DiscoverVox's The WeedsThe Massive Policy Stakes of 2016

The Massive Policy Stakes of 2016

Update: 2016-11-04


You may not know it from watching cable news — but both Trump and Clinton have very clear and very different policy visions for America. Ezra, Matt, and Sarah dive into their plans to change the country in the last pre-election episode.

Following script is auto-generated by Speech to Text Technology:

the following podcast contains explicit language else else else in the the Hello welcome to another city that bleeds but his policy podcast and apparently network I met two great hits from my colleague Sarah cliff and Ezra Klein it is spring again in Washington D C that the sun is shining it's like my degree and not think it is spring feels here just outside as it has been here in the podcast K is doing other shows but I promise you it is frighteningly warm and also five days from the election yes and I'm not mentally prepared for Dad I keep reading people saying they can't wait for the selection to end but I feel like it's it's like the only life ever now but I'm not prepared for this brave I'm ready for this election end but before it ends before it ends we at the weeds are going to talk through one more time with feeling the policy of this election so what we want to do their job is often no one has talked about I know that is the point we want to do today is that there is amazing stuff that came out of last week that the major network newscasts had devoted more time to Hillary Clinton's emails to all policy issues combined so that is where we've been in this election it has not been as we see as I think that we all would have preferred and so we wanted to pull out the frame a little bit and really look at these two candidates from the perspective of their proposed policy agenda not how they would act in the White House not just what they've said not whether or not Donald Trump is reckless for Hillary Clinton the secretive but really what have if you just take their proposed agenda seriously what would they do what they do for the country with the country look like after their presidency if they were successful because I think when you do that you get a fairly different view then the broad which show and I think it's worthwhile starting here with Donald Trump because I think that he'd ever choose the most use a good piece on that this week the main thing of the piece was that we've had very little coverage of trumps policy proposals and the coverage that we have had has mostly focused on his more unorthodox views on trade policy which we do differ from most Republicans and there's been no coverage of the fairly extreme sort of libertarian ish agenda that focuses on on the domestic economy there's a real break with the free market consensus on foreign trade but that has so colored all coverage of Trump has been relentlessly covered as this is populist candidate this working class candidate because of what he talks about and then in the press we talk about what he talks about but he's he's proposing for starters at a tax cut that is worldly similar to that kind of thing Republicans have been running on for decades which is to say it cuts taxes a lot it cuts taxes for rich people a lot more than it cuts taxes for for other people but it's about twice the size of the tax cut that Paul Ryan has proposed which itself is twice the size of Bush's tax cuts complete rollback of financial regulations since since the crisis we would go back to me taught Sarah levels of bank regulation we would undo the Obama administration's climate change have actions that would be a complete federal moratorium on new regulations of all kind that would be a block granting and cutting Medicaid funding that's along the lines of what House Republicans have proposed similar implications like that for other kind of social safety net proposals so you know we would be looking at some wine and if Trump did what Trump says he would do that some of these cases I think it's worth noting what the Republican Party would want him to do yeah I mean exactly ie if he has indicated not a deep personal passion for these policies but a support for the policies that Paul Ryan has indicated a deep personal passion for and would have the votes to pass so people would wake up you know a couple months into the truck demonstration we don't know will be going on in certain other friends but I'm like a boring Washington policy front the weekend to a real transformation in which social support for low income people is very sharply reduced regulation of all businesses is reduced regulation of banks in particular is really sharply reduce Friday would be an enormous win for for the banking switches to know because people often seem to have a different impression of this was a fascinating Washington Post ABC News poll while back when the only place for millennials Trust to Donald Trump more than Hillary Clinton was on bank regulation which I don't think means millennials are super financial regulatory generation I think this confusion about what Donald Trump believes here I think most people do not think that campaign policy promises are important I think the number thing difference of opinion that I have with people I talk to is that I think and I think the research supports that people presidents and politicians generally tried to enact their stated policy agenda and they sometimes fail because of institutional impediments but an area like this where Paul Ryan says he wants massive de regulation of financial sector and Donald Trump has on paper that he favors massive deregulation the financial sector I think that is what will happen personally I think that when Hillary Clinton says she wants somewhat tighter regulation of financial sector that is also why I think the way most people think about it Hillary Clinton has many friends and political allies who work in banking at Donald Trump has a very deep or personal relationship with major banks because over the years they have mostly cut him off from loans because he has screwed them so many times by by defaulting right so I mean they're you know their stories going back to Trump in the in the late nineties and early aunts and he wants to get loans for large scale construction projects and he can't Donald Trump doesn't like people who have wronged him in the past so people are completely right to say that like at a dinner party Hillary Clinton is more likely to have friends who work at Goldman Sachs but their stated policies are are very very different and I think we're paying attention to and people would people would be surprised I mean if Trump comes into office and he starts of rounding up undocumented immigrants some people will cheer and some people will be horrified but everyone will say we had a fair amount talk in the campaign about Donald Trump's feelings about immigrants who really did not have much talk about Donald Trump's plan for God to take hedge fund managers' income tax rates cut them to fifteen percent and the lift all regulation on their business you think through the scenario where if you do have a Trump presidency that does a very favorable scenario where presumably he is working with the Republican House and Republican Congress in these paths towards policymaking Seguin said they generally agree with you that e president run an agenda that Ryan pursue those agendas they often stymied by having the political support but if you think through a scenario in which a veteran president presumably it is one where Republicans have a lot of control over policymaking in Washington is a lot of these ideas that a you know do exist in white papers that are like out there but don't get discussed as much as as I was mentioning that some of these numbers that did those will have a somewhat clear path to policymaking and one things I think we've missed it I think you guys touched on this a little bit in a lot of ways Trump is very Orthodox Republican sometimes more scaled back of some of the folks who ran against in the primary I was just looking at this tax calculator that box did earlier this election cycle looking at how the candidates tax plans would affect geo and put in I'm about to put in the comment you weren't gives you a sense of higher taxes or change sides but in or one person to be somebody and you're doing great just what you're doing the work of Father who knows what happened Rio we look at the Trump tax plan someone someone to pay one hundred and twenty three thousand last under trumped their pay hundred and ninety four thousand last under cruise so we really this is like not the edge of like the power grid like cruises plan like I think I even find rocks articles from a year ago now see him talking about EA how this has moved very far in a direction but this is not lake out of the ordinary and away some of the is that policies related to immigration maybe like physics squarely where Republicans of land I think that's right although I do want to know that one is a bit unusual but the little shops plans is there ambiguity sin them worth trillions of dollars and so I just to do and say that it's a little bit hard to calculate the plan because they will tell you different things depending on the day and so it can be his Bongo anywhere from quite large but not the largest to the craziest tax cut anybody has ever considered an American it's a very funny to mention that this is a book about what what this mean ambiguity is fright so so Trump's plan calls for a fifteen percent corporate income tax rate which is also what Paul Ryan's tax plan says is at a fairly at consensus Republican plan will be a very large production from the current thirty five percent rate the income taxes only apply to companies that pay corporate income tax so you make your profits you pay your tax then you have the money in the corporate treasury and then you can pay out dividends or whatever and there's another round of tax is applied to it true sometimes tells people that he would apply that fifteen percent rate to partnerships which is the kind of thing where I'm currently just pay tax at the individual income tax rate you don't pay corporate income tax at all in partnerships another pass through entities Trump has told many people but not the Tax Policy Center that he will apply the fifteen percent rate to partnership in time I tend to believe Trump when he says he wants to do that because that would be a very big reduction in the tax rate that Donald Trump pages so I don't think they're a lot of areas of public policy where you can say OK Trump doesn't really care about this he's you know he's trying to get people on his team whatever whatever I do think that the aspect of public policy that most directly impacts Donald Trump personally he probably does understand exactly what he's saying here and it does mean it is clear that Congress go along with this one effort to model this is it would cost a trillion dollars but that's based on looking at partnerships that exist right now mostly big real estate companies hedge funds private equity funds and assuming that they get this giant tax cut the reality is that if you open up a loophole where you can pay a fifteen percent rate if you characterize your income as small business partnership income a lot of wealthy people would change up their contractual I needed to have a real revenue loss could be potentially like cataclysmic but we really have no idea how to model the pull this back big I do also bring Clinton's policies and makes about something I think is very important about the Trump policy agenda and very unique about it which is that it is directional e opposite from Donald Trump's claims about his own policy agenda and this is spoke to a small way by the pass through income issue but a big way on taxes and non healthcare very particularly go back into the primaries n even after the primaries and you'll hear couple things Trump he had a number of fights in debates with the other Republicans were they would say you know we have to repeal Obamacare blahblahblah and on to say absolutely do but ride is good other public and says I'm not going let you die on the streets I think the government has to take care of everybody and pay for it and then he brought his healthcare plan which look as he doubled on his like again and again and again keep saying this on sixty Minutes saying I want and it's the kit and the government will pay for it yes so this is like repeated throughout up until his speech am just this week on Tuesday saying I'm going to have quality reliable healthcare for everyone says is like not dislike a one off slip Donald Trump makes a very clear claim it to government provided funded fully universal health insurance and he brings out a plan that He knows best we could tell would Pelt entrance roughly twenty one million people present himself as being a much more generous Republican on health care and he's actually a much more cruel Republican on health care and the same is true his tax plan he came out a number of times also on sixty Minutes if I'm remembering this correctly and said that his plan would shock everyone because it would raise taxes on the rich and also because a lot of reporters don't understand tax policy all that well when the plan came out and I'm pretty sure Matt wrote about this at the time there were a bunch of headlines say because Dalton said his plan raise taxes on the rich Donald Trump new plan raises taxes the rich and then when you look to it it was a massive tax cut for the rich and they're a lot of interpretations of this one is that Donald Trump has gestures towards policy ideas and then he had a pre Doctor Nair policy team which he then never paid money to and they left but nevertheless they created pretty standard issue Republican policies another is that he's a liar another is that he's doesn't know what he's talking about and changes it up depending on the day but I do just want to note that a difficulty with Trump is that while he does have a pretty clear policy agenda and he's not care enough about the policy but he does with her policy agenda he's not cared enough about it to make sure that what he's saying reflects what his policies actually are one is kind of let off the hook in a little weight like so do something I've thought about it I've covered the health care part of this where I've been watching for this disconnect between what he says unlike and is having one of the ways he kind of gets off the hook people don't there's this policy document to put out in March that is a seven point health care plan that I started calling Trump carrot that was the reference it almost feels too skimpy to be called the health care plan because it's like short and the title of it is like make health care in America Great Again most in a weird way by a not like flushing it out by not saying you know I really like when you look at Clinton there's like lots of white papers unlike her plan is very specific on health care and how to change tax credits and this and that by doing this like very I'm very broad plan his own lists seem to give a lot of media license not to cover it seriously is the goal that says outlines like that's like not a real plus the white paper like that's not a real thing and it's been a weird dynamic to watch in this race that I think is quite different than I'm panicking other races I've covered that I remember covering like Romney Obama and their looks very specific fights than about odors Obamacare cut Medicare like they did it in like Romney was right and like the robot posts about those at the old bloggers are nice or kind of better ties tax plan fights of two thousand and two like the naive times with a new leak were talking about each candidate's what they talked about generally like aligned with what was on their website and what their policy proposals where I think you're you're right as read that when there isn't as much of like understanding of policy they Trump the most creative space where his policy plans or don't get taken seriously because some of them like you know the building a wall or deporting all Muslims are so out there that feels like animals trickles over to this kind of very thin health care plan that I am that is an office like a well that's not a natural real health care plans that doesn't factor into the opposite of this is Hillary Clinton he who has so I found a key statistic is from September so it's a couple months old but they found that Hillary Clinton had really sixty five policy fact sheets totaling more than one hundred and twelve thousand words of detail or Donald Trump had seven totaling nine thousand words that is the gap policy detail between these two cats so Dale Matthews has a great piece that by the time this podcast is out will be up a box and he really goes through Clinton's policy agenda and what He shows I think very conclusively is Clinton's reputation for incremental a sum which I think is to some degree a function of running against on the one hand a little democratic socialist in the primary on the other hand Donald Trump who wants to make Mexico build a wall in the general is very undeserved Dylan frames what she has as a term of Ethics be good a minimum viable product for social democracy in America and the point he's making nice if you compare America to Nordic countries there are a couple of places where our social compact doesn't exist but theirs is quite significant one is the maternity paternity leave another is around childcare and practically pre K and Clinton really goes forward to try to fill in these sort of family oriented gaps in the structure and another is around calls to action and between these three or four things Clinton is doing is actually quite radically changing the compact between America and its citizens in a Hillary Clinton world over she was able to enact our agenda it would be the state's duty to make sure that if you made I forget exactly the income cutoff is a hunch twenty five thousand I think if you made less under twenty five thousand you get free tuitions to a state college if you have a child that you get paid maternity leave and the government guarantees us certain amount of pre k and it scared he will not be spending more than ten percent of your income on child care and those are a series of promises that other countries make that we do not make right now Clinton's plan does not go all the way to where France is or Denmark is on these points and she is much more oriented towards means testing and doing programs that are beginning as opposed to sort of the full wraparound cradle to grave welfare state but is nevertheless a very very ambitious expansive agenda to say nothing of all the other things in it from public options and Medicare buy in and infrastructure spending and tax increases on the Richmond is a lot going on in the Clinton policy world but she has is from the perspective of the children and people who have children really trying to fill in pieces of the welfare state that don't exist in America but are common everywhere else I think there's an important thing that that you mentioned there that this was dwelling on a little bit which is that most people who produce and consume this sort of like wonky policy news engage in my high level ideological debates are at a reasonable level of economic comfort in life and for those people there is this yawning gap between life in the United States and life in Northern Europe in which we pay a sort of upper middle class professional types the United States paid drastically lower taxes than similarly situated Danish people pay and also receive drastically fewer government services you know and Clinton's plan does not alter that right by design ride she feels across the board that asking non wealthy Americans to pay higher taxes is basically a non starter and that means that while she can raise a lot of tax revenue she can raise like a Nordic amount of tax revenue but she wants to do all of the things that are Nordic welfare state to write take care of tiny babies take care of sick people take care of college students all those ambitions but she doesn't have that much revenue to her or she do it well she does it by targeting the assistance that people have real financial need and so was the upshot of that is that he's very dramatic transformation that she would enact in the lives of economically struggling people who would get out of nowhere huge amount of financial assistance with childcare pre K programs college two ish and boosting their income to an income tax credit is a little bit invisible to the Like kinds of people who make programming decisions on cable TV or who I even like left wing journals you know that kind of thing so that it's an eyesore I understand the politics I understand the political thinking behind Clinton's plans but it also has a weird situation in which she doesn't get the credit for doing this kind of stuff because she would not be providing the social services to that kinds of people who decide what is it we should talk about when we talk about politics where's where's Bernie Sanders would have done that right like but my taxes would go up like a lot under Barry Sanders and then exchange I would get a lot of new social services whereas I would be spared from almost anything Clinton wants to do on the revenue and then converse leave like not receive very much because you be deep into the phase out curves of of everything but to the extent that we care about poor people which I think many people claim to have particularly to the extent that we care about the economic anxiety is working class Americans is for Clean Communities which has often been a subject of discussion during this campaign it's like worth noting that there would be a truly drastic turnabout in the financial fortunes of lower income families with children write that for middle class people and or childless people that would not be a big change but you know if you're if you're pour and have kids it would be like really night and day if this stuff where a nap to which of course it probably wouldn't be the way he led the policy at Johns piece is great and really brought together love these things in a way I haven't thought through oh and I think you could almost have the reverse of what you're saying I'm Trump where Trump everything is like big and like everything is like to clear it is like build the wall are like kick out everyone are like these big declarations and that it weddings it done pointed out that I hadn't really thought through as clearly was that he needs it is not very often gets the words incremental as a pragmatist often get lumped together that you know if one is meant for Mac pragmatic one is often being incremental as well that they're taking smaller steps when he points out that this is like not like a small step that we're talking about like when you take all these kind of pragmatic steps that you said that respond to these I'm a Ginger not wanting to go fall fold or decorative or even what to call it I with our social welfare system that often gets lumped in as incremental because it's taking kind of a more pragmatic approach to them welfare systems in the US when the two are actually can be quite distinct and one of the things that becomes a card to wrap your mind around is American is going to look at like sweet like a Nordic countries even the Canada and you think like they have this thing like there's this thing in Canada like we don't have in the US and that's like his big massive system that exists when you love those really builds incrementally to like if you look at the Canadian single payer system for example like that started with one province deciding that they want to do universal healthcare a kind of builds out from there in a series of other programs in a think looking at these fully built ones bugis cuz of the old you know that's the thing like that's like what a social welfare looks at it can be hard from this vantage point to see that there are lot of different policies that come together in different ways like add up to this larger thing that we see another kind Social Security Medicare and the US both have that quality and have the progression to something that I do think is interesting here is that Henry Clint and I really like to point you will make about incremental some pragmatism getting inflated but another piece of it is that Donald Trump has very few policies on his website dumb bus to look to seven it might be a couple more now and when I look to hit seven and two of them are repeated its like the wall and immigration thirteen So there you go to but what he's done I think quite effectively is emphasized a couple of them when you think about Donald Trump you feel intuitively that you have the knowledge of what he would focus on coming into office that knowledge might be wrong right Mike amid all this into something totally different but Dahl term stands for the wall he stands for Showtime of some travel to the United States stands for ripping up and doing different kinds of trade deals and people kind of get that color could that has so much and she talks about so much of it that one reason I think people discount to its scope and ambition is that the sheer mass makes clear that not all this will happen to somebody very little the likely happen with Republican House but people have a good sense of what she would focus on so I want to know two things on this one is that I do think she's been fairly clear that if she comes into the Republican Congress of any kind even a Republican House she's going be looking to make a deal that combines corporate tax reform part of the international corporate tax reform with a large infrastructure investment in the US but also I think it would be something that would be wise for the Clinton campaign to do which is the place where I do think they have was sort of unique emphasis in American politics and it comes I think a little bit from Clinton's historical interest potentially something she sent it has to because of her gender she's really focused on family and child policy and has a basket of ideas there are genuine change in the American state I would actually like to get the signal that that was where they were going to focus because to me that is really the place for their policies most interesting I think that we have a system that is very poorly built for modern families we have a system of labor market and the A and just a social safety net that is still built for families have a single parent single parent households and we just forced to learn households to adapt and I think that one thing that Clinton is doing is trying to modernize and it I think it often gets talked about as a a sort of social policy around like a nice thing to do but it's also way of raising labor market participation by women and it's also a way of making it more possible for people to take economic risks and I think a lot of that is important part of the few believe the trends we're seeing you know the direction of that family formation and labor participation are going in this country I also think stepping back and looking at this more ass of policy documents and looking through I've had the opportunity to browse some some wiki leaks about like how some of these came together and I've watched many many many Clinton's speeches over the course this campaign I think there's a profoundly wrongheaded thought about politics under hurting a lot of this which is that she seems to feel that when she needed to do during the campaign was right Clinton came in transition Team White papers that take into account the objective political situation as it stands in the winter of twenty sixteen twenty seven TN and then she needs to take those transition team statements and hand them to her speech writers and force them to like write a speech off this like dog's breakfast of like little thing drags and the way you run for president is you're supposed to say it with a speechwriter
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The Massive Policy Stakes of 2016