those people.” Donald’s position: “I’m not controlled. I do what’s right for the people.”
But would he actually make a good president? It’s a question I am often asked.
I first met Donald in the green room at Javits Convention Center in New York City back in 2004. We were both speakers at a large real estate investor forum. Since then, we have spoken in cities across the world. Over the years we’ve become friends, and co-written two books together.
People also like to ask, What’s he like in person? Since he is such a hot topic right now — “the Trump phenomenon,” it’s been called — I thought I would share a few things that are not widely known about The Donald. One important subject not covered by the media is Donald’s views on education. Perhaps you saw him hand it to Jeb Bush for his support of Common Core, yet another failed education initiative. That’s because Donald believes very strongly in education…just not “traditional education.”
You see, Donald and I met as teachers. As teachers, we both spoke on the importance of financial education, a subject taught to us by our rich dads — but one that’s not taught in schools. While speaking in private on a long flight back from Sydney, Donald told me: “We have more than a crisis in the economy. We have a crisis in education.” He believes, and I agree, that the growing gap between the rich and everyone else will only increase if we do not begin educating our young people about money. It is around the subjects of money, education and the economy that we became friends and co-authors.
Those who know me know that I do my best to steer clear from politics. Politics is painful. It was hard on our family when my father, my poor dad, ran as a Republican for lieutenant governor of Hawaii. The experience crushed my dad (who quickly discovered who his true friends were), and caused me to detest the whole political process. So much time is wasted on divisiveness, infighting and backstabbing. Today I am neither Republican nor Democrat. I vote the candidate, not the party.
We all know that it’s time to unite our country. I believe Donald could do this, if he shared with the nation what he has shared with me, by adding to his platform the idea of financial education for everyone. It would be an idea that’s time has come. Who would object to teaching our kids about money? Because, like it or not, money is a part of our daily lives. I know there will always be a few socialists like Bernie Sanders, who believe the rich are greedy. But by giving people fish as they pile on the entitlement wagon — rather than teaching people to fish and be independent — we perpetuate our downward spiral. I believe that people today realize that money is not “the root of all evil.” The lack of money is. And if you have been paying attention to the news, you know that the U.S. government is running out of money.
As I watch the Republican debates, I ask myself, “Of all the candidates on that stage, which one knows how to make money?” We all know that the majority of them know how to spend money, but only one candidate has a proven record of making money. And this is why I decided to write this article for Jetset and endorse Donald for president.
Most of us know the United States is embroiled in both a national and a global financial crisis. Millions of Americans are still struggling to find meaningful employment. Entitlement programs are bankrupting the country. Our record $18 trillion national debt continues to balloon. If we were a business, we’d be beyond bankrupt. We need someone to clean house. We need Donald J. Trump; we need an education president.
The first book Donald and I wrote, Why We Want You to Be Rich: Two Men, One Message (2006), predicted the crash of 2008 and the demise of the middle class. Our second book, Midas Touch (2011), was written for entrepreneurs. As you know, our school system trains students to be employees — which is why parents and teachers say, “Go to school and get a job.” We believe the United States needs more entrepreneurs. Rather than say, “Go to school to get a job,” Donald is likely to say, “Go to school and learn to create jobs.” You may also know that nine out of 10 entrepreneurs fail, primarily because our schools do not teach students to be entrepreneurs.
“You know who gets hurt? The people who worked hard, lived frugally, and saved their money. They did it the way you’re supposed to…now they go to the bank, and they’re getting nothing on their savings.” – Donald Trump
Donald believes in teaching hardworking Americans to develop the mindset and skillset needed to get ahead in this economy as entrepreneurs. They must become truly successful by creating jobs, rather than looking for jobs. People often say, “Our children are our future,” and Donald knows we need to prepare our children for a very different future, which is why financial education is so important. In a world where lower-wage countries are taking our jobs, we need to teach our students how to create jobs. Donald Trump is the only candidate who understands what it takes to be an entrepreneur who creates jobs. He is the only candidate who knows how to best address our economic problems by strengthening the global business partnerships that are essential to our nation’s success.
Without financial education, millions around the world are living on the verge of financial ruin. Without financial education, millions believe their liabilities, such as their homes, their cars and college loans, are assets. Through no fault of their own, these hardworking people are under the impression that their retirement plans — their IRAs or their 401(k)s — are assets. Yet if they spoke the language of money, they would know their retirement plans are, technically, unfunded or, more succinctly, underfunded liabilities. The U.S. government is in the same financial position, with Social Security, Medicare and other entitlement programs estimated to be $100 trillion to $250 trillion worth of underfunded liabilities.
The 401(k) was created in 1974, just as millions of baby boomers began their working careers. The 401(k) and other retirement plans such as Roth IRAs were created because big businesses no longer wanted to fund employee retirement plans. Prior to 1974, millions of workers had a DB, a defined benefit pension plan, which provided employees with a “paycheck for life.” When employee retirement proved to be too expensive, too burdensome — especially when companies began competing internationally — big business removed the expense and the liability of employee retirement, and placed the financial responsibility of retirement income on employees via DC, or defined contribution and 401(k) pension plans.
The problem is, nobody knows if these DC pension plans will provide the safe and secure retirement that baby boomers are hoping for. Donald Trump and I are afraid that millions of baby boomers will run out of money during their “golden years,” driving a shopping cart, rather than their old Toyota in retirement. Today Hawaii has the highest percentage of homeless people in the United States. California has an alarmingly high percentage of poor people. Both are great states…if you can afford to live in them.
“Saving money” is another one of the financial concepts that has changed drastically over the years — but our thinking and teaching around saving money hasn’t changed. Saving money was a good idea, before QE (quantitative easing), aka “printing money,” took hold. As you know, when a country prints money, the purchasing power of that money goes down, which causes inflation to go up. Worst of all, saving money rips off people who drank the Kool-Aid, believing saving money (today) is smart. Anyone with any financial education knows saving money today is foolish as long as the government is printing trillions of dollars.
Back in 1970, if a saver put one million in the bank, the saver might earn as much as 15% interest or $150,000 a year. Back in 1970, a saver could live on $150,000 a year. In 2015, if a saver put one million in the bank, the saver might receive 2% interest or $20,000 a year. Today, these “millionaires” — were they to live solely on $20,000 a year of interest income — would be living below the poverty line.
“Our leaders are spending, spending, spending, money we do not have. This must stop.” – Donald Trump
This is another reason why Donald Trump and I believe that we need financial education — and sooner, rather than later. If there is a giant stock market crash, millions of baby boomers will have nothing left to live on, despite the fact that they dutifully “invested for the long term” in their 401(k)s. Ten years from now, in 2025, after millions of baby boomers retire, what will the United States look like?
As Donald says: “You know who gets hurt? The people who worked hard, lived frugally, and saved their money. They did it the way you’re supposed to…now they go to the bank, and they’re getting nothing on their savings. They need to dip into their savings to survive. How long will they last? What will they do when their savings are gone? Why are their savings gone? Because our leaders are not living frugally. Our leaders are spending, spending, spending, money we do not have. This must stop.”
Many opponents without financial education criticize Donald for his bankruptcies. That too shows a lack of financial education. Anyone with financial education knows there are two different types of bankruptcy: personal and business. Donald’s bankruptcies are business, not personal. Many people don’t understand bankruptcy laws and they don’t seem to know that people like Carl Icahn, Leon Black and Sam Zell (just to name a few) have used the bankruptcy laws to corporate advantage as a business tool. Many entrepreneurs have gone bankrupt numerous times. Henry Ford went bankrupt four times, four times before Ford Motor Company succeeded.
On a talk radio program, I heard a caller ask why Donald went bankrupt, but Carly Fiorina did not? The talk show host had no idea how to answer that simple question. If the radio host had any financial education, he would have known that Carly Fiorina was an employee, not an entrepreneur. Most employees, even CEOs, only risk personal bankruptcy. When Carly left Hewlett-Packard, she was awarded a $21 million golden parachute. Did she receive $21 million for doing a great job? No. Carly Fiorina parachuted out with millions, after letting 30,000 employees go. In other words, she was not a great CEO. She did not grow the business nor did she create more jobs. Yet she was paid a $21 million bonus. No wonder our country is in financial trouble and why millions of everyday Americans love Donald Trump. Americans are sick and tired of corporate and political greed and incompetence in running our country.
According to Donald, “Our country is in serious trouble…we don’t have victories anymore. Politicians and corporate business leaders are all talk and no action.” How else can anyone explain why the richest country in the world is being buried in debt? How else can you explain jobs being exported over seas? Like myself, Donald believes only entrepreneurs can create real jobs. When the government creates jobs, the taxpayers end up paying those salaries, benefits and retirements. We need jobs in the private sector; we need the kinds of jobs that Donald Trump has been creating for decades.
Aside from job creation, another integral component of business is negotiating. Business leaders must be able to continually work with different types of people and hammer out the most mutually beneficial deals. “The biggest thing we have to do is new trade agreements,” Donald says. He may be bombastic at times, but I have seen firsthand the caliber of negotiator Donald is. He has what it takes to sit down with nations like China and ink out the deals that will shape the economic future of the world for years to come.
President Obama is from Hawaii, where I am from. Obama is a very smart and charismatic man, but not a strong leader. Vladimir Putin is kicking Obama’s butt on Syria. It’s time for a president who will fight fearlessly and courageously for his country. And as you can tell from the debates, Donald Trump is a fighter. We do not need another smart, nice-but-weak guy as president. We need a fighter. But not only is Donald a fearless fighter and a courageous leader, he is an international businessman who is respected all over the world. As Donald says, “I am for fair trade, not free trade,” referring to agreements such as NAFTA and the TPP, which he believes are unfair to America.
It is important to mention that Donald is not a callous capitalist. I always knew he was a brilliant businessman, but during my time with him, I was surprised to discover that he was also an exceedingly compassionate man. “It is of primary importance to take care of our veterans and their families,” Donald says. And long before Obamacare, Donald spoke about providing free health and dental care for all children, up to the age of 18. His thoughts were that, if we take care of the health and dental care of our children, we would have fewer healthcare costs when people are older.
“Our country is in serious trouble…we don’t have victories anymore. Politicians and corporate business leaders are all talk and no action.” – Donald Trump
Washington and Lincoln became great presidents because they took office during some of the worst crises in our nation’s history — and brought the nation back to glory. Of all the candidates, I believe that Donald is the only person qualified to lead us out of this global financial crisis. He is the right person at the right time in our history. It is time to give the reigns of our failing business to someone who actually understands business. It is time to eliminate the dysfunction and antiquated nonsense that drags down Washington. It is time to elect Donald Trump.