STANFORD – Little more than two months from America’s presidential election, Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump by five points in opinion polls, nationally and in several important swing states. But nothing is decided yet, especially given the Trump campaign’s staffing shakeup and major policy speeches, not to mention the email scandals that continue to plague the Clinton campaign, including recently released email correspondence between top staff from the Clinton Foundation and officials from the State Department under Clinton.
So far, the media and public have focused on immigration, terrorism, foreign policy, and each candidate’s potentially problematic personality traits, but far less has been said about economic policy. This is a serious oversight, because there are substantial differences between the candidates’ economic-policy platforms.
First, consider government spending. Clinton favors welfare-state expenditures such as expanded Social Security benefits (the unfunded liabilities of which already exceed the national debt), free tuition at public colleges and student-loan debt relief, as well as an added “public option” to the 2010 Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare. She also says she will double down on President Barack Obama’s costly green-energy industrial policy, which favors some energy sources, and even specific companies, at the expense of others.
By contrast, Trump says he will leave Social Security as is, repeal and replace Obamacare, and make government spending more efficient and effective (though here he has not been specific).