Democratic Candidate Secretary Hillary Clinton’s Economic Policy:
Secretary Clinton believes that the economy needs to work for everyone. She promises to restore “basic fairness” in our tax codes, and she wants to enforce a system were the wealthiest and largest corporations will pay their share while creating tax breaks for the working class. Outlined on her profile for The Wall Street Journal “Where They Stand” is her specific tax policy, where she proposes a cap for deductions and imposing a surtax for those who have an income $5 million or above.
Clinton wants to use the benefits from tax reform to create more jobs in America and make investments that will boost the economy over a long period of time. Her in-depth plan includes investing in new infrastructures, manufacturing, research and technology. She also proposes that she will say no to deals, like the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership), that don’t create enough high paying jobs.
Clinton will make sure that most students go to college debt free, though she excludes wealthy families. She proposes a tuition income cap in which those below a certain amount will have no tuition, and those above will have “affordable” out-of-pocket expenses. She also wants to help alleviate existing student debt by allowing the refinancing of current student loans and forgiving debt for young entrepreneurs.
Clinton is a longtime supporter of raising the federal minimum wage and says that the U.S. needs to raise it “to the highest it has ever been in this country.” However, she has not endorsed the proposal of $15/hour. She also wants to fight for equal pay and guaranteed paid family and medical leave, while simultaneously providing financial relief for childcare, housing and medical expenses. Clinton also wants to expand access to capital and provide tax relief so that small businesses can grow and succeed in the market.
Green Party Candidate Dr. Jill Stein’s Economic Policy:
Dr. Stein believes that the U.S. needs to have a humane federal budget with a fair tax system. She wants to rewrite tax codes that she feels are currently “complicated and deceitful.” This would include tax cuts for poor, middle, and working classes, while raising taxes for the wealthiest Americans.
Stein also proposes to nationalize and democratize the privately-dominated Federal Reserve Banks by placing them under authority within the Treasury Department. Stein would also establish publicly owned banks that function as non-profit entities focused on helping people, not “stealing” from people.
Stein would invest in maintaining and upgrading the nation’s public infrastructure, including highways, schools, libraries, and establish free public internet, to block privatization and for-profit companies. Stein would also strengthen medicare and social security and remove the cap on social security taxes for incomes above a certain level.
Stein guarantees a living wage for everyone and supports the push for $15/hour federal minimum wage. She would also ensure equal pay for equal work, and end workplace discrimination based on race, gender, and generation. Stein would endorse an extended paid sick-leave and family-leave policy.
One of the main problems I see with Secretary Clinton’s plan for the economy, is that she seldom strays from the current agenda that President Obama has set. His economic policies have moved the U.S. in a positive direction, but there are still issues that he, and now Clinton, have left unaddressed. She pledges to make a lot of drastic improvements, in all of the above mentioned areas, yet her plan of action for doing so is vague. In order for voters to side with her policies over the other candidates, she is going to need to set herself apart from the current president.
Although, since becoming the Democratic front runner, she has moved a little further left then where she usually stood on economic issues. She now adapts certain issues, once emphasized by Senator Sanders, like lessening the financial burden of college students and a high federal minimum wage. Through this adaption she gains support from voters who otherwise would be indifferent to her economic policies.
But she is not the only candidate who has offered further left economic proposals; Dr. Stein has also proposed policies on some of those same issues and more. She advocates for a humane tax reform, high minimum wage, college as right, and publicizing private banks. Her main concern for the economy is making it “humane and just,” which could be a reflection of Sanders’ former “socialist” plan for the economy.
Many Americans are still disappointed by economic policies that benefit high income and wealthy individuals. Voters should consider the candidates’ proposals that aim to regenerate employment and income growth, as well as continue to strengthen the nation’s economy. Fixing economic issues that we face today, should be a high priority of the next president.