In a campaign mired with scandal, accusations, and insults, it can be hard to learn where the candidates actually stand on a number of issues. We have scoured their websites to find out what their key policy plans are, and we’ve provided a briefing below.
Candidate Profile: Hillary Clinton
Party: Democratic Party
Major Policy Positions:
- Economy and jobs
- Hillary plans to increase jobs and boost the economy with investment in new technology, clean energy, and infrastructure. She consistently mentions that the US can become the “clean energy superpower of the 21st century.” Her plan includes a $50 billion investment in youth employment programs.
- In her first 100 days she plans to invest in research, manufacturing, clean energy, and small business jobs.
- Hillary stands to raise the minimum wage.
- Hillary’s plan for family leave include mandatory maternity and paternity leave and paid medical leave.
- Hillary’s tax plan will increase taxes 5% on the top 2 of every 10,000 Americans and reiterates implementing the “Buffet Rule” which will close loopholes for millionaires, such as ensuring the effective tax rate on families making over $1 million is 30%. It is likely that taxes will rise for all families making more than $250k.
- Hillary’s tax plan will also create deductions for low income and middle class families, as well as small businesses. An example is allowing the lowest income families to take a child deduction on their taxes (previously had to make a certain amount of money for the child break to kick in).
- Perhaps the keystone of Hillary Clinton’s career is education and working for children’s advancement. As part of her plan she calls for universal pre-K and to double investment in initiatives like Early Head Start which provides nutritional, health, and pre-literacy learning support for low income families.
- Hillary argues that by making child care more accessible and affordable, more children and adults will be able to achieve a higher education. She wants to adopt affordable child care that will ensure costs do not exceed 10% of income (they are currently around 25%). She also wants to expand child care programs across college campuses to allow parents to further their education with less debt.
- Climate change
- Hillary vows to take climate change seriously. In fact, she lays out actions she wants to take on day one.
- Hillary’s plan includes creating enough renewable energy to power every home in America, reduce oil consumption in America by 1/3 by replacing with clean energy, and to make buildings, schools and hospitals more energy efficient, saving taxpayer dollars in the meantime.
- Hillary wants to build upon the Affordable Care Act. She has admitted to some of the issues with the policy (rising premiums and costs for employer plans), but says that we by no means should repeal it.
- Many of Hillary’s laid out plans work to combat mental, physical and learning disabilities. She specifically lays out a plan to fight substance abuse and addiction by training prescribers, expanding treatment options, and empowering first responders to act in the occurrence of an overdose. Hillary also lays out plans to better treat mental health issues encompassing from the research phase to the treatment over jail time initiative. In addition, Hillary wants to expand healthcare and create job opportunities for children and adults with autism.
- National Security
- Hillary vows to embrace diplomacy and stick with our allies, such as strengthening our commitment to NATO.
- Hillary’s plan to combat terrorism includes stepping up support for local Kurdish rebel forces, pursuing a diplomatic effort to end Syria’s civil war (which has contributed to the rise of ISIL), creating an air coalition to combat ISIL strongholds. She also wants to increase intelligence and work to dismantle terrorists’ online presence, eliminating recruiting and propaganda networks.
- Social Rights
- Hillary believes in LGBT and Transgender rights, disability rights, and women’s rights and stands to decrease violence against these communities.
- Namely, she recognizes racial inequality in this country and has laid out a plan to help reform our policies and mindset: criminal justice reform including de-privatizing prisons, protecting voting rights for minority communities, closing the gaps in education and access to healthcare and clean water.
Candidate Profile: Donald Trump
Party: Republican; his historical party affiliation has included Democrat, Republican, Reform Party and Independent
Notable Policy Positions:
- Economy and jobs
- Donald Trump’s plan to boost the economy includes creating 25 million new jobs. The basis for these 25 million new jobs will be in the tax reform, trade, energy and regulatory policies.
- Regulatory policies: Donald Trump plans to eliminate much of the regulation that he deems as too intrusive and as job killers.
- Trade policy: Donald Trump would like to eliminate the TPP and NAFTA and take a hard line on China and currency manipulation.
- Donald Trump will not comply with the Paris energy agreement to reduce carbon emissions. He also vows to make energy entirely private.
- Trumps plan will support and promote coal production as well as hydraulic fracturing. He will open up offshore energy resources for oil drilling.
- Tax reform
- Donald Trump refers to his plan as a “pro-growth” tax plan.
- A main policy revision is the reductions of business taxes from 35% to 15%
- For middle class families, Donald’s plan claims to decrease taxes by up to 35% for middle class families with a certain amount of child care expenses. He will be reducing the dependent deduction, which can offset some of the savings above for middle class families.
- Child Care
- Donald Trump will mandate six weeks of maternity leave to new mothers.
- His plan will create a dependent care savings account, like an FSA, to save for child care expenses tax free. For low income households, he will create a Childcare rebate, and will match the funds that these households put in their savings account.
- Donald Trump promises to put Americans first by prioritizing education and jobs for citizens.
- Donald plans to build a wall on the Mexican-American border and detain any people crossing illegally. He will remove criminal aliens on day one and end sanctuary cities like San Francisco. He will eliminate amnesty and double the number of ICE agents.
- Health care
- Repeal and replace the ACA with a Health Savings Account
- His plan first calls to eliminate state lines that inhibit insurance company sales, arguing it will increase competition.
- His plan will allow for individuals to entirely deduct health care costs from their tax return, and will create tax free HSAs that can accumulate and be passed to heirs.
- National Security
- Donald Trump’s mantra is “peace and safety through strength.” Much of his foreign policy includes a hard line approach with allies in Europe the Middle East as well as a hard line against foes such as China and Iran.
- His foreign policy throughout the election has been more isolationist, removing America from other country’s foreign affairs. On his website it states, “We are getting out of the nation building business.”
- Donald Trump decided to not release his plan to defeat ISIS, claiming that we can better beat the opponent by being unpredictable. He plans to fight ISIS on the home-front by instituting extreme vetting for refugees.
- Trump plans to expand our military and increase military funding.
- 2nd Amendment
- Donald Trump wants to empower law-abiding gun owners to defend themselves at times when law enforcement cannot with a national right to carry.
- To keep criminals off the street, Trump will promote Stop and Frisk and Project Exile (mandatory minimum sentencing).
Of course, this is by no means exhaustive. We encourage you to research further policy plans that are important to you, both in the presidential race and the down-ballot local government races. And VOTE! Your vote counts!