His harsh agitations aside, a lot of what Donald Trump says makes sense – a least to some degree. Then he goes and does something goofy like releasing an economic plan that to his minions, must feel like a punch in the face. Here’s what Trump plans to do and why it’s so outrageously bizarre.
End environmental regulations established over the last 8 years
Operating under environmental regulations is expensive – sure. Trump’s plan ends environmental regulations established under the Obama Administration during a period of rapid global warming that looks to be potentially catastrophic for our planet.
Ban U.S. payments for global climate change studies
Even worse, Trump proposes a ban on any future global climate change studies.
Reduce tax rates for the highest income earners
As expected, Trump’s plan reduces the tax rate from 40% to 33% for the top earners.
Withdraw from the Paris climate agreement
Claiming America foots too much of the bill, Trump’s plan includes a withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, a United Nations agreement negotiated by 195 countries and adopted in December 2015. In effect, Trump’s plan proposes economic benefit is more important that climate control.
Make childcare expenses deductible
On the surface, deductions for childcare sound great. Dig deeper however, and you find it roots Americans even deeper into the two-working-parents requirement, making it impossible for American families to survive unless both parents work.
Limits taxes on all forms of business to just 15 percent
Nobody will argue that businesses, especially small businesses, need to reinvest profits to succeed. But as a business grows larger and profit margins increase, enormous amounts of profit can be used to cut others out of the market. To place a hard limit of 15% (the current limit is 35%) on businesses, irrespective of their profits, is idiotic and serves to artificially elevate successful businesses and hinder the competitive working environment.
End estate taxes
Given that only about 1 in 500 pay taxes on estates, the only group this benefits is upper-class tax payers who stand to inherit billions in estates created by their forefathers.
With a bit of good stuff thrown in
Included in his economic plan, Trump noted that he would appoint trade negotiators and apply tariffs on countries that cheat. He also revealed a proposed moratorium on all new federal regulations. Both popular points with the American majority albeit little more than fluff to cover up the economic atrocities he tried to pawn off on his minions.
Setting the stage for a “none of this benefits me in any way” delivery, Trump also noted he will “eliminate the Carried Interest Deduction, a well-known deduction, and other special interest loopholes that have been so good for Wall Street investors, and people like me, but unfair to American workers.” In fact, this is a minor concession. Tax professionals have long stated that closing the carried interest loophole would generate less than $2 billion per year – not exactly a windfall for a government that collects more than $3 trillion in taxes annually.
Transcript of Trump’s Detroit Economic Club speech
Below is the full transcript of Trump’s economic speech presented to the Detroit Economic Club on August 8, 2016. Included are fact-check notations from NPR.
Thank you everybody, thank you very much. Thank you. Such a crowd – beautiful. Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you. Please.
Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. It’s wonderful to be in Detroit. I’ve been here many times. We now begin a great national conversation about economic renewal for America. It’s a conversation about how to make America great again – for everyone, especially and I say especially, for those who have the very least.
The city of Detroit is where our story begins. Detroit was once the economic envy of the world. The people of Detroit helped to power America to its position of global dominance in the 20th century.
When we were governed by the America First policy, Detroit was absolutely booming. Engineers, builders, laborers, shippers and countless others went to work each day, provided for their families and lived out, totally, lived out the American Dream. But for many living in this city, that dream has long ago vanished.
When we abandoned the policy of America First, we started rebuilding other countries instead of our own. The skyscrapers went up in Beijing and many other cities in the world while the factories and neighborhoods crumbled right here in Detroit. Our roads and bridges fell into disrepair. Yet we found the money to resettle millions of refugees at taxpayer expense. Today, Detroit has per capita income of under $15K – about half of the national average.
40% of the city’s residents live in poverty, over two and a half times the national average.
The unemployment rate is more than twice the national average. Half of all Detroit residents do not work.
Detroit tops the list of the most dangerous cities in terms of violent crime.
These are silenced victims whose stories are never told by Hillary Clinton. But victims whose suffering is no less real or permanent. In short, the city of Detroit is the living, breathing example of my opponent’s failed economic agenda. Every policy that has failed this city and so many others is a policy supported by Hillary Clinton.
She supports the high taxes and radical regulation that forced jobs out of your community and the crime policies have made you far far less safe. And the immigration policies that have strained local budgets and the trade deals like NAFTA, signed by her husband, that have shipped your jobs to Mexico and other countries and she supports the education policies that deny your students choice, freedom and opportunity. She is the candidate of the past. Ours is the campaign of the future.
This is a city controlled by Democratic politicians at every level, and unless we change policies, we will not change results. One hundred percent.
Today, I will outline my economic vision. In the coming weeks, we will be offering more detail on all of these policies, and the ones we have already rolled out (protesters interrupt) …thank you everybody. This is what happens when you go from thirty five people to close to two thousand people, I guess. — in the coming weeks, we will be offering more detail on all of these policies and the ones we have already rolled out can be viewed on my campaign website.
Our opposition, on the other hand, has long ago run out of ideas. All Hillary Clinton has to offer is more of the same: more taxes, more regulations, more bureaucrats, more restrictions on American energy and on American production. More of that.
If you were a foreign power looking to weaken America, you couldn’t do better than Hillary Clinton’s economic agenda. Nothing would make our foreign adversaries happier than for our country to tax and regulate our companies and our jobs right out of existence. The one common feature of every Hillary Clinton idea is that it punishes you for working and doing business in the United States. Every policy she has tilts the playing field towards other countries at our expense. And that’s why she tries to distract us with tired political rhetoric that seeks to label us, divide us, and pull us apart.
My campaign is about reaching out to everyone as Americans, and returning to a government that puts the American people first. Here is what an America First economic plan looks like.
First, let’s talk tax reform. Taxes are one of the biggest differences in this race. Hillary Clinton – who has spent her career voting for tax increases – plans another massive job-killing $1.3 trillion-dollar tax increase. Big increase – one of the biggest ever. Her plan would tax many small businesses by almost fifty percent.
Recently, at a campaign event, Hillary Clinton short-circuited – you know this, you’ve heard this one – Hillary Clinton short-circuited again – to use a now famous term – when she accidentally told the truth and said she wanted to raise taxes on the middle class.
Politifact has rated this claim “pants on fire,” but Trump continues to say it at events, including in this highly scripted speech. Clinton has campaigned extensively on not raising taxes on the middle class. His campaign has circulated a misleading video with a caption saying she said she wants to raise taxes on the middle class, but you can hear she says “we aren’t going to raise taxes on the middle class”
I am proposing an across-the-board income tax reduction, especially for middle-income Americans. This will lead to millions of new and really good-paying jobs. The rich will pay their fair share, but no one will pay so much that it destroys jobs, or undermines our ability as a nation to compete.
As part of this reform, we will eliminate the Carried Interest Deduction, a well-known deduction, and other special interest loopholes that have been so good for Wall Street investors, and people like me, but unfair to American workers. Tax simplification will be a major feature of the plan. Our current tax code is so burdensome and complex that we waste 9 billion hours a year in tax code compliance. My plan will reduce the current number of brackets from 7 to 3, and dramatically streamline the process.
Many politicians argue that streamlining the U.S. tax code is a good idea. However, cutting the number of brackets doesn’t do a whole lot to simplify things. — Danielle Kurtzleben
We will work with House Republicans on this plan, using the same brackets they have proposed: 12, 25 and 33 percent.
For many American workers, their tax rate will be zero. While we will develop our own set of assumptions and policies, agreeing in some areas but not in all or in others, we will be focused on the same shared goals and guided by the same shared principles: jobs, growth and opportunity. These reforms will offer the biggest tax revolution since the Reagan Tax Reform, which unleashed years of continued economic growth and job creation. We will Make America Grow Again.
In the days ahead, we will provide more details on this plan and how it will help you and most importantly your family. It will present a night-and-day contrast to the job-killing, tax-raising, poverty-inducing Obama-Clinton agenda.
So important – the State of New York has already lived through Hillary Clinton’s failed leadership. The Washington Post just published today a devastating article on Hillary Clinton’s broken promises.
She pledged 200,000 jobs for upstate New York as Senator. But what happened? What happened? The Washington Post writes, and I quote: “upstate job growth stagnated overall during her tenure, with manufacturing jobs plunging record-setting levels, plunging nearly 25 percent…the former first lady was totally unable to pass big ticket legislation… Many promised jobs they were all promised, I remember it so well…”Vote for Hillary – she’ll bring back your jobs”, many promised jobs never materialized and others migrated to other states as she turned to her first presidential run which also was a disaster.
Data shows that upstate actually lost jobs a lot them during Clinton’s first term. In other words, she was all talk, no action, upstate New York is a disaster. What’s happened to upstate New York. And NAFTA, which her husband signed, is a very, very big reason.
Bill Clinton did sign NAFTA, but it’s misleading to attribute that policy entirely to him. In fact, it was negotiated under George H.W. Bush, who signed it in 1992, as the Washington Post’s Fact Checker has pointed out. After Congress passed it, Clinton then signed it into law in 1993. — Danielle Kurtzleben
Compare that to my record. In a recent New York Post article by Steve Cuozzo, “How Donald Trump Helped Save New York City,” the paper writes that I – and this is a direct quote in other words, it’s not from me (crowd interruption) thank you…it’s all very well planned out – and this is a direct quote that basically Donald Trump “waded into a landscape of empty Fifth Avenue storefronts, the dust-bowl mugging ground that was Central Park so dangerous and a Wall Street area seemingly on its last legs as companies moved out…then almost by sheer force of will — [he] rode to the rescue. Expressing rare faith in the future, he was instrumental in kickstarting the regeneration of neighborhoods and landmarks almost given up on for dead.” True. Have to say. I didn’t say it. They said it. It’s true. This is what I want to do…(crowd interruption)… We all remember New York City was a disaster. We made it great. We made it great. This is want I want to do for our country – I want to jumpstart America. And it can be done. And it won’t even be that hard.
Now let’s look at what the Obama-Clinton policies have done nationally. Their policies produced 1.2% growth, the weakest so-called recovery since the Great Depression, it’s been written about all over, it’s a disaster and a doubling of the national debt during the Obama years. There are now 94.3 million Americans outside of the labor force. It was 80.5 million when President Obama took office, an increase of 14 million people.
The Obama-Clinton agenda of tax, spend and regulate has created a silent nation of jobless Americans. Home ownership is at its lowest rate in 51 years.
(More protesters interrupt) Thank you…I will say the Bernie Sanders people had far more energy and spirit, I will say.
Nearly 12 million have been added to the food stamp and, these people are growing and growing so rapidly, since President Obama took office. Another nearly 7 million people great Americans are right now living in poverty. We have the lowest labor force participation rates in four decades. 58 percent of the African-American youth are either outside the labor force or not employed.
1 in 5 American households do not have a single member in the labor force. Not a single member of a household. These are the real unemployment numbers – the five percent figure is one of the biggest hoaxes in American modern politics. Meanwhile, American households are earning more than $4,000 think of that, $4,000 less today than they were sixteen years ago. The average worker today pays 31.5 percent of their wages to income and payroll taxes. On top of that, state and local taxes consume another 10 percent. Very grim picture.
The United States also has the highest business tax rate among the major industrialized nations of the world, at 35 percent. It’s almost 40 percent when you add in taxes at the state level and in many cases and in many states, it’s much higher than that. In other words, we punish companies for making products in America – but let them ship products into the United States tax-free if they move overseas. This, ladies and gentlemen, is backwards, it’s backwards. All of our policies should be geared towards keeping jobs and wealth inside of the United States.
Under my plan, no American company will pay more than 15% of their business income in taxes. In other words, we’re reducing your taxes from 35% to 15%. Thank you. Small businesses will benefit the most from this plan. Hillary Clinton’s plan will require small business to pay as much as three times more in taxes than what I am proposing, and her onerous regulations will put them totally out of business and you won’t be able to start — you can not ever start a small business under the tremendous regulatory burden that you have in today in our country. We’re going to end it. I am going to cut regulations massively massively.
Our lower business tax will also end job-killing corporate inversions, and cause trillions in new dollars and wealth to come pouring into our country – and by the way into cities like right here in Detroit. To help unleash this new job creation, we will allow businesses to immediately expense new business investments. No one will gain more from these proposals than low-and-middle income Americans.
My plan will also help reduce the cost of childcare by allowing parents to fully deduct the average cost of childcare spending from their taxes. We are also going to bring back trillions of dollars from American businesses that are now parked overseas they can’t bring their money back into our country. Our plan will bring that cash home, applying only a 10 percent tax. This money will be re-invested in states like Michigan, states like Michigan which are having serious problems. Finally, no family will have to pay the death tax. American workers have paid taxes their whole lives, and they should not be taxed again at death – it’s just plain wrong. And most people agree with that. We will repeal it.
That applies to very few people — around 1 in 500 estates were subject to the tax last year, according to the Tax Policy Center. — Danielle Kurtzleben
Next comes regulatory reform. As with taxes, I will have one overriding goal when it comes to regulation: I want t jobs and I want wealth to stay in America. Motor vehicle manufacturing is one of the most heavily regulated industries in the country and even in the world. The U.S. economy today is twenty-five percent smaller than it would have been without the surge of regulations since 1980. It is estimated that current over-regulation is costing our economy as much as $2 trillion dollars a year – that’s money taken straight out of cities like Detroit. So many of our cities are suffering so gravely, right out of Detroit and others. The federal register is now over 80,000 pages long.
As the Wall Street Journal noted, President Obama has issued close to four hundred new major regulations since taking office, each with a cost to the American economy of $100 million or more. In 2015 alone, the Obama Administration unilaterally issued more than 2,000 new regulations – each a hidden tax on American consumers, and a massive lead weight on the American economy. It is time to remove the anchor dragging us down, and that’s what it’s doing – it’s dragging us down. Upon taking office, I will issue a temporary moratorium on new agency regulations.
My running mate, Mike Pence, and by the way, a great guy, signed a similar order when he became and when he worked so hard in Indiana as its governor. This will give our American companies the certainty they need to reinvest in our community, get cash off of the sidelines, start hiring new jobs, and expanding their businesses. So important. That’s what it’s about. I will also immediately cancel all illegal and overreaching executive orders.
Next, I will ask each and every federal agency to prepare a list of all of the regulations they impose on Americans which are not necessary, do not improve public safety, and which needlessly kill many many jobs. Those regulations will be eliminated quickly. We are in a competition with the world, and I want America to win. We don’t win anymore. But when I am president, we will start winning again, big league.
One of the most important reforms of all is trade reform. As Bernie Sanders has said, Hillary Clinton has bad judgment. We’ve seen this bad judgment overseas, in Libya, Iraq, and Syria. We’ve seen it in Iran. We’ve seen it from President Obama, when he gives $150 billion to Iran, the number one terror state, and even gives them $400 million in money-laundered cash as a ransom payment.
But we’ve also seen the terrible Obama-Clinton judgment right here for everybody to see in Detroit. Hillary Clinton has supported the trade deals stripping this city, and this country, of its jobs and its wealth. She supported Bill Clinton’s NAFTA, she supported China’s entrance into the World Trade Organization, she supported job-killing trade deal and that was a really bad one with South Korea, and she supports the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Not now, but very soon if she wins and we can’t let her win. Cause that will be a disaster for Detroit and everybody else.
Let’s talk about South Korea for a moment, because it so perfectly illustrates the broken promises that have hurt so many American workers. President Obama, and the usual so-called experts who’ve been wrong about every trade deal for decades, predicted that the trade deal with South Korea would increase our exports to South Korea by more than $10 billion – resulting in some 70,000 jobs. Like Hillary Clinton’s broken promises to New York, these pledges all turned out to be false. Instead of creating 70,000 jobs, it has killed nearly 100,000 jobs, according to the Economic Policy Institute. Our exports to South Korea haven’t increased at all, but their imports to us have surged more than $15 billion – more than doubling our trade deficit with that country. What else is new? It’s happening with everyone.
The next betrayal will be the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Hillary Clinton’s closest friend, Terry McAuliffe, confirmed what I have been saying, and this is from the beginning: if sent to the Oval Office, Hillary Clinton will enact the TPP. As sure as you’re sitting there. Her donors will make sure of it. A vote for Hillary Clinton is a vote for TPP – and it’s also a vote for NAFTA.
Clinton and Trump alike are in favor of renegotiating NAFTA, as the Washington Post’s Fact Checker reports. — Danielle Kurtzleben
Our annual trade deficit in goods with Mexico has risen from close to zero, think of that, in 1993 to almost $60 billion today. Our total trade deficit in goods hit nearly $800 billion last year. Total trade deficit. Almost $800 billion. This is a strike at the heart of Michigan, and our nation as a whole. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, before NAFTA went into effect, there were 285,000 auto workers in Michigan. Today, that number is only 160,000. Detroit is still waiting for Hillary Clinton’s apology. She has been a disaster. Obama has been a disaster. I expect Detroit will get that apology right around the same time Hillary Clinton turns over the 33,000 emails she deleted.
Hillary Clinton’s Trans-Pacific Partnership will be an even bigger disaster for the auto industry, believe me, even bigger and even worse than NAFTA. In fact, Ford Motor Company has announced its opposition to the deal. According to the Economic Policy Institute, the U.S. trade deficit with the proposed TPP member, all of the member countries has cost over 1 million manufacturing jobs in the year 2015.
By far the biggest losses occurred in motor vehicles and parts, which lost nearly 740,000 manufacturing jobs. What are we doing? Michigan ranks first for jobs lost as a share of state workforce due to the trade deficit with TPP members. Just imagine how many more automobile jobs will be lost if the TPP is actually approved. It will be catastrophic. That is why I have announced we will withdraw from the deal before that can ever ever ever happen.
Hillary Clinton will never withdraw from TPP. She is bought, controlled and paid-for by her donors and special interests. One hundred percent. Because my only interest is the American people, I have previously laid out a detailed 7-point plan for trade reform, available on my website. It includes strong protections against currency manipulation, big problem, tariffs against any countries that cheat by unfairly subsidizing their goods, and it includes a total renegotiation of NAFTA, which is a disaster for our country. A total renegotiation. If we don’t get a better deal, we will walk away.
At the center of my plan is trade enforcement with China. This alone could return millions of jobs into our country. They break the rules in every way imaginable. China engages in illegal export subsidies, prohibited currency manipulation, and rampant theft of intellectual property. They also have no real environmental or labor protections, further undercutting American workers. Just enforcing intellectual property rules alone could save millions of American jobs. According to the U.S. International Trade Commission, improved protection of America’s intellectual property in China would produce more than 2 million more jobs right here in the United States. Add to that the saved jobs from cracking down on currency cheating and product dumping, and we will bring trillions of dollars in new wealth and wages back to the United States.
Trade has big benefits, and I am in favor of trade. But I want great trade deals for our country that create more jobs and higher wages for American workers. Isolation is not an option, only great and well-crafted trade deals are.
Also critical to our economic renewal will be energy reform. The Obama-Clinton Administration has blocked and destroyed millions of jobs through their anti-energy regulations, while raising the price of electricity for both families and businesses. As a result of recent Obama EPA actions coal-fired power plants across Michigan have either shut down entirely or undergone expensive conversions. The Obama-Clinton war on coal has cost Michigan over 50,000 jobs.
Hillary Clinton says her plan will “put a lot of coal companies and coal miners out of business.” We will put our coal miners and steel workers back to work. Clinton not only embraces President Obama’s job-killing energy restrictions but wants to expand them, including going after oil and natural gas production that employs some 10 million Americans. According to the Heritage Foundation, by 2030, the Obama-Clinton energy restrictions will eliminate another half a million manufacturing jobs, reduce economic output by $2.5 trillion dollars, and reduce incomes by $7,000 dollars per person.
A Trump Administration will end this war on the American worker, and unleash an energy revolution that will bring vast new wealth to our country. According to the Institute for Energy Research, lifting the restrictions on all sources of American energy will: Increase GDP by more than $100 billion dollars annually, add over 500,000 new jobs annually, and increase annual wages by more than $30 billion dollars over the next 7 years; Increase federal, state, and local tax revenues by almost $6 trillion dollars over 4 decades; Increase total economic activity by more than $20 trillion dollars over the next 40 years. The reforms I have outlined today are only the beginning When we reform our tax, trade, energy and regulatory policies, we will open a new chapter in American Prosperity. We can use this new wealth to rebuild our military and our infrastructure.
As part of this new future, we will also be rolling out proposals to increase choice and reduce cost in childcare, offering much-needed relief to American families. I will unveil my plan on this in the coming weeks that I have been working on with my daughter Ivanka and an incredible team of experts. Likewise, our education reforms will help parents send their kids to a school of their choice. We will also give our police and law enforcement the funds and support they need to restore law and order to this country. Without security, there can be no prosperity. We must have law and order. In the coming days, we will be rolling out plans on all of these items. One of my first acts as President will be to repeal and replace disastrous Obamacare, saving another 2 million American jobs.
We will also rebuild our military, and get our allies to pay their fair share for the protection we provide – saving us countless more billions to invest in our own country. We also have a plan, on our website, for a complete reform of the Veterans Health Administration. This is something so desperately needed to make sure our vets are fully supported and get the care they deserve.
Detroit – the Motor City – will come roaring back. We will offer a new future, not the same old failed policies of the past. Our party has chosen to make new history by selecting a nominee from outside the rigged and corrupt system. The other party has reached backwards into the past to choose a nominee from yesterday – who offers only the rhetoric of yesterday, and the policies of yesterday.
There will be no change under Hillary Clinton – only four more years of Obama. But we are going to look boldly into the future. We will build the next generation of roads, bridges, railways, tunnels, sea ports and airports that our country deserves. American cars will travel the roads, American planes will connect our cities, and American ships will patrol the seas. American steel will send new skyscrapers soaring. We will put new American metal into the spine of this nation. It will be American hands that rebuild this country, and it will be American energy – mined from American sources – that powers this country. It will be American workers who are hired to do the job.
This is a frequent campaign promise from Trump, but his own hiring practices haven’t always reflected this view. A recent Buzzfeed article detailed Trump’s effort to bring in foreign guest workers for his Mar-a-Lago resort. When asked about this, Trump has said it is hard to get enough American workers for these seasonal jobs. -Tamara Keith
Americanism, not globalism, will be our new credo. Our country will reach amazing new heights. All we have to do is stop relying on the tired voices of the past. We can’t fix a rigged system by relying on the people who rigged it in the first place. We can’t solve our problems by relying on the politicians who created them. Only by changing to new leadership, and new solutions, will we get new results. We need to stop believing in politicians, and start believing in America.
Before everything great that has ever happened, the doubters have always said it couldn’t be done. America is ready to prove the doubters wrong. They want you to think small. I am asking you to think big. We are ready to dream great things for our country once again. We are ready to show the world that America is Back – Bigger, and Better and Stronger Than Ever Before. Thank you, and God Bless You.