Hillary Clinton ripped Donald Trump’s economic plan as a boon to the wealthiest Americans, including himself and his family, that will only increase the burden on middle-income taxpayers already pressured by stagnant wages.
In a speech at a Michigan manufacturing plant on Thursday, the Democratic presidential nominee sought to draw a stark contrast between her plans for the economy, which she argued would benefit a broad range of Americans, and the Republican’s proposals, which she said are aimed only at helping people like him.
Trump “hasn’t offered any credible solutions for the very real economic challenges we face,” Clinton said at Futuramic Tool & Engineering in Warren. Instead he’s proposed a tax plan that “would allow him to pay less than half the current tax rate on income from many of his companies. He’d pay a lower rate than millions of middle class families.”
Clinton didn’t lay out any new policies in her address. With the economy most frequently cited by voters as the top issue in the election, her main aim was to undercut Trump’s claim that his business experience gives him the expertise needed to spur job and income growth and to portray him as acting out of self-interest rather than in the national interest.
The first component of that is attacking the economic plan Trump laid out Monday in Detroit as a retread of Republican ideas that benefit the wealthy at the expense of the middle class.
The second part is challenging his business record. Clinton in recent weeks has made a point of stopping at small businesses in swing states where she’s recounted his history of manufacturing products overseas, hiring foreign workers over U.S. citizens and refusing to pay some contractors.
“He’s made a career of stiffing small businesses from Atlantic City to Las Vegas,” Clinton said. “There are companies that were left hanging but paid their workers anyway – putting businesses they’d worked a lifetime to build at risk.”
There’s evidence that Clinton’s attack on Trump’s record and media reports about his background have had some effect. In a Bloomberg Politics national poll conducted Aug. 5-8, 61 percent of likely voters said they’re less impressed with the Republican nominee’s business acumen than when the campaign started. Still, 51 percent of those polled said Trump “knows what it takes to create jobs” compared with 42 percent who said that of Clinton.
In a pre-emptive response issued via e-mail before Clinton’s speech, Trump’s campaign cited an analysis finding that her tax plan would shrink the gross domestic product, costing jobs.
That analysis, which was performed by the conservative Tax Foundation in Washington, found that Clinton’s plan would reduce GDP by 1 percent over the long term because it would create “slightly higher marginal tax rates on capital and labor.” That finding is based on a model that attempts to account for changes in taxpayers’ behavior that result from changes in tax law. Other economists criticize aspects of that model.
Applying its model to Clinton’s tax plan, the Tax Foundation found that her proposals would raise $191 billion over a decade. In contrast, the Tax Policy Center, a joint effort of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution, found that it would raise $1.1 trillion over the same time frame. Shifting Target