- - Monday, October 24, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

“What’s in your wallet?” is more than a punchline in a TV commercial. It’s the question that breadwinners ask themselves every day. How they answer determines whether they’re gaining or losing ground in the race for prosperity. That’s why the economy is consistently at the top of their list when voters are asked what’s the most important issue in the presidential campaign.

In the final presidential debate last week in Las Vegas, moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News said Hillary Clinton’s economic plan would increase the national debt from 77 percent of gross domestic product to 86 percent over the next decade, and Donald Trump’s plan would raise it to 105 percent, citing estimates of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. Why are they both, he asked, ignoring the problem? The Donald said his economic plan would raise “GDP from really 1 percent, which is what it is now, and if she got in, it would be less than zero, but we’re bringing it from 1 percent up to 4 percent, and I actually think we can go higher than 4 percent.”

Hillary’s solution is higher taxes, beginning with the rich: “I’ve made it very clear, we are going where the money is. We are going to ask the wealthy and corporations to pay their fair share. And there is no evidence whatsoever that that will slow down or diminish our growth. In fact, I think just the opposite.”

In suggesting the Trump plan would blow up the national debt, the committee ignores the impact of economic growth. Borrowing the Congressional Budget Office’s projection of 2 percent growth over the next decade, the organization writes that 4 percent growth not likely “in the context of an aging population.”

It’s a fact that the U.S. median age has risen from 29.5 in 1960 to 37.8 in 2015, leading to fewer workers and more retirees. But job-killing policies that President Obama has enacted and that Hillary would preserve have chased many Americans out of the farm, office and factory, and the number of workers not participating in the labor force has ballooned to more than 94 million. Stimulating growth could put millions back to work, and the best way to kick-start the economy is to cut taxes. Static economic models that treat Americans as robots unresponsive to changing conditions don’t take into account the rush of energy that the Donald says will occur when millions of Americans hear the words of their dreams: “You’re hired.”

No imagination is required to envision the impact of the Clinton economic plan. It’s imported, as if it were a stinky cheese, from Europe. Heavy tax burdens together with mushrooming entitlements have slowed commerce in Europe to a crawl. The European Union’s growth rate since 2004 has averaged 0.8 percent. The EU has tried to spur growth by welcoming millions of immigrants from Third World nations, but the human invasion has brought with it terror, not prosperity.

Similarly, Hillary with her stated “dream of open borders,” looks to a future that depends not on putting Americans back to work but importing workers from points south. Cutting taxes is the proven way to start the engines of American commerce. Americans nearly always vote their wallets. They understand that “it’s the economy, Stupid.”

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