Republican nominee Donald Trump delivered a message of hope to Americans on the campaign trail yesterday in a major economic policy speech that ought to finally make Hillary Clinton's campaign management team break out in a cold sweat.
Trump is no Ronald Reagan but some of the Gipper's legendary optimism oozed out of the candidate as he provided details of his "America First" platform that consists so far of ambitious plans for tax reform, regulatory reform, trade policy enforcement and reform, and energy reform. He urged Americans to turn away from the epic continual failures and rampant in-your-face corruption of the Obama era and embrace new leadership. (A transcript of the speech is available here.)
We can’t fix a rigged system by relying on the people who rigged it in the first place. We can’t solve our problems by relying on the politicians who created them. Only by changing to new leadership, and new solutions, will we get new results. We need to stop believing in politicians, and start believing in America. Before everything great that has ever happened, the doubters have always said it couldn’t be done.
America is ready to prove the doubters wrong.
They want you to think small. I am asking you to think big. We are ready to dream great things for our country once again. We are ready to show the world that America is back – bigger, and better and stronger than ever before.
It was no mistake that Trump made the speech in Detroit, once a fabulously wealthy glittering jewel of a city that was incrementally destroyed by decades of one-party Democrat rule and the suicidal left-wing economic policies and social engineering schemes that sprang out of that. Detroit is one of those rare large American cities whose footprint is receding as large swaths of land return to the wild, whether naturally or with help from demolition experts. It is now part ghost town. Where there used to be families and schools there are now feral cats, packs of wild dogs, and large trees breaking through the floorboards and roofs of dilapidated housing. Call 9-1-1 in the inner city and it will take an ambulance an hour or more to arrive if it arrives at all.
Ask a twenty-something or a thirty-something about Detroit nowadays and they'll recall the Robocop movie franchise or call the place "murder city." They might know about Devil's Night, the night before Halloween when nihilistic arsonists would set hundreds of fires in the city -- 800 on Devil's Night in 1984 -- contributing to and reinforcing Detroit residents' feelings of hopelessness. Some desperate homeowners unable to sell their property would use Devil's Night as a cover to burn their own homes, blame criminals, and collect insurance proceeds.
But the Motor City is also a place of hope. It was in Detroit where Ronald Reagan finally captured the Republican presidential nomination in 1980 after several tries. Reagan's policies ended the stagflation and malaise of the Jimmy Carter years and unleashed more than two decades of unprecedented economic growth. President Reagan also waged economic warfare against the Soviet Union forcing the eventual collapse of what he dubbed "the evil empire," a totalitarian behemoth that Democrats like Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Tom Harkin and socialists like Bernie Sanders worked hard to support.
Trump detailed what the Democrats did to Detroit over 60 years.
Detroit is "controlled by Democratic politicians at every level, and unless we change policies, we will not change results."
Detroit is number one among U.S. cities in terms of violent crime and it has a per capita income under $15,000, roughly half the national average, he said. About 40 percent of Detroit residents live in poverty, which is more than 2.5 times the national average, and the unemployment rate is more than double the national average. Half of all Detroit residents do not work at all, he said.
Detroit is "the living, breathing example of my opponent's failed economic agenda," he said. "Every policy that has failed this city, and so many others, is a policy supported by Hillary Clinton."
Clinton supports "the high taxes and radical regulation that forced jobs out of your community," the soft-on-crime policies "that have made you less safe," the open-borders immigration policies that strain local budgets, flawed trade deals that export jobs, and "education policies that deny your students, choice, freedom, and opportunity."
Class-warrior Clinton wants "another massive job-killing $1.3 trillion-dollar tax increase" and let it slip that she plans to hike taxes on the middle class, he said.
Trump said he wants "the biggest tax revolution since the Reagan tax reform, which unleashed years of continued economic growth and job creation." He called for "an across-the-board income tax reduction, especially for middle-income Americans," that will create millions of new good-paying jobs. "The rich will pay their fair share," he said, "but no one will pay so much that it destroys jobs, or undermines our ability to compete."
The Carried Interest Deduction and "other special interest loopholes that have been so good for Wall Street investors, and people like me, but unfair to American workers" will be eliminated," he vowed.
Taxes will be simplified, he said.
Our current tax code is so burdensome and complex that we waste 9 billion hours a year in tax code compliance. My plan will reduce the current number of brackets from 7 to 3, and dramatically streamline the process. We will work with House Republicans on this plan, using the same brackets they have proposed: 12, 25 and 33 percent. For many American workers, their tax rate will be zero.
Trump vowed to allow businesses "to immediately expense new business investments" and said he would slash "the highest business tax rate among the major industrialized nations of the world, at 35 percent," which he added was "almost 40 percent when you add in taxes at the state level." The current policies punish businesses for making products in the U.S. and give them an incentive to ship products into the U.S. tax-free if they move overseas.
"This is backwards," he said. "All of our policies should be geared towards keeping jobs and wealth inside the United States."
He vowed that no U.S. company will pay more than 15 percent of their business income in taxes. Clinton, by contrast, would as much as triple taxes paid by small businesses, he said.
"I will also immediately cancel all illegal and overreaching executive orders," Trump said. "Next, I will ask each and every federal agency to prepare a list of all of the regulations they impose on Americans which are not necessary, do not improve public safety, and which needlessly kill jobs. Those regulations will be eliminated."
Trump pledged to reduce the cost of childcare by allowing parents "to fully deduct the average cost of childcare spending from their taxes." He said he would "bring back trillions of dollars from American businesses that is now parked overseas," taxing it lightly at the rate of 10 percent. He promised to drive a stake through the heart of the hated death tax. "American workers have paid taxes their whole lives, and they should not be taxed again at death – it’s just plain wrong. We will repeal it."
The well-received aggressively pro-growth speech comes after a series of public statements by Trump that the media tried through saturation coverage to transform into world-historic mistakes on the same level as Napoleon's ill-fated decision to invade Russia in wintertime.
Despite the oceans of bad press, there is a good chance that the creepy Islamist immigration lawyer Khizr Khan and the ejected crying baby hoax will not doom Trump's campaign if he can manage to stay on-message long enough for people to see the real Hillary Clinton: venal, vicious, corrupt, pathologically dishonest, and in such precarious health -- including apparently permanent brain damage, convulsions, coughing fits, blinding headaches, and difficulty climbing stairs that there is good reason to believe she could not withstand the rigors of the presidency.
Nonetheless for the time being Clinton continues to lead Trump. At time of writing the Real Clear Politics average of presidential polls puts Clinton ahead of Trump by about the same margin whether pollsters assume it is a 2-way, 3-way, or 4-way race. Versus Trump alone she’s up 7.2 percentage points. Add Libertarian Gary Johnson and her lead over Trump rises slightly to 7.3 points. Add Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein and Clinton is still 7.4 points ahead of Trump.
The speech was “a game changer,” Trump adviser Stephen Moore told Larry O’Connor yesterday on WMAL talk radio in the nation’s capital. Moore praised Trump for proposing “the biggest tax cuts since Ronald Reagan” and for promising to reinvigorate the coal industry, a move that would create jobs.
“Wow, this is a race again,” said the Heritage Foundation scholar.