In the debates last night, Donald Trump once again failed to bring fresh ideas on economic issues, which Americans seem to care about more than anything else. During the debate, CNN’s Dana Bash pushed the presidential hopeful on whether wealthy Americans should be receiving modest monthly payments from the government after they retire. The average Social Security recipient gets about $16,000 a year, a laughably paltry sum when compared to Trump’s billions. Yet when pressed on whether he thinks all rich people shouldn’t get Social Security, he just started talking about himself, saying that he’d be willing to write his own off, yet would “leave it up to the people” as a policy.
All through the debate, he didn’t say too much about national policy. Although he’s still leading in the polls, Trump’s lack of ideas has started to bite him; as policy “trumped” personality, he mostly faded in the second half of the debate. The general consensus was that Carly Fiorina won the night, getting in entertaining one-liners, taking jabs at Trump and laying out some pronounced stances on numerous issues. Compare that to Trump’s campaign site, which has a section called “Positions” that only features one item: immigration reform. So far, Trump’s biggest ideas are an overly expensive immigration plan, a protectionist trade policy that experts say could start a trade war with Mexico and China, and taxing hedge fund managers more by ending the loophole that allows managers to pay lower income taxes.
The fact that Trump has drawn attention to the hedge fund issue deserves praise; even Jeb Bush endorsed the idea. Nonetheless, it’s no wide-ranging tax policy, let alone an economic plan. Americans are worried about wages, jobs, inequality and the chance that their children might not be afforded the same opportunities as they were. While Trump’s “Make America Great Again” tapped into that concern, it doesn’t seem to hold weight as his solutions remain vague at best.
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