How Candidates Would Tackle Three Key Issues

Only a true cynic—and a misinformed citizen—would conclude it doesn’t matter whether a Republican or Democrat sits in the Oval Office. In fact, several major issues are likely to be affected by which party occupies the White House, though if Republicans maintain control of the House of Representatives and Paul Ryan remains its Speaker (which seems likely at this point), we might reasonably expect more traditionally conservative viewpoints to remain influential.

Here are 3 examples:

1. Healthcare

  • Hillary Clinton—Hillary Clinton supports leaving Obamacare in place. She is also in favor of allowing the government to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies.
  • Donald Trump—Donald Trump—like many of his fellow Republicans—has said he would repeal Obamacare, though there is no clear indication of whether or not it would be replaced.
    Our Forecast: We are likely to see changes to Obamacare, but not a full repeal.

2. Entitlement Programs

  • Hillary Clinton—Hillary Clinton wants to preserve and expand Social Security and may look to do so by increasing the current Social Security taxable wage base cap.
  • Donald Trump & GOP—The most outspoken advocate of broad reform has been House Speaker Paul Ryan. Donald Trump has not offered any specific views other than proclaiming that he would not cut Social Security benefits.
    Our Forecast: It’s doubtful we’ll see 80 years of entitlement policy be reversed, but we probably can expect cost control measures for Medicare and Medicaid.

3. Taxes

  • Hillary Clinton—Hilary Clinton has spoken of ending the “carried interest” loophole, of imposing the “Buffet rule” to ensure that no millionaire pays a lower overall tax rate than his or her secretary, and of introducing a financial transactions tax targeted at high frequency stock market traders. She would also add a surtax for those who make more than $5 million per year and increase the top estate tax rate to 45%.9
  • Donald Trump—Donald Trump has offered four key tax proposals: creating four income tax brackets with rates of 0%, 10%, 20%, and 25%; eliminating the net investment income surtax; lowering the top corporate rate to 15%; and eliminating the estate tax.9
    Our Forecast: Everybody wants taxes to be simplified, but what looks to one person like a loophole may look to another like an incentive to build a business. It’s important to remember that all tax legislation starts in the House of Representatives, where compromise may be limited. It’s also worth noting that while Donald Trump has proposed significant tax cuts, we haven’t heard many specifics about the existing budget items that will be reduced or eliminated to make those cuts possible.

9 As of 6/30/16. Tax Foundation.

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