Clinton and Trump Trade Barbs Over Economic Policy
Policy + Politics

Clinton and Trump Trade Barbs Over Economic Policy


Speaking just outside Detroit Wednesday, only a few miles away from where her rival Donald Trump had delivered a gloomy assessment of the economy on Monday, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton praised a manufacturing renaissance in Michigan and laid out an economic plan that she said would result in “unleashing the power of the private sector to create more jobs at higher pay.”

The plans Clinton discussed were primarily things that she has been talking about on the campaign trail for months. In addition to a major jobs programs, she proposed a$10 billion partnership fund to encourage the creation of new manufacturing jobs in the U.S. and $25 billion in seed money for an infrastructure bank that, she said, could spur $250 billion in new investment.

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But the real purpose of the speech appeared to be attacking Trump’s economic proposals from earlier in the week. She took a swipe at his downbeat assessment of the Detroit area before moving on to some of the Republican nominee’s specific proposals.

Clinton blasted his tax plan for being grossly tilted toward the benefit of people who are already wealthy, as well as his suggestion that the estate tax be completely eliminated, calling that a giveaway to the ultra-wealthy.

"Donald Trump wants to give trillions in tax breaks to people like himself,” she said.

She also attacked Trump’s proposal to make most child-care expenses tax free, pointing out that the way it is structured makes it virtually certain that the greatest benefit would flow, again, to the wealthy.

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Clinton reiterated her opposition to the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal -- something that she and Trump have in common -- and proposed the creation of a chief trade “prosecutor” who would be charged with bringing cases against other countries that are caught breaking the rules laid out in trade agreements. Punishment, she added, would take the form of tariffs, a favorite remedy of her opponent’s.

Trump himself offered a prebuttal of sorts when he delivered a speech to a convention of homebuilders on Wednesday morning.

“Hillary Clinton wants to tax and regulate our economy to death,” he said, adding that he would deliver “big league” tax cuts and would reduce regulatory burden on businesses.