Like many other fiscal conservatives I have been overlooking Donald Trump’s moral failings in hopes of electing a president who would be able to disrupt our current economic stagnation and move the U.S. towards faster growth which is the only way to achieve broad-based prosperity.
But at some point we all have to say that enough is enough and the appearance last week of the video with lewd remarks about women is the tipping point for me. Even though I can no longer support or vote for Mr. Trump, I would like to summarize where I agree (and disagree!) with him on various issues. In decreasing order of importance:
- Massive Debt. Mr. Trump at least talks about our almost $20 trillion national debt (and large annual deficits) even though he has made no proposals to deal with this problem. Mrs. Clinton has shown even less interest in this issue.
- Tax Reform. Mr. Trump wants to lower tax rates for both individuals and corporations in order to stimulate economic growth. This is a very good idea as long as the tax rate cuts are made revenue neutral by closing loopholes and shrinking deductions. The Republican House has an excellent plan, “A Better Way” to accomplish just this. Hillary Clinton talks far more about economic inequality than about growth.
- Regulatory Reform. Mr. Trump specifically mentions both the ACA and Dodd/Frank as being harmful to economic growth whereas Mrs. Clinton defends them.
- Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. Mr. Trump opposes both TPP and NAFTA. Fair trade deals create more jobs than they destroy. Furthermore they produce lower priced products for everyone which boosts the economy. Wage insurance and better retraining programs will help those who lose their jobs due to foreign competition.
- Immigration Reform. We need to solve our illegal immigration problem and Mr. Trump would probably be able to accomplish this, one way or another.
Conclusion. At this point it is pretty clear that Mrs. Clinton will be our next president. If the Republicans retain control of the House of Representatives, and she is willing to work with them, there is at least a chance to make progress on the growth issue.