Clinton’s Campaign Threatened by Economic Anxiety
George Gallup began conducting polls to measure public opinion in 1935, and there are few Americans who have never heard of the Gallup Poll. The company has been conducting regular polls to measure the level of confidence Americans have in the nation’s economy, and the results show that the majority of the respondents are pessimistic about the future. In the Gallup Poll for June 2016, 59 percent of the respondents said that they believe the economy is getting worse. This resulted in an economic outlook score that is the lowest that Gallup has recorded since November 2013. Clearly, Americans are worried about the economy, and this economic anxiety could threaten Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
Economic Anxiety Threatening Clinton’s Campaign
When Gallup conducted a poll in May 2016 asking respondents to list their greatest concerns, the top two responses were the economy and jobs/unemployment. The third priority was “dysfunctional government.” When asked whether they thought that Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton would have more success improving the economy, Trump won by 53 percent to 43 percent. On the issue of unemployment and jobs, Trump won by 52 percent to 45 percent. Clearly, economic worries are threatening to derail Clinton’s bid for the White House.
Clinton Acknowledges that Voters Feel Economic Anxiety and Fear
In an interview with the Washington Post, Clinton admitted that fear and economic anxiety are driving voters to Trump. She states that many people feel that the federal government has failed them. She adds that many working-class white Americans are finding Trump’s views appealing, especially his position on illegal immigrants. However, some analysts feel that Clinton’s comments could be construed as an effort to reach a specific demographic that is offering her little support. In a poll conducted in June 2016, 73 percent of the respondents identifying themselves as whites without a college degree stated that they held an “unfavorable view” of Clinton. This same group has been solidly supporting Trump virtually since he declared his intentions to run for president.
Clinton’s Economic Solutions Contrast Sharply with Trump’s
Although both candidates acknowledge that the economy needs to be improved, they propose radically different solutions. According to Hillary for America, Clinton wants to invest in medical and scientific research, infrastructure and clean energy. She plans to provide tax cuts for small businesses and the middle class while eliminating tax loopholes for the wealthy. She supports increasing the federal minimum wage to $12 and a tax credit for corporations that offer workers a legitimate opportunity to participate in a profit-sharing program. In addition, she wants to improve federal funding for higher education so that students can earn college degrees without resorting to loans.
Breitbart.com reports that Trump’s economic plan is quite different from Clinton’s. Trump wants to reduce taxes for businesses to a maximum of 15 percent, eliminate federal income tax for couples earning less than $50,000 and establish a maximum personal income tax of 25 percent. He is in favor of disbanding the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy and other federal agencies that he views as wasteful or abusive. Trump favors extensive reform to the Dodd-Frank Act and the elimination of regulations that he considers as obstacles to economic growth. His views on trade agreements and illegal aliens are also resonating with voters; he wants to eliminate or revise virtually every trade agreement in existence and deport all illegal immigrants.
The economic wisdom of improving the nation’s infrastructure is one of the few points on which Clinton and Trump agree. According to an article on Newsmax.com, Trump stated in May 2016 that he would repair the country’s aging infrastructure. Trump likened his program to the New Deal program launched by President Roosevelt during the Great Depression. Trump estimates that his program would result in the creation of 13 million new jobs.
Can Either Candidate Transform the Economy?
Regardless of which candidate wins the election, there will be problems that must be overcome to make any major changes to benefit the economy. One of these issues involves funding; many of these programs will be extremely expensive to implement. Furthermore, although the executive branch has certain powers, most of the proposed remedies will require the approval of Congress, and according to a poll conducted in June 2016 by Gallup, Americans do not have much confidence in Congress. Only 9 percent of the respondents stated that they had “quite a lot” or a “great deal” of confidence in Congress, reflecting a 10-percent drop over June 2006. If the respondents’ perspectives prove to be accurate, the next president may face an uphill battle to gain approval for sweeping changes.
Complexity of Economic Issues Requires Additional Study
Economic issues are quite complex, and virtually every solution will carry a price. Some prices will be monetary, but others could involve international relationships, global opinion or personal sacrifices. Examining each candidate’s position on all of the issues can help you decide for whom you should vote. You can find more articles on the presidential candidates and the threat to Clinton’s campaign posed by economic anxiety by visiting PersonalMoneyStore.com.