Economy

The economy is one of the top issues in the 2016 presidential election. Politicians say we need more jobs, or less inequality—but how do we get there? Politicians have a number of different ideas: changing how involved the government is in the economy, adjusting tariffs on foreign trade, changing how Americans are taxed, and addressing the national debt. How can Americans decide which ideas to support?

Economics can sound boring to the average student, but it directly affects every aspect of our lives. In fact, it can affect the price of your Saturday night movie ticket, your teacher’s decision of whether or not to give another test, and even how much data you decide to use on your smartphone. Economics extends to all resources, and not just money; it extends to belongings, time, even your smartphone’s data. Economic policy can be summed up in one question: resources are scarce, so how can society best distribute them?
When politicians are proposing new ideas, what they’re really doing is proposing how resources can best be allocated in a way that increases prosperity for all Americans. Should there be restrictions on how some goods are distributed? Should some resources be taxed at a higher rate than others? Should goods that pass from one country to another be taxed differently?

Economy

Point

Resources are best distributed when people are left to peacefully trade amongst themselves without a government telling people what to do. When free markets remain free, people are capable of creating amazing things. When the government intervenes to fix the economy, it often makes the problem worse than if it had let people correct the problem by themselves.

Counter

The government should centrally plan most aspects of the economy. A central planner can decrease inequality, avoid economic depressions, and lower unemployment by setting prices, directing industries and setting production quotas based on what resources the country needs the most. Governments should increase their debt to offset the negative externalities of capitalism and ensure that all citizens have adequate access to education, healthcare, child care, and other important resources.

What Students Think

The economy is a very important issue to young students. Will they have a job when they graduate? Will they be able to afford their own place? Save enough for their future?

Candidate Positions

Donald Trump

Republican Candidate for President

Too few Americans are working, too many jobs have been shipped overseas, and too many middle class families cannot make ends meet. This tax plan directly meets these challenges with four simple goals:

Tax relief for middle class Americans: In order to achieve the American dream, let people keep more money in their pockets and increase after-tax wages.
Simplify the tax code to reduce the headaches Americans face in preparing their taxes and let everyone keep more of their money.

Grow the American economy by discouraging corporate inversions, adding a huge number of new jobs, and making America globally competitive again.
Doesn’t add to our debt and deficit, which are already too large.

The Trump Tax Plan Achieves These Goals

If you are single and earn less than $25,000, or married and jointly earn less than $50,000, you will not owe any income tax. That removes nearly 75 million households – over 50% – from the income tax rolls. They get a new one page form to send the IRS saying, “I win,” those who would otherwise owe income taxes will save an average of nearly $1,000 each.

All other Americans will get a simpler tax code with four brackets – 0%, 10%, 20% and 25% – instead of the current seven. This new tax code eliminates the marriage penalty and the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) while providing the lowest tax rate since before World War II.

No business of any size, from a Fortune 500 to a mom and pop shop to a freelancer living job to job, will pay more than 15% of their business income in taxes. This lower rate makes corporate inversions unnecessary by making America’s tax rate one of the best in the world.

No family will have to pay the death tax. You earned and saved that money for your family, not the government. You paid taxes on it when you earned it.

The Trump Tax Plan Is Revenue Neutral

The Trump tax cuts are fully paid for by:

Reducing or eliminating most deductions and loopholes available to the very rich.

A one-time deemed repatriation of corporate cash held overseas at a significantly discounted 10% tax rate, followed by an end to the deferral of taxes on corporate income earned abroad.

Reducing or eliminating corporate loopholes that cater to special interests, as well as deductions made unnecessary or redundant by the new lower tax rate on corporations and business income. We will also phase in a reasonable cap on the deductibility of business interest expenses.

Gary Johnson

Libertarian Candidate for President

Jobs

During the 2012 campaign, Gary Johnson was lauded for having the best “job creation” record of all the former governors running for President. His response: “As Governor, I didn’t create a single job.” His point, of course, being that government doesn’t create jobs — except for itself. Entrepreneurs, growing companies and a robust economy create jobs.

Government’s role is to create and maintain a regulatory and tax environment in which private job-creators can prosper. Gary Johnson did that as Governor, and would do so as President. Government regulation should only exist to protect citizens from bad actors and the harm they might do to health, safety and property. Regulation should not be used to manipulate behavior, manage private lives and businesses, and to place unnecessary burdens on those who make our economy work. Eliminating unnecessary regulations and applying common sense to those rules that are necessary will free up capital and allow those who want and need to create jobs to do so.

Likewise, adopting the tax reforms Governor Johnson advocates will literally create millions of jobs. While most politicians, Democrats and Republicans alike, suggest that modest reductions in business taxes might create jobs, Gary Johnson believes eliminating income taxes on businesses will transform the U.S. into the “job magnet” of the world. Why would any corporation move its operations off-shore when the best tax “haven” on the planet is right here at home?

 

 

Government Spending

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khDKhQZBWiQ

By the time Barack Obama leaves office, the national debt will be $20 TRILLION. That is not just obscene, it is unsustainable — and arguably the single greatest threat to our national security.

Responsibility for the years of deficit spending that have created our debt crisis rests squarely with BOTH the Republicans and the Democrats. The debt doubled under President George W. Bush — and doubled again under President Obama. During that time, both parties enjoyed control of Congress, and the deficit spending just kept piling up.

It doesn’t have to be that way, despite what the politicians say. But the idea that we can somehow balance the federal budget without cutting military spending and reforming entitlements is fantasy. What is required is leadership and political courage. As Governor of a state with an overwhelmingly Democrat legislature, Gary Johnson stood up to excess spending, vetoed 750 bills and literally thousands of budget line items…and balanced the state’s budget.

Governor Johnson has pledged that his first major act as President will be to submit to Congress a truly balanced budget. No gimmicks, no imaginary cuts in the distant future. Real reductions to bring spending into line with revenues, without tax increases. No line in the budget will be immune from scrutiny and reduction. And he pledges to veto any legislation that will result in deficit spending, forcing Congress to override his veto in order to spend money we don’t have.

No excuses. No games. A REAL balanced budget.

 

Taxes

Today’s federal tax code does all the wrong things. It penalizes productivity, savings and investment, while rewarding inefficiency and designating winners and losers according to political whim. For far too long, tax laws have been used not just as a means to collect needed revenues, but as a weapon with which to manipulate our behavior, create and destroy industries and fulfill politicians’ dreams of social engineering. The result is a tax code that is more than 70,000 pages long enforced by a government agency with almost 100,000 employees.

It is nothing less than a massive deployment of government force on our lives, our finances and our freedom.
Governor Johnson advocates the elimination of tax subsidies, the double taxation embodied in business income taxes, and ultimately, the replacement of all income and payroll taxes with a single consumption tax that will allow every American and every business to determine their tax burden by making their own spending decisions. Taxes on purchases for basic necessities would be “prebated”, with all other purchases taxed equally regardless of income, status or purpose.

Many leading economists have long advocated such a shift in the way we are taxed, and Gary Johnson believes the time has come to eliminate the punishing tax code we have today and replace it with a system that rewards productivity, investment and savings. The IRS as we know it today would no longer be necessary, and Americans would no longer need to live in fear of the force of government being wielded under the guise of tax collection.

Hillary Clinton

Democratic Candidate for President

Hillary believes the defining economic challenge of our time is raising incomes for hardworking Americans.

Too many families are working harder and harder, but still not getting ahead. Our country is standing again, but we’re not yet running the way we should be. From her first day in office to the last, Hillary Clinton will fight for you and for more take-home pay so you can get ahead and stay ahead.

Hillary understands that in order to raise incomes, we need strong growth, fair growth, and long-term growth. And she has a plan to get us there.
Strong growth
Hillary will invest in infrastructure, clean energy, and scientific and medical research to create jobs and strengthen our economy. And she’ll provide tax relief to working families and small businesses. That’s how we’ll move toward a full employment economy that creates jobs, pushes businesses to compete over workers, and raises incomes.

Provide tax relief for families. Hillary will cut taxes for hard-working families to increase their take-home pay as they face rising costs from child care, health care, and sending their kids to college. She is calling for extending a tax cut of up to $2,500 per student to help deal with college costs as part of her New College Compact, and for cutting taxes for businesses that share profits with their employees.
Unleash small business growth. Hillary’s father owned a small business—and she understands that small businesses are the backbone of jobs and growth in America. She’s put forward a small-business agenda to expand access to capital, provide tax relief, cut red tape, and help small businesses bring their goods to new markets.

Create a New College Compact. Hillary’s New College Compact will invest $350 billion so that students do not have to borrow to pay tuition at a public college in their state. Her plan will also significantly cut interest rates on student loans and enable an estimated 25 million Americans with student debt to refinance at today’s lower rates, saving the typical borrower $2,000 over the life of their loans.

Boost public investment in infrastructure and scientific research. One of the best ways to drive jobs and improve our nation’s competitiveness is to invest in infrastructure and scientific research. Hillary has called for a national infrastructure bank that would leverage public and private funds to invest in projects across the country. She will call for reform that closes corporate tax loopholes and drives investment here, in the U.S. And she would increase funding for scientific research at agencies like the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.

Lift up participation in the workforce—especially for women. For too long, issues like equal pay, paid leave, and affordable child care have been put off to the side as “women’s issues.” Hillary believes they are crucial to our competitiveness and growth—and to lifting incomes for working families.

Jill Stein

Green Party Candidate for President

A Just Economy:

 

Set a $15/hour federal minimum wage. Break up “too-big-to-fail” banks and democratize the Federal Reserve. Reject gentrification as a model of economic development. Support development of worker and community cooperatives and small businesses. Make Wall Street, big corporations, and the rich pay their fair share of taxes. Create democratically run public banks and utilities. Replace corporate trade agreements with fair trade agreements.

 

Jobs as a Right:

Create living-wage jobs for every American who needs work, replacing unemployment offices with employment offices. Advance workers rights to form unions, achieve workplace democracy, and keep a fair share of the wealth they create.

End Poverty:

Guarantee economic human rights, including access to food, water, housing, and utilities, with effective anti-poverty programs to ensure every American a life of dignity.

  • Create living-wage jobs for every American who needs work, replacing unemployment offices with employment offices. Government would be the employer of last resort, and the unemployed would have an enforceable right to make government provide work. Create direct public employment, as the Works Progress Administration did,  in public services and public works for those who can’t find private employment.
  • Advance workers’ rights to form unions, achieve workplace democracy, and keep a fair share of the wealth they create.
  • Enact the Green Deal full employment program to create 20 million green jobs in sustainable energy, mass transit, sustainable organic agriculture, clean manufacturing and improved infrastructure, as well as social work, teaching, health care, after school and home care, drug rehabilitation and other service jobs.
  • Provide grants and low-interest loans to green businesses and cooperatives, with an emphasis on small, locally-based companies that keep the wealth created by local labor circulating in the community, rather than being drained off to enrich absentee investors.
  • Replace NAFTA and other corporate free trade agreements that export American jobs, depress wages, and undermine the sovereign right of Americans and citizens of other countries to control their own economy and political choices. Enact fair trade laws that benefits local workers and communities.
  • Repeal  the Taft-Hartley Act which banned secondary boycotts and permitted state “right-to-work” laws. Enact a federal just cause law (to prohibit firing without just cause,) and outlaw scabbing on striking workers.
  • Guarantee economic human rights, including access to food, water, housing, and utilities, with effective anti-poverty programs to ensure every American a life of dignity.
  • Establish a guaranteed minimum income.
  • Reform public assistance to be a true safety net that empowers participants and provides a decent standard of living.
  • Free universal child care.
  • Guarantee a living wage job for all.
  • Set a $15/hour federal minimum wage, with indexing.
  • Break up “too-big-to-fail” banks and democratize the Federal Reserve.
  • Support development of worker and community cooperatives and small businesses.
  • Make Wall Street, big corporations, and the rich pay their fair share of taxes.
  • Create democratically-run public banks and utilities.
  • Provide full protection for workplace rights, including the right to a safe workplace and the right to organize a union without fear of firing or reprisal by passing the Employee Free Choice Act.
  • Ensure equal pay for equal work, ending discrimination based on race, gender, or generation.
  • Enact paid sick leave and family leave, strong overtime protections.
  • Take action against wage theft.
  • Oppose two-tier wage systems (e.g., for young people and individuals with disabilities).