Economy: Trump has vowed to bring more jobs to the United States, declaring in a June 2015 speech that he “will be the greatest jobs president that God has created.” The real estate mogul has said he would impose hefty tariffs on goods imported from Mexico, China and other countries to encourage American companies to keep jobs in the United States instead of overseas. Trump modified his initial tax plan earlier this month, after receiving criticism that his first plan favored the wealthy. Under the revised plan, he would create three tax brackets, instead of the current seven. Married couples earning less than $75,000 would be taxed by the federal government at a rate of 12 percent, those earning between $75,000 and $225,000 would face a 25 percent tax rate, and income above $225,000 would be taxed at 33 percent. The limits for individuals would be half those amounts.
National Security: Trump has said he would combat the Islamic State terrorist group, also known as ISIS, by destroying oil fields in Iraq and Syria, which he contends are helping finance the group. “I would say knock the hell out of the oil and do it because it’s a primary source of money for ISIS,” Trump said in March. He has said he is open to using nuclear weapons to fight the Islamic State and supports the use of waterboarding and other interrogation torture methods. Trump has questioned the country’s involvement in the NATO international alliance, saying the peacekeeping coalition “may be obsolete” and benefiting other countries more than it is helping the United States.
Immigration: In a speech last month in Arizona, Trump doubled down on his long-standing pledge to build a wall along the U.S. and Mexico border to prevent immigrants without legal documents from crossing into the country. Trump said he will create a “deportation task force” that would be charged with “identifying and quickly removing the most dangerous criminal illegal aliens in America,” and would provide “no amnesty” to the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the country. Trump said he would eliminate birthright citizenship for children born in the United States to foreign parents, and in July proposed banning immigrants “from any nation that has been compromised by terrorism,” though he has not defined which countries would be included on the ban list.
Health care: Trump has said he would repeal the Affordable Care Act signed into law by President Barack Obama and “replace it with something terrific, for far less money for the country and for the people.” He proposes providing tax exemptions to consumers who buy individual health care plans, similar to those tax write-offs given to corporations that pay for employee insurance plans. Trump supports giving U.S. patients the option of purchasing pharmaceutical drugs from overseas “to bring more options to consumers.” Trump believes states should have greater control over the federally administered Medicaid program that provides health insurance coverage to low-income Americans.
Education: Trump supports charter schools, saying competition would foster improvement among the schools. “We will rescue kids from failing schools by helping their parents send them to a safe school of their choice,” Trump said during his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in July. He opposes the federal Common Core education standards, believing local governments should set the curriculum. He has said he would consider eliminating the U.S. Department of Education, or cut its spending “way, way, way” down.
Economy: Clinton’s economic agenda calls for $275 billion in infrastructure spending, which she says will create jobs while repairing America’s aging roadways, bridges and communication systems. “Let’s break through the dysfunction in Washington to make the biggest investment in new, good-paying jobs since World War II,” Clinton said in a June 22 speech. She has called for a 15 percent tax credit for companies that share profits with their employees, and an exit tax for corporations that move their headquarters overseas. She supports increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour and has said she will not raise taxes on those earning under $250,000 a year. Clinton has said those individuals earning more than $1 million a year should pay at least 30 percent in taxes, with a 4 percent surcharge on incomes over $5 million.
National Security: Clinton, the former U.S. secretary of state, has said the United States should work alongside its international allies to combat the Islamic State terrorist group through the use of targeted airstrikes and by training local Iraqi forces. She opposes deploying U.S. ground troops to the region. Her anti-terrorism plan also calls for working with tech companies and social media firms in the United States and abroad to intercept ISIS communications and shut down accounts used to recruit and train supporters. She has said the nation must “harden our defenses at home” by ensuring local law enforcement departments are equipped with proper counterterrorism training and tools. “We face an adversary that is constantly adapting and operating across multiple theaters, so our response must be just as nimble and far-reaching,” Clinton said in a March policy speech.
Immigration: Clinton supports providing a path to citizenship for millions of immigrants without legal documents living in the United States. She has vowed to introduce “comprehensive immigration reform” in her first 100 days of office and has repeatedly said if elected she will not deport undocumented immigrant children or adults who do not have a criminal record. “For me, this is far more than an economic issue, this is a family issue,” Clinton said in a speech in December in Brooklyn. “I want to put an end to families being torn apart.” She has said she would close private immigrant detention centers and would promote naturalization by increasing the availability of fee waivers to help with application costs.
Health care: Clinton said she would “defend” and “build” on President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. Her plan calls for providing a $5,000 tax credit per family to “offset a portion of excessive out-of-pocket and premium costs” above 5 percent of their income. Clinton proposes capping out-of-pocket charges for drugs at $250, and has vowed to fight for a reduction in rising drug costs. She would like for all states to expand Medicaid health care coverage for low-income Americans, saying she would continue the Obama administration’s policy of providing states 100 percent matching federal funding for the first three years they expand the program.
Education: Clinton has defended the Common Core education standards, calling it a nonpartisan effort that was aimed at ensuring parity in education. “It wasn’t politicized, it was to try to come up with a core of learning that we might expect students to achieve across our country, no matter what kind of school district they were in,” Clinton said at an Iowa forum in April 2015. Clinton has proposed increasing spending on computer science programs in public schools and providing free in-state public college tuition to students from families who earn $85,000 a year or less. The free tuition program would be expanded to students from families who earn up to $125,000 by 2021.