We're getting down to the wire of the 2016 Presidential election, which could end up being one of the least inspiring elections ever in this country, with both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump running neck-and-neck as the most unlikable candidates for the highest office in the land. While both of them have been speaking more or less nonstop for the better part of two years' worth of campaigning, neither has said much of anything of substance about logistics, which represents more than 8% of the U.S. economy. They're both agreed, at least, that something needs to be done to fix our crumbling infrastructure (see Adrienne Selko's analysis, Will US Infrastructure be the Real Winner of the Election?), though they're lean on specifics as to where the money is going to come from to do that.
Part of what makes it difficult to compare the positions between the two major candidates is that they rarely agree on what the main issues of the campaign are. The Clinton campaign's website, for instance, includes climate change, LGBT rights and wildlife protection as major issues, none of which appear on Trump's website. Conversely, the Trump website highlights his positions on the Second Amendment and regulations, while Clinton sidesteps those topics.
Nevertheless, the two candidates are very different in their opinions on how businesses should be run and the role of government as an overseer of U.S. industrial policy. What follows is MH&L's summary of Secretary Clinton's and Mr. Trump's positions, in their own words, on several key issues, with the hope that an examination of their actual statements will help you form a clearer idea of what the country would look like should one of them become U.S. President. And if you still can't see yourself entrusting the country's supply chain to either Clinton or Trump, then you can always opt for an alternative candidate.
Election Day is November 8. See you at the polls.
On Tax Reform
Trump: Every one percentage point of slower growth in a given year represents one million fewer jobs for American workers. Reducing taxes on our workers and businesses means that our workers can sell their products more cheaply here and around the world—meaning more factories, more hiring and higher wages. Trump believes it's time to stop punishing people for doing business in America.
Taxes have increased by $1.7 trillion over the past eight years. The Trump plan would limit taxes on all businesses to 15% of business income.
The child care exclusion will be an above-the-line deduction, and would be capped at the amount of average care costs in state of residence for age of child. Low-income taxpayers would be able to take deductions against the payroll tax. The plan would be structured to benefit working and middle class families.
Clinton:Clinton is committed to restoring basic fairness in our tax code and ensuring that the wealthiest Americans and large corporations pay their fair share, while providing tax relief to working families. She will use the proceeds to create good-paying jobs here in America—and make investments that leave our economy more competitive over the long run.
As President, Clinton will close corporate and Wall Street tax loopholes and invest in America. She will close tax loopholes like inversions that reward companies for shifting profits and jobs overseas. She will charge an "exit tax" for companies leaving the U.S. to settle up on their untaxed foreign earnings.
She will close tax loopholes that let Wall Street money managers pay lower rates than some middle class families. And she'll reward businesses that invest in good-paying jobs here in the United States.
She will also simplify and cut taxes for small businesses so they can hire and grow. The smallest businesses, with one to five employees, spend 150 hours and $1,100 per employee on federal tax compliance, which she says is more than 20 times higher than the average for far larger firms. She will also provide tax relief to working families from the rising costs they face, including tax relief for Americans facing excessive out-of-pocket healthcare costs and for those caring for an ill or elderly family member.
Clinton: Clinton will make it a central priority to make sure every American can find a good-paying job, with rising incomes across the board. In order to create jobs today and help businesses create them in the future, she'll make the largest investment in good-paying jobs since World War II.
She will advance our commitment to research and technology in order to create the industries and jobs of the future. She will establish the U.S. as the clean energy superpower of the world—with half a billion solar panels installed by the end of her first term and enough clean, renewable energy to power every home in America within 10 years of her taking office.
Clinton will provide tax relief and expand access to capital so small businesses can grow, hire and thrive. She will ensure that the jobs of the future in caregiving and services are good-paying jobs, recognizing their fundamental contributions to families and to America.
She will pursue smarter, fairer, tougher trade policies that put U.S. job creation first and get tough on nations like China that seek to prosper at the expense of our workers. This includes opposing trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) that do not meet a high bar of creating good-paying jobs and raising pay.
She will commit to a full-employment, full-potential economy and break down barriers so that growth, jobs and prosperity are shared in every community in America.
Trump: Trump will withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which has not yet been ratified. He will tell NAFTA partners that we intend to immediately renegotiate the terms of that agreement to get a better deal for our workers. If they don't agree to a renegotiation, we will submit notice that the U.S. intends to withdraw from the deal.
He will eliminate Mexico's one-side, backdoor tariff through the VAT, and he will end sweatshops in Mexico that undercut U.S. workers.
As President, Trump will appoint tough and smart trade negotiators to fight on behalf of American workers.
Trump will direct the Secretary of Commerce to identify every violation of trade agreements a foreign country is currently using to harm our workers, and also direct all appropriate agencies to use every tool under American and international law to end these abuses.
He will instruct the Treasury Secretary to label China a currency manipulator, and will instruct the U.S. Trade Representative to bring trade cases against China, both in this country and at the WTO. Trump will use every lawful presidential power to remedy trade disputes if China does not stop its illegal activities, including its theft of American trade secrets.
Trump: Trump will promote a system of legal immigration that serves the well-being of the American people. He will keep immigration levels, measured by population share, within historical norms. He will select immigrants based on their likelihood of success in the U.S. and their ability to be financially self-sufficient. He will establish new immigration controls to boost wages and to ensure that open jobs are offered to American workers first.
Trump's plan to put America first will, among other things, include the construction of an impenetrable physical wall on the southern border. Mexico will pay for the wall. Under a Trump administration, anyone who illegally crosses the border will be detained until they are removed out of our country.
Criminal aliens will be moved out of the U.S. on day one, in joint operations with local, state and federal law enforcement. Sanctuary cities will cease. Anyone who enters the U.S. illegally will be subject to deportation.
Trump will ensure that a biometric entry-exit visa tracking system is fully implemented at all land, air and sea ports.
Clinton: As President, Clinton will introduce comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to full and equal citizenship within her first 100 days in office. It will treat every person with dignity, fix the family visa backlog, uphold the rule of law, protect our borders and national security, and bring millions of hardworking people into the formal economy. She will end the three- and 10-year bars.
She will enforce immigration laws humanely, and will focus resources on detaining and deporting those individuals who pose a violent threat to public safety, and ensure refugees who seek asylum in the U.S. have a fair chance to tell their stories.
She will end family detention and close private immigration detention centers. She will expand access to affordable healthcare to all families, and will allow families—regardless of immigration status—to buy into the Affordable Care Act exchanges.
Clinton will promote naturalization, and will work to expand fee waivers to alleviate naturalization costs, increase access to language programs to encourage English proficiency, and increase outreach and education to help more people navigate the process.
She will create a national Office of Immigrant Affairs, support affordable integration services through $15 million in new grant funding for community navigators and similar organizations, and significantly increase federal resources for adult English language education and citizenship education.
On The Economy
Clinton: In her first 100 days in office Clinton will invest in infrastructure, manufacturing, research and technology, clean energy, and small businesses. She will strengthen trade enforcement, and she'll say no to trade deals like TPP that don't meet a high enough bar of creating good-paying jobs.
And she will make the U.S. the clean energy superpower of the world—with half a billion solar panels installed by the end of her first term and enough clean, renewable energy to power every home in America within 10 years of her taking office.
Clinton will pay for her economic priorities and avoid adding to the national debt by ensuring the wealthiest Americans and the biggest corporations pay their fair share. For example, she'll fight for the Buffett Rule, close the carried interest loophole, and impose a new surcharge on multi-millionaires and billionaires.
She will also enact policies that meet the challenges families face in the 21st Century economy. She will fight for equal pay and guarantee paid leave.
Trump: Trump plans to create 25 million new jobs over the next decade.
For each 1% in added GDP growth, the economy adds 1.2 million jobs. Increasing growth by 1.5% would result in 18 million jobs (1.5 million times 1.2 million, multiplied by 10 years) above the projected current law job figures of 7 million, producing a total of 25 million new jobs for the American economy.
His plan will boost growth to 3.5% per year on average, with the potential to reach a 4% growth rate.