A few days ago, Donald Trump visited Detroit and delivered an unusually measured speech about the economy before he threw away the script and trotted out his old antics. To the establishment’s chagrin, Trump followed up with “2nd Amendment” remarks that hinted at the assassination of his political rival, and then he insisted that President Obama founded ISIS with his left-hand gal, Hillary Clinton. His serious economic speech has now been all but forgotten.
On Thursday, Clinton took on the economy in nearby Warren, Mich. Her speech arrived at the Futuramic Tool & Engineering plant, where she first addressed Trump’s speech as out of touch because he focused only on the negatives like “failure, poverty, and crime.” This gloom and doom is swiftly becoming a Trump pattern whereby he tells America only he can fix the problem. But Clinton took a brighter approach and used her own middle-class upbringing as an example of how small-businesses and hard work should be emphasized over tax breaks for the rich. Clinton says those new tax brackets would be a way for Trump to pad his own wallet:
“He would give trillions in tax cuts to big corporations, millionaires, and Wall Street money managers. In his speech on Monday, he called for a new tax loophole — let’s call it the ‘Trump Loophole.’ It would allow him to pay less than half the current tax rate on income from many of his companies. He’d pay a lower rate than millions of middle class families.”
Clinton also zeroed in on Trump’s claims of bringing back American jobs as he continues to hire foreign labor for his Florida estate and construction projects while also outsourcing his clothing manufacturing. And she took up Trump’s habit of declining to pay contractors for their work (and getting sued plenty as a result). If it seems like Clinton spent a lot of time tearing down her rival’s proposals, you’d be correct. But she focused a little bit on what she could bring to the table.
Clinton reiterated her opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, which she believes will harm American workers. She pledges to protect them against trade practices that will take away jobs. Clinton also hopes to establish tax credits for companies who provide paid apprenticeships for welders, machinists, and other blue-collar jobs. She then used her own father’s experiences (while running a printing plant) in an emotional appeal against Trump:
“He expected to be paid when he showed up. He did the work. He paid for the supplies and the labor that he often hired to help him on big jobs. He expected to be paid. I can’t imagine what would have happened to my father and his business if he had gotten a contract from Trump. And showing up and submitting his bill had been told we’re not going to pay and if you don’t like it, sue us. My father never could have sued a big organization like that. I just don’t understand.”
This speech was obviously designed to reel in the Rust Belt vote, and her statements were greeted with much applause. However, Clinton mainly spent time criticizing Trump’s lack of practical solutions while choosing not go into much detail on her own policies. But she wasn’t anticipated to do so either. Clinton’s all about the counterattack right now, and considering who she’s up against, that’s not the worst idea.