Keeping It Straight: EXAMINING TRUMP’S ECONOMIC 'PLANS'
Watching Mr. Trump struggling to read a speech prepared by his handlers off a Tele-Prompter was truly sad. It was as if we were watching that kid in grade five who struggled with the day’s out-loud reading assignment because he still had not learned to read. Throughout the entire painful process it became more and more obvious that Trump did not have a clue about what he was saying.
Benefit working families while ensuring the wealthy pay their fair share. Nice, in principle, but Trump provided no method of implementation.
Dramatically reduce taxes for everyone and streamline deductions, presenting the biggest tax reform since Reagan. Sounds great, but numerous analysts say it add about $1 trillion to the national debt per year, or $10 trillion over a decade.
Exclude childcare expenses from taxation. Also sounds great, but will benefit wealthier parents a lot more than low-income ones, since you can’t claim tax benefits if you don’t earn enough income to pay taxes in the first place.
Limit taxation of business income to 15% for every business. This would be a big cut from the current 35%. A streamlined corporate tax code probably would boost growth, as Trump claims, but shareholders will benefit first, with ordinary workers waiting for the gains to trickle down and we all know how well “trickle down” worked.
Make corporate tax globally competitive and the United States the most attractive place to invest in the world. Fundamentally just more “corporate welfare.”
End the so-called death tax or the federal estate tax, which is 0 percent for any estate of less than $5.45 million. Above that, the tax rate is 40%. It is difficult to explain how ending the estate tax would benefit ordinary families.
Renegotiating NAFTA (or walk away if we have to). The majority of big companies hate this idea. Economists in general say it would push up prices for ordinary people and set the economy back.
Stopping the TPP. Not as crucial as NAFTA at this point, but economists also think TPP will have a mild positive benefit on the US economy, if the Senate ever approves it.
Bring trade relief cases to the World Trade Organization. Important but extremely minor.
Labeling China a currency manipulator. Would result in more trouble than it’s worth, in terms of retaliation from China.
Applying tariffs and duties to countries that cheat. Sounds good, but would raise prices for many ordinary products. Economists are skeptical of any benefits to the U.S. economy, but if there were any, they would come after pain imposed on ordinary consumers, not before.
Directing the Commerce Department to use all legal tools to respond to trade violations. Nothing new here and GOP Congress constantly blocks such moves.
Entering into no trade deal unless it increases our economic growth and strengthens our manufacturing base. Nothing new, the government has always done this.
Issue an executive order to impose a regulatory moratorium on new agency regulations. Remember, many of the regulations businesses complain about such as excessive licensing requirements, for example, are state and local rules and not national ones.
Require each federal agency to prepare a list of all of the regulations they impose on American business, and rank them from most critical to health and safety to least critical. Least critical regulations will receive priority consideration for repeal. Obama tried this, was excoriated and had little to show for it.
Remove bureaucrats and replace them with experts who know how to create jobs. There are about 2.7 million federal employees. Trump is going to evaluate each of them and determine which are “bureaucrats” and which are “job creators?”
Repeal and replace Obamacare. With what? Republicans in Congress have tried and failed to do this 60 times.
Initiate targeted review for regulations that inhibit hiring. These include:
The Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, which forces investment in renewable energy at the expense of coal and natural gas, raising electricity rates. Sounds good, until the news stories start to appear about people being harmed on the job or at home because of repealed regulations. People hate regulation in theory but they also expect protection from pollution, unsafe labor practices and fraudulent businesses.
The EPA’s Waters of the United States rule, which gives the EPA the ability to regulate the smallest streams on private land, limiting land use. Many people dislike the EPA but it’s hard to see how overturning small-ball rules would create jobs.
The Department of Interior’s moratorium on coal mining permits, which put tens of thousands of coal miners out of work. Coal has, in fact, been suffering. But the need for cleaner energy nonetheless seems undeniable at this point.
Ask Trans Canada to renew its permit application for the Keystone Pipeline. The Keystone Pipeline would add several hundred jobs, at best, if allowed with the potential of poisoning major aquifers.
Lift restrictions on American energy, which will increase GDP annually by $100 billion, create 500,000 new jobs and increase wages by over $30 billion over the next 7 years. Maybe, except there’s already a glut of oil that has pushed prices down and threatened the viability of many energy companies. Producing even more energy would push prices down even further, unless the global economy suddenly boomed.
As always, Trump has spewed proposals that 1) Cannot be implemented, 2) Would be devastating for the ordinary family, 3) Would line the pockets of the wealthy and 4) Would set our nation back by decades. And curiously missing – despite it being one of the greatest budget busters in history – was Trump’s infamous wall.
And of course one question still awaits an answer – Why won’t Trump release his tax returns? He said Romney should have been disqualified to run for not releasing his returns. What is Trump hiding?