— Stefan Becket (@becket) Sept. 27, 2016
Among all the ignorant, nonsensical things Donald Trump uttered during Monday night’s debate, his admittance and defense of not paying income taxes might have been the most galling. He took a bizarre pride in avoiding the financial stake that every American is supposed to have in this country — “that makes me smart” — and in doing so, likely angered millions of Americans who struggle to pay their taxes or get by on underfunded assistance programs.
Mark Cuban has enough money to find himself accountants who could maneuver around and within the tax code, and he likely does. But even he knows the difference between being savvy and taking responsibility for the wealth you’ve amassed.
That Dallas Mavericks practice facility to which Cuban refers was reportedly funded entirely by he and the Mavericks, with no public assistance. Did Cuban use a question about Trump to promote his own brand for its more honest business dealings? Sure. But the contrast is an important one.
Time and time again, Trump has confused swindling and conning with business savvy, and claimed that his underhanded dealings make him qualified to be an expert negotiator as commander in chief. But there are far more important things in life than amassing personal wealth, and all of those things are magnified when you’re a public servant. Even Cuban, whose practice arena is a for-profit business venture rather than any grand public works project, knows the difference.