How will Clinton v. Trump affect your wallet? Comparing their policies on trade and job growth, taxes, and student loans.

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Until Tuesday, November 8th the United States will be consumed with talk, discourse, and debate about the Presidential election, with people weighing in whether they’ll vote for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. But if we look past the sound bites and social media banter, how will each candidate affect the economy if elected?

In this series of blogs, we’ll outline the economic policies of Clinton and Trump, and how these changes will impact the average American’s finances. In an attempt to remain impartial and factual, we stuck to research from credible sites, like Kiplinger, The Wall Street Journal,, Fortune, USA Today, and others.

Today, we’ll cover trade & job growth, taxes, and student loan debt, but stay tuned for upcoming blogs about Trump and Clinton’s proposed policies on infrastructure, unemployment, minimum wage, banking reform, defense spending, health care, and Social Security and Medicare.

We hope this helps you make an informed decision about who should be our next POTUS!

Trade & Job Growth

Donald Trump:
Trump emphasizes negotiating trade deals that are more beneficial for U.S companies in order to create more jobs for Americans. Part of that effort will be a mandate for American companies to bring their manufacturing operations in China, Mexico, Japan and Southeast Asia back to the U.S. For instance, he advocates new 45% tariffs on Chinese imports and 35% on products imported from Mexico, and also stands in opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal with Asian countries. Trump has called the threat of these tariffs and policy changes a way to effectively negotiate better trade deals and terms with these foreign nations, whether or not we institute them, as these tariffs are forecasted to increase U.S. consumer prices by 3%. Trump also proposes a huge infrastructure overhaul at home to create thousands of jobs, including building a wall along the Mexican border.

“I’m the only one on this stage [during the GOP primary debates] who has hired people.” – Donald Trump

Hillary Clinton:
Clinton, on the other hand, will push trade that fosters economic development, including tax and economic incentives to make America competitive again as a place for multinational firms to operate, creating jobs. She also opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership and aims to inhibit low-priced foreign imports by enforcing trade laws with the help of a newly appointed chief trade prosecutor and huge increase in the number of trade enforcement officers. Clinton also proposes economic programs at home that will help lower or middle wage Americans, like a 66% increase in the federal minimum wage by 2020.

“We need to raise pay, create good paying jobs, and build an economy that works for everyone—not just those at the top.” –Hillary Clinton


Hillary Clinton:
When it comes to taxation of American companies doing business abroad to shelter their tax hit, Clinton doesn’t differ from Trump as much as you may think. She has not publically back President Obama’s call to lower the corporate tax rate to 28%, and just like Trump, aims to inhibit companies who try to merge with foreign multinationals to avoid paying U.S. taxes.

When it comes to personal income taxes, Hillary Clinton plan would reportedly call for increases for the wealthiest 1% of Americans. The bottom 95% of taxpayers would see little or no change, but those who make over $5 million would get hit with a 4% surcharge tax on income over that amount, and people who earn more than $1 million would pay a minimum effective tax rate of 30%. If her plan works, it would create an additional $1.1 trillion in federal revenue over the next 10 years, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.

“I want to make sure the wealthy pay their fair share, which they have not been doing.”
-Hillary Clinton

Donald Trump:
Donald Trump rolls out an ambitious mission of cutting taxes, including advocating cuts to attract more businesses. Under his plan, the corporate tax rates would fall from the current 35% to 15%. But he also says he’ll offer personal tax cuts for all Americans, even the lowest-income earners all the way up to the top 1%. His plan would see a shrinking of federal tax brackets from seven to three (10%, 20% and 25% – down from the current 39.6%) an increase in standard deductions so single filers earning less than $25,000 and joint filers earning less than $50,000 would pay no taxes. Trump would cap taxes on capital gains and dividends at 20%, and taxes on large estates would be eliminated completely.

The wealthiest Americans would definitely see the biggest benefit. According to the Tax Policy Center, the top 0.1% would see an average tax cut of 19%, or about $1.3 million, compared to middle-income households that would enjoy a 4.9% deduction, an average of  $2,700 in savings. If his plan works, it would create an additional $9.5 trillion in federal revenue over the next 10 years, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.

“If I increase [taxes] on the wealthy [from my current proposal], they’re still going to pay less than they pay now.”
-Donald Trump

Student Loan Debt

Donald Trump:
Trump is on record as an advocate for doing something to stem the tide of rising student loan debt, but hasn’t detailed his plan. But he has said that it would include, “extensions and lower interest rates and a lot of good things,” and has publically documented his opinion that the government shouldn’t profit from student loans. Trump doesn’t go as far as thinking higher education should be free because of the high price tag that would likely be passed to the public in the form of higher taxes, though he does say an increase in private banking offering loans would make them more competitive and less restrictive than our current system.

“That’s probably one of the only things the government shouldn’t make money off — I think it’s terrible that one of the only profit centers we have is student loans.”
-Donald Trump

Hillary Clinton:
If Hillary Clinton is elected, she will advocate a larger role for the federal government in helping students at public colleges and universities afford tuition without amassing high debt. Those who already have student loans will benefit from lower interest rates and more flexible payment options under her plan, including automatic federal student loan payment deferments for three months, better refinance options, and an income-based repayment plan that keeps student loan payments less than 10% of borrower income. Furthermore, Clinton has outlined her New College Compact Plan to be rolled out by 2021, giving free in-state public school tuition for students from households earning less than $125,000 annually. Under this plan, families would have to contribute to college costs and students would have to work at least 10 hours per week to be eligible.

“No family and no student should have to borrow to pay tuition at a public college or university. And everyone who has student debt should be able to finance it at lower rates.”
-Hillary Clinton


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