Where Clinton and Trump Stand
Where Clinton and Trump Stand
The candidates' platforms laid out policy by policy

Taxes

Clinton

Clinton proposes a “fair share surcharge” on multimillionaires and billionaires and says she wants to make sure the wealthiest Americans don’t pay a lower tax rate than middle-class families. The Democratic nominee wants to implement an “exit tax” on untaxed overseas earnings of U.S. companies. She wants to cut taxes for small businesses, who pay more per employee than larger firms.

Trump

In a speech in August, Trump stressed the need to cut corporate tax rates and to make all child care expenses tax-free. The Republican nominee also called for the removal of the estate tax—also known as the “death tax”—and for a reduction of the number of tax brackets from seven to three. The three tax brackets proposed are 12 percent, 25 percent, and 33 percent. Trump also promised in his speech a zero tax rate for many working Americans.

Trade

Clinton

Clinton says she will strengthen trade enforcement and stand up to foreign countries “that aren’t playing by the rules.” Clinton previously favored the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), but now opposes it, saying the trade deal does not meet her “high standard of raising wages, creating good-paying jobs, and enhancing our national security.” Clinton previously favored the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which was signed by President Bill Clinton, but during her 2008 campaign she spoke against NAFTA, saying it was a “mistake.”

Trump

Trump is against the TPP and wants to renegotiate NAFTA. If Canada and Mexico do not agree to a renegotiation, then the United States should submit notice that it intends to withdraw from the trade pact, Trump proposes. He says “we have to keep our companies here” and “tax the goods coming in from companies that left.” Trump also vows that China will face consequences for being a “currency manipulator.”

Jobs

Clinton

Clinton plans to “make the biggest investment in new, good-paying jobs since World War II” during her first 100 days in office, she said at a rally with running mate Tim Kaine in July. Her strategy includes creating jobs through investment in infrastructure, manufacturing, research and technology, clean energy, and small businesses. Clinton said she will raise the federal minimum wage, restore collective bargaining rights for unions, and defend workers’ rights. 

Trump

Trump, who says he has already created tens of thousands of jobs throughout the United States, vows that he “will be the greatest job producing president that god ever created” and that he will bring back jobs from China, Mexico, Japan, and Vietnam. His campaign says he will create 25 million jobs with an economic plan that will boost growth at an average of 3.5 percent per year.

Education and Families

Clinton

Clinton wants to introduce universal preschool for every 4-year-old across the country and plans to help families battling high child care costs. She wants K-12 students to have the opportunity to learn computer science. Her plan guarantees up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave to care for a new child or a seriously ill family member. Clinton vows to provide debt relief for student loans to about 25 million people and to offer free tuition at all community colleges, enabling students to get a debt-free college education. Clinton also vows to fight against campus sexual assault by providing support to victims and increasing prevention efforts.

Trump

Trump proposes a federal investment of $20 billion in school choice, with a goal of “providing school choice to every one of the 11 million school aged children living in poverty.” He previously said he “may cut the Department of Education” and get rid of Common Core, calling it a “total disaster.” He said education should be managed at a local level, and is against the tenure system. Trump wants to rewrite the tax code so parents can deduct from their income taxes care expenses for up to four children, as well as for elderly dependents. He also plans to offer six weeks of paid leave to new mothers.

Immigration

Clinton

Clinton is in favor of comprehensive immigration reform, a matter she plans to tackle in the first 100 days in office. She also vows to defend President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA). She calls on immigration enforcement to be “humane, targeted, and effective” and will focus resources on detaining and deporting violent individuals.

Trump

Trump plans to build a wall along the southern border, beginning the project on the first day he takes office. Trump has said that Mexico will pay for the wall, even though Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto says they will not. He says he will triple the number of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and will begin removing undocumented immigrants as soon as he becomes president. He advocates for implementing an “extreme vetting” process for those applying to come into the country, including temporarily suspending immigration from regions that export terrorism.

Drug Epidemic

Clinton

Clinton will allocate $10 billion to her initiative on drug and alcohol abuse. Her administration will spend $7.5 billion to support new federal-state partnerships that will empower local leaders to implement programs that work for their communities and teach teens about drug use and addiction. She says all first responders should have access to naloxone, an opioid overdose antidote drug. Clinton promises to require licensed prescribers to undergo training and go through a prescription drug monitoring program before writing a prescription for controlled medications.

Trump

The drug epidemic “must stop,” says Trump. He said the border wall used to keep immigrants out will also stop drugs from “pouring in” from Mexico. Trump wrote on Twitter: “Heroin overdoses are taking over our children and others in the MIDWEST. Coming in from our southern border. We need strong border & WALL!” He will also seek to reduce the number of legal, prescribed opioids. “We have 5 percent of the world’s population but use 80 percent of the prescription opioids.

Second Amendment

Clinton

Clinton says she will expand background checks to cover more gun sales, including those on the internet and at gun shows, and plans to take on the gun lobby. She will work to keep guns from domestic abusers, people on the no-fly list, and the severely mentally ill. Her campaign says she will also support efforts to keep military-style weapons off the streets.

Trump

Trump says the right of Americans to keep and bear arms “shall not be infringed upon,” affirming that the Second Amendment is about self-defense. He is in favor of bringing back and expanding programs like Virginia’s Project Exile, which sends a felon who committed a gun-related crime to prison for five years without parole or early release. The Republican nominee says the broken mental health system needs to be fixed, as red flags were ignored ahead of past mass shootings. The background-check system needs to be fixed and not expanded, he says.

Health Care

Clinton

Clinton plans to broaden the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), by expanding Medicaid in states that still have not done so and by making enrollment easier. Her health agenda includes bringing down out-of-pocket costs like copays and deductibles, as well as protecting consumers from unfair prescription drug price increases. Clinton says she will defend reproductive health care. The Clinton administration will invest in research on Alzheimer’s disease and has proposed initiatives on autism and HIV/AIDS. Clinton also has a mental health agenda to promote early diagnosis, intervention, and increase public awareness.

Trump

Trump has continually said he will repeal the Affordable Care Act. Under his plan, Americans will be allowed to fully deduct health insurance premium payments from their tax returns under the current tax system. He says the United States should have a patient-centered health care system, so that patients and their doctors make the decisions about care. Trump proposes the sale of health insurance across state lines, a reform that will use nationwide competition to reduce costs and improve service. Trump also calls for a reform of the country’s mental health programs and institutions.

Climate Change

Clinton

Clinton says she will deliver on Obama’s Paris Agreement. Her administration plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 30 percent in 2025 and put the country on a path to cut emissions more than 80 percent by 2050. Clinton will implement and “extend smart pollution and efficiency standards,” including the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan.

Trump

The Trump campaign does not have a published environmental plan. Trump, who said he would cancel the Paris agreement, stated in an interview with ScienceDebate.org that “there is still much that needs to be investigated in the field of ‘climate change.'” He has also said he supports the development of alternatives to fossil fuels.

National Security

Clinton

Clinton proposes increasing U.S. national security by making the nation stronger through investments in infrastructure, education, and innovation. She urges strengthening America’s alliances and using all tools of American power, including diplomacy and development. She wants to be firm with U.S. rivals. In particular, she foresees demanding that China play by the rules “in cyberspace, on currency, human rights, trade, territorial disputes, and climate change” and holding China accountable if it does not. Clinton urges “taking out ISIS’s stronghold in Iraq and Syria, working with our allies to dismantle global terror networks, and hardening our defenses at home.”

Trump

A strategy of “peace through strength” will be the center of Trump’s foreign policy agenda. He plans to rebuild the U.S. military and improve cyberintelligence, especially to disrupt the ISIS terrorist group’s internet propaganda and recruitment tactics. Trump wants to work with U.S. allies in the Middle East in the fight against the group and pursue aggressive joint and coalition military operations to weaken the group. Trump wants to end the U.S. strategy of nation building and regime change.

Energy

Clinton

Clinton has outlined plans to take on energy from her first day in office and set goals that will be achieved within 10 years. The Democratic nominee wants to generate enough renewable energy to power every American home by installing half a billion solar panels by the end of her first term. Cutting energy waste and reducing U.S. oil consumption by a third are also part of her energy plan, as is making sure that current fossil fuel production is “safe and responsible.” Clinton will invest $60 billion on the Clean Energy Challenge to cut carbon pollution and expand clean energy by working with cities, rural communities, and states.

Trump

Trump wants to make America energy independent, which he regards as a strategic economic and foreign policy goal. Such independence will create jobs and allow the country to avoid importing energy from “the OPEC cartel” or “hostile” nations. Trump promises to rescind executive actions by Obama that Trump judges to have been harmful to America’s energy industries and to rein in bureaucrats. Trump plans to “unleash America’s $50 trillion in untapped shale, oil, and natural gas reserves, plus hundreds of years in clean coal reserves.” Trump supports the Keystone XL Pipeline, which Obama vetoed. He also says he wants to conserve clean air and water, natural habitats, and reserves. Income from energy production will be used to rebuild U.S. infrastructure.

Syria

Clinton

To weaken the ISIS terrorist group’s power in Syria and Iraq, Clinton says she will intensify airstrikes, boost intelligence, support Kurdish and Sunni ground forces, and pressure the Iraqi government to “get its house in order.” The former secretary of state says she will not send U.S. combat troops to the Middle East into another “costly ground war.” To help civilians, the former secretary of state wants to implement a coalition no-fly zone in the air coupled with safe zones on the ground. She has previously called on the United States to vet and accept Syrian refugees.

Trump

Trump wants to hold back on Syria, saying the United States should let the ISIS terrorist group fight the Assad regime and then “pick up the remnants.” In Trump’s view, the U.S. focus in Syria should be on destroying ISIS and on letting Russia get rid of the group. “I don’t like Assad at all, but Assad is killing ISIS. Russia is killing ISIS, and Iran is killing ISIS,” he said in the second presidential debate. As for the group’s strength in Iraq, Trump said the United States should go in and “knock ’em out,” adding that American troops would be used on the ground if necessary.

NATO

Clinton

Clinton says the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), established in 1949, is “one of the best investments America has ever made” and that she is “proud to stand by our allies.” She vows that the United States will continue to be a “strong” partner in the NATO alliance.

Trump

Trump has called NATO “obsolete,” and called for it to be changed to “focus on terrorism as well as some of the things it is currently focused on.” The Republican nominee said the United States pays a “disproportionate cost of NATO,” and called for a renegotiation.

Policing

Clinton

Clinton says she wants to fix the criminal justice system by reforming sentencing law and policies, putting an end to racial profiling by police, and strengthening trust between communities and law enforcement. Clinton says she will invest $1 billion to fund training programs and research to combat “implicit bias” in policing. Clinton says she will support legislation to end racial profiling.

Trump

Trump has branded himself as the “law and order” candidate, saying that it must be restored for “the sake of all” and the “war on our police must end” now. He has called police the “most mistreated people in this country.” He supports stop-and-frisk policing, saying after the first presidential debate that the policy is constitutional and that it would “overwhelmingly” save lives in African-American and Latino communities.

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