Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump

The Key Policy Differences as We Approach the U.S. Presidential Election

November 3, 2016

Behind all the bluster and name-calling between the U.S. presidential candidates, there are important policy differences between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Clinton is expected to deliver “much of the same” as the Obama Administration, while Trump has promised to implement profound changes if elected.

A Republican win may have mixed results for Canada, initially striking a positive note, but facing headwinds over the medium to long term as anti-immigration, anti-trade, and U.S. government debt weigh on the U.S. economy.

A Democratic win is expected to have more muted affects on the Canadian economy given a relatively status quo scenario.

Clinton: Economic Policy

  • Fiscal expansion – Increase infrastructure and manufacturing spending.
  • Opposes Keystone XL.
  • Expansion of renewable energy.
  • Increase minimum wage to $15

Clinton: Taxes

  • Increase taxes on wealthy.
  • 4% tax increase on incomes $5 million +.
  • Minimum 30% tax rate on earnings of $1 million +.
  • No changes to corporate taxes.
  • Increase estate tax from 40% – 60%
  • Eliminate loophole for carried interest.

Clinton: Foreign Policy

  • Support NATO.
  • Support Iran nuclear deal.
  • Co-operate with China.
  • Support coalition air campaign against ISIS.

Clinton: Immigration

  • Further liberalization.
  • Remove cap on green cards for spouses and single children of permanent residents.
  • Increase amount of temporary visas skilled and unskilled workers can obtain.

Clinton: Education

  • Supports charter schools, a public school system, as one of the pillars of democracy. She
    is opposed to the broader concept of school choice.
  • Proposes that students from families making less than $125,000 a year be able to attend a public college or university in their home state without having to pay tuition. Clinton believes that community colleges be tuition free.
Trump: Economic Policy

  • Fiscal expansion – Increase infrastructure, education, military spending.
  • Approves Keystone XL.
  • Cancel Paris Climate Accord.

Trump: Taxes

  • Reduce corporate taxes from 35% to 15%.
  • Collapse seven income tax brackets to three.
  • Minimum individual tax rate of 33%
  • Provide deemed repatriation of corporate profits held offshore at one-time rate of 10%

Trump: Foreign Policy

  • Critical of NATO.
  • Renegotiate Iran nuclear deal.
  • Rebuild U.S. military.
  • Intensify coalition air campaign against ISIS.

Trump: Immigration

  • Maintain status quo.
  • Ensure Americans have access to jobs before immigrants.
  • Build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
  • Deport 11.3 illegal immigrants.

Trump: Education

  • Supports giving parents the right to choose the school a student wishes to attend – public, private, or charter.
  • Proposes spending $20 billion for block grants to states, to fund elementary schooling to students living in poverty and allow them to attend the school of their choice.

While this summary of the policy differences between Clinton and Trump is not intended to be exhaustive, both candidates agree on the need for fiscal stimulus, namely through infrastructure spending. This could lead to increased Federal budget deficits and debt issuances.

Interestingly, the Clinton/Trump positions on education are significantly different. Go to http://www.businessinsider.com/ for a detailed discussion of those differences.