The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



On policy, Clinton crushes Trump

| Tuesday, September 20, 2016

For the last year, commentators, TV personalities and seemingly every person in America (including me) has written about the danger that Donald Trump presents. Whether it’s the things he says, the hatred he taps into, or the way he treats his peers, he’s been criticized in so many different ways. Personally, these things are disqualifying enough for me to vote against him. But for some, that isn’t enough. And that’s understandable — his whole life has been a publicity stunt so maybe, just maybe, the persona he puts across is all a show. Even if so, his policies are just as dangerous for our country and are just as disqualifying for him as a presidential candidate.

To be clear, Trump’s policies are disqualifying on their face and are also just inferior to Hillary Clinton’s. I agree with many of Clinton’s policies, and I disagree with others. But on the whole, her policies are far better than Trump’s.

Take, for example, Trump’s pet issue: immigration. Everyone knows that he plans to build the wall and have Mexico pay for it, yet no one really thinks that Mexico will pay for it (hopefully). Trump himself says the wall would cost about $10 billion (Bernstein Research reports that the cost of the wall is “widely expected to be greater than $15 billion and perhaps as much as $25 billion”). With an exploding deficit, a school system that doesn’t do our country justice and failing entitlement programs, Trump wants to spend billions of dollars on an ineffective solution to a real problem our country faces. Hillary, meanwhile, is seeking comprehension immigration reform and opposes mass deportation (unlike Trump). She seeks a humane, tangible solution to the real immigration policy that we face in our country.

On other issues, Trump’s ideas take us down the clear wrong path. The (conservative-leaning) Tax Foundation estimates that his tax plan would reduce tax revenues by about $10.14 trillion dollars over the next decade. He has proposed no way of making up for this tax revenue by cutting spending, adding this to the national debt, which is a problem the Republican party itself calls “a burden on our economy and families”. Granted, Hillary Clinton doesn’t have any real policies to reduce the debt. She does propose large government projects such as debt-free college, but she has actually planned out how she plans to pay for it (through higher taxes on the rich). Yes, Hillary’s policy on the debt isn’t great, and I disagree with her idea of higher corporate taxes. But Trump’s ideas are poorly thought out, harmful to our nation’s health and take us backwards.

Trump also has proposals that are downright dangerous. He embraces Vladamir Putin’s leadership, a man who murders his opponents and invades other countries. He has expressed a desire to leave NATO, an organization that a large majority of experts maintain keeps our world safe. He wants to dismantle trade policies such as NAFTA and TPP, starting a trade war with China and Mexico. By doing this, he would plunge the economy into a recession and cost the country about 7 million jobs.  And he wants to repeal Obamacare completely, which would leave about 24 million people without health insurance.

Yes, you may dislike Hillary Clinton. You may think she’s dishonest, and you may disagree with her bigger government, higher taxes and more interventionist policies. But compared to Trump? She’s a safer option for our country. It’s understandable to disagree with policy specifics. I do. I don’t like her corporate tax policy, her promise of totally debt-free education and her pro-choice ideals. But no one is ever going to agree with any politician (unless you run for office). And Donald Trump is too dangerous. I don’t disagree with his policy specifics; I disagree with everything. Because what he proposes is dangerous. It’s radical and it’s un-American, and it threatens everything we stand for. If we take him at his word, by what he’s proposed, it’s nonsense. His policies have the potential to destroy our country; for that reason alone, Clinton crushes him on policy.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

Tags: , , , , ,

About Neil Joseph

Contact Neil
  • NDaniels

    Denying that God Is The Author of Love, of Life, and of Marriage, is not a political position, nor is it a position of policy; it is a position that by rendering to Caesar what belongs to God, denies both the spirit of our constitution, and The Spirit of The Law.

    Who can deny in Salvational History, whenever we have denied God, tyranny abounds?

  • what no really

    The deficit is not exploding. It is decreasing. And has been for quite some time now. Deficit =/= debt. Don’t be lazy.

  • warmupthediesel

    Wow. You attack Trump for his plan for cutting taxes (you know…letting Americans keep money they earn instead of trusting the all powerful government to hand it back out to less deserving people) and then say “Hillary Clinton doesn’t have any real policies to reduce the debt.” Do you have an objective bone in your body? You claim Hillary has a way to pay for her government plans for all of us….YEAH! At the expense of every taxpaying American….WE ARE THE ONES PAYING FOR IT. You liberals have NO solution for the ever growing financial disaster that is our debt. Your party stirs up race relations without any tangible goals for your own social justice movements. Your party believes in open borders at the expense and safety of your fellow Americans (Hillary asked what difference it made how Americans died under her watch…how about you analyze her character?)
    I loathe Trump….but get off your ill-informed progressive soapbox. If you vote for Hillary Clinton, you don’t care about your fellow AMERICANS…and odds are you don’t care about future generations. Our children and our children’s children will be paying off everybody else’s tuition, healthcare expenses, welfare checks etc without any financial solvency in sight.

    Over 60% of our federal budget can be defined as the government taking money from American A, and having it be redistributed to American B. This is what “fair” and “justice” means to the backwards left. Clinton wants to make this number astronomically higher….God help us if she’s elected.

    • Daniel Esparza

      At the risk of falling victim to “horseshoe theory,” I’d have to say that I agree with a lot of what you’re saying. Much, if not all, of the initiatives and promises that liberals advocate for are merely bandages placed on much larger, more encompassing issues that exist. They also tend to support parties that give the promise of improved labor, race, and gender relations only as a means to allow for other harmful legislature to be enacted should they gain power. It’s a false sense of progressiveness that they’re given simply because the other option is “worse.”

      Hillary provides a shining example of this dissonance, because she’ll earn a large number of votes from progressive voters, despite her history of supporting human rights violations (Like the coup she supported in Honduras that has since made it a more violent place than before). Not to mention, like much gun legislation that was enacted in the past century, it’s reasonable to assume that we’ll allow for restricting arms to the poor and marginalized to give the impression that we’re doing something about the “gun problem.”

      You also bring up the waste, in time, energy, and money, that supporting outdated means of providing healthcare leads to. This is key to the point I wish to bring up: There’s an alternative to either candidate that I think will satisfy you. I’m not talking about a third party, I’m talking of an entirely new system; one that not only allows for Americans to receive the value of the labor which they produce, but also guarantees that the needs of all are met. One that does not require that we choose between the livelihood of a foreigner to that of an American. One where we don’t have to rely on narcissists to have a say over how we live our lives and develop our communities.

      Does this warm up your deisel? Would it suffice to say that none of the parties, which act within the current system to effectuate change, will spontaneously prop up this different, preferred system? To be clear, I’m not advocating for nationalization of the means of production; I’m talking about a society where these means are owned by those who provide the labor; where our labor is not commodified and alienated; non-hierarchical, free associations will enable industries and communities to develop in the likeness of how we interact…no longer reflective of a society that turns the cold shoulder to the human rights violations and exploitation that occurs worldwide.

      Sure, all of this seems idealistic given the current state of affairs, but it becomes less so when (like you mentioned) there is no end state in sight under the current system.

      • warmupthediesel

        Awesome and insightful response, Daniel. That does “warmupmydiesel” haha Both candidates are abysmal and I think the whole country agrees the current system (across the board) needs an overhaul. We all want to “give power back to the people”, and it’s refreshing to hear another perspective that agrees the government doesn’t need to be the middleman in that transaction.

  • João Pedro Santos

    Yes, Putin is a man who murders his opponents and invades other countries. But can’t the same be said of American presidents? During Nixon’s presidency Salvador Allende, a democratically elected Chilean president, was murdered. During Bush’s presidency Iraq was invaded because of weapons of mass destruction that didn’t exist. And there are a lot of many other examples.
    About NATO, NAFTA and TPP, the truth is that even a stopped clock is right twice a day. There is no Cold War anymore so NATO is unnecessary and a financial burden on the US. Both NAFTA and TPP allowed American companies to outsource to countries where they aren’t required to give workers basic human rights. Other than that, Clinton is clearly way better than Trump.

  • Punta Venyage

    This piece is so incredibly porous. Let me address your main propositions
    1) “TV personalities, commentators, the elite all say Trump is dangerous, therefore he is dangerous”
    – Why do you take these people seriously? Have they demonstrated any shred of credibility? and perhaps most importantly… Where do these people get their money? It’s a question you may not consider much now, but when you are out of college you will begin to see that it’s one of the most important questions in practical life. . . . these people lie, twist, and distort time and time again, posing as “experts”, because they have incentive to do so. Basing the opening of your argument on the value of their credibility reflects the value of your argument…..

    2) “Building a wall is not good immigration policy and is more expensive than estimated”
    – a) Why do people build fences around their homes? Do you lock the front door? The Vatican is surrounded by a giant wall. Why did the “bridges not walls” Democrats set up a giant wall to keep the Bernie protesters out of the DNC? How are the loose borders working for European women and other victims? What do you and other regressives find so appalling about improved monitoring of who comes into your territory, whether it’s your home or your country?
    -b) You don’t need a man-made barrier for every square foot of the southern border. I don’t know if you are aware, but there are many natural barriers (mountains, bodies of water, etc.)
    -c) Mexico has a net trade deficit with US for $58bn, Furthermore, last year remittance payments to Mexico were ~$25bn. In case you didn’t know, this means people are making money and a livelihood in Country A and sending it to Country B, rather than spending it in Country A. Is this not a problem for the US in your view?

    3) See point #1 (doesn’t matter if you call it “conservative). Furthermore, take a moment to ask yourself: If a think tank can forecast all of the potential for innovation and economic benefit that a reduced tax rate could generate with such strong and accurate conviction, why aren’t we appointing *them* to run the economy instead? Forget these candidates. As a matter of fact, I say we hire the think tank people to manage our investment portfolios—imagine their stock picks! You would think these guys must be making millions since they can forecast the future so well. But the fact is, no one can quantify the benefits of innovation (otherwise it wouldn’t be innovation, would it), and this is politically exploited by the left repeatedly.

    4) Please provide a detailed argument, in your own words, why renegotiating our trade deals would be a net negative for our country. Do you realize the level of brainwashing implied when you simply paste a link to Jeff Bezos’ blog to support your view? You probably don’t even know why you believe what you believe regarding the TPP, NAFTA, etc. other than “I read it in a newspaper somewhere”.

  • Tom

    While Trump is often short on policy, I think the author might underestimate Trump on some issues. Very often, Trump has explained exactly how he will enact a specific policy…and it is far worse than if he made a vague promise. On the subject of making Mexico pay for the wall, Trump is simultaneously heartless and economically foolish. While many speculated (including, occasionally the candidate) that Trump would take it out of an aid package to Mexico, Trump also speculated that if Mexico did not agree to pay for the wall, that he might take advantage of the very large amount of money flowing from legal Mexican immigrants/temporary workers from America to their impoverished families back at home (https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-would-seek-to-block-money-transfers-to-force-mexico-to-fund-border-wall/2016/04/05/c0196314-fa7c-11e5-80e4-c381214de1a3_story.html). This is precisely what my great-grandfather did when he came over from Ireland, first to help his family survive and then to help his family join him in America. Don’t let Trump ruin the American Dream! #AmericaIsGreat