Donald Trump once said presidential candidates should be banned from using teleprompters. But after enduring the worst week of any modern presidential campaign, Trump stuck firmly to the teleprompter today in delivering an economic address in Detroit.
Trying to get his campaign back on track, he promised to spur economic growth by cutting taxes, closing loopholes that benefit the superrich, penalizing companies that move their operations to other countries and renegotiating trade deals that do not favor American workers.
He also criticized Hillary Clinton’s economic plan, saying, “she is the candidate of the past, ours is the campaign of the future.” He added: “Our opposition has long ago run out of ideas.”
Among the highlights of Trump’s plan:
- Reduce the corporate tax rate to 15 percent.
- Make all child-care expenses tax free.
- Trade agreements would be completely overhauled.
- Stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.
- Label China a currency manipulator.
- Repeal the Dodd-Frank financial-reform act.
- Revoke executive action on carbon emissions.
- Approve TransCanada Corp.’s bid to build the Keystone XL pipeline.
- Cancel an international agreement to limit global warming through new environmental standards.
- Elimination of the estate tax.
- Reduction of the number of tax brackets from seven to three.
- An immediate temporary moratorium on all new regulations from federal agencies.
Many of Trump’s proposals are similar to what Mitt Romney offered in 2012. The populist attacks on trade deals and NAFTA, however, are unpopular within the business community. He also promised a big infrastructure-spending plan, embraced by many Democrats.
Budget experts say, according to the Wall Street Journal, Trump’s combination of higher government spending on infrastructure—as well as other priorities that include a veterans’ health-care expansion and a ramp-up in border security—and large tax cuts could send deficits soaring.
While discussing Detroit’s economy, Trump made no mention of the federal bailout of the auto industry in 2008, which he once supported but now criticizes.
The speech did not mention Friday’s jobs report that found a better-than-expected 255,000 jobs were created in July. Inflation, interest rates, unemployment and gas prices also remain low.
Trump is likely to be on a short leash in the coming weeks as his campaign attempts to steady itself. A new poll today shows him losing badly among likely voters to Clinton.
“He’s trying to rebuild momentum after his serious stumbles over the past 10 days,” said Ron Bonjean, a Republican strategist in Washington. “This is to target voters in general that he’s not just live-tweeting his candidacy, that there is some deeper thought behind his efforts.”
Trump was continually interrupted by protesters during his speech, but he remained relatively quiet. He paused 10 times in the first 20 minutes of his address as protesters were led out of the hall.
Late last week Trump announced a team of economic advisers that consists of billionaires, bankers and fund managers.
Clinton will be in Detroit on Thursday to discuss her own economic ideas.