French soldiers in Lalain France, in 1794, reported a Rain of Toads. The 2016 presidential race makes one nostalgic for such relative normality. Underneath the media’s current Rain of Toads this election turns on the question of whether Trump or Clinton can better restore the American Dream. Good.
Trump emphasizes prosperity. His enemies caricature him as heaping more wealth on the already wealthy while neglecting, or even fleecing, workers and the poor. Clinton’s long arc bends towards justice. Her enemies lampoon her as attempting to impose the “equal sharing of misery” that socialism and its derivatives always induce.
Trump and Clinton and their critics all possess more than a grain of truth.
But there’s more to it.
Both candidates have been reasonably clear as to their priorities. Both have been reasonably specific about the policy formulations on how to get there.
Trump promises to make America great again. How? By, among other things, dramatically cutting the US corporate tax rate, eliminating the death tax, and other tax cuts.
Clinton promises to make America fair again. How? By, for example, raising taxes on the rich to subsidize colleges costs, refinance student debt, and provide job training programs.
Their promises are pretty clear. That said, campaign promises are notorious for getting broken. Can either or both of the nominees achieve their stated objectives? Let’s pay some attention to the interesting, mostly overlooked, question of whether the candidates show signs of effectiveness, like Reagan or Bill Clinton, or ineffectuality, like Ford or Carter.
Ralph Benko, internationally published weekly columnist, co-author of The 21st Century Gold Standard, lead co-editor of the Gerald Malsbary translation from Latin to English of Copernicus’s Essay on Money, is American Principles Project’s Senior Advisor, Economics.