It’s getting down to the wire.
In a fiery opening debate, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump clashed on the needed direction of the U.S. economy, taxes, and the security of the country. Both delivered opposing plans on how to boost a slowing economy and help disenfranchised Americans get back on their feet.
Shortly after the debate, polls noted 48% of registered voters say they support Clinton.
Another 46% say they want Trump to be the next president.
While the latest polls suggest Clinton is in the lead, don’t place your bets just yet. With just 40 days to go before we head to the polls, it’s still anyone’s game.
Leaving our personal political opinions to the side, we wanted to fairly discuss what each candidate is offering on the economy, taxes, and the security of the nation.
Clinton v. Trump 2016: The Economy and Taxes
Most of us heard starkly different views on the economy last night.
On one hand, Clinton noted the U.S. economy has improved, nearing a turn towards breakout growth from a horrendous crisis that left financial institutions and housing reeling. “We have come back from the abyss, and it has not been easy,” she noted.
Trump, however, has seen no real recovery, painting a grim picture of an economy that has slowed. “We’re a serious debtor nation. We have become a third-world country. The only thing that looks good is the stock market, but if you raise interest rates even a little bit, that’s going to come crashing down. We are in a big, fat, ugly bubble.”
To solve the economic crisis, both candidates offered differing opinions there, too.
Trump has called for bigger corporate tax cuts, arguing that it would keep companies from leaving the country in search of lower taxes, spurring the creation of millions of new jobs. “That’s going to be a job creator like we haven’t seen since Reagan,” he noted.
“Under my plan,” he continued. “I’ll be reducing taxes tremendously from 35 percent to 15 percent for companies, small and big businesses.”
On the other hand, Clinton noted that the idea was a “trumped-up trickle down” plan, which is not the way to grow the economy. Instead, she argued that rebuilding the middle class would require higher taxes on wealthier Americans and corporations. Clinton vowed to make the “wealthy and corporations” pay a larger share of taxes to help fuel growth.
Clinton v. Trump 2016: Cyber-security
While both candidates traded barbs on the spate of recent cyber-attacks on the Democratic National Committee files, they agreed the U.S. must be stronger.
“We need to make it very clear — whether it's Russia, China, Iran or anybody else — the United States has much greater capacity,” Clinton said. “I think cyber security, cyber warfare will be one of the biggest challenges facing the next president, because clearly we’re facing at this point two different kinds of adversaries.”
“There are the independent hacking groups that do it mostly for commercial reasons to try to steal information that they can use to make money. We are not going to sit idly by and permit state actors to go after our information, our private-sector information or our public-sector information.”
Trump also noted, “We should be better than anybody else.”
“We have to get very, very tough on cyber and cyber warfare. It is — it is a huge problem… we are not doing the job we should be doing. But that’s true throughout our whole governmental society.”
Even if the debate on security wasn’t full of solutions, it’s refreshing to see such attention on an issue that has plagued corporate America, as well as average Americans. In fact, over the last year, the total cost of global cyber attacks has cost the world more than $325 billion.
Clinton v. Trump 2016: Infrastructure
As we’ve noted in previous Profit Alert Daily discussions, both Clinton and Trump agree on the need to update crumbling U.S. infrastructure.
Clinton, for example, wants to increase infrastructure funding by $275 billion over five years. In reference to fixing roads, bridges, airports and highways Hillary said, “In my first 100 days as president, we will make the biggest investment in new, good-paying jobs since World War II.”
However you may feel about each candidate this election season, it’s become very clear that the next U.S. President has a great deal of progress to make. Even though this debate touched on the economy and taxes, from the investor’s point of view, we didn’t learn very much. Hopefully we will get a clearer picture in the second and third debates.