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Let’s talk about the election — and what it's likely to mean for your wallet.
Many people are experiencing financial anxiety about “long-term secure jobs, which many consumers feel don’t exist anymore,” said Julian Zelizer, political historian at Princeton University. And that's certainly not the only financial issue at play.
First, the baseline. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO), or the nonpartisan “scorekeeper” of the government’s economic projections, projects that based on policies in place right now, employment will rise by 7 million people over the next 10 years.
Clinton says her proposals will raise an estimated 10.4 million jobs over the next 10 years — at least 3 million more than the CBO’s projection. She says she’ll do this by taxing companies that outsource jobs or move their headquarters overseas, meaning more jobs will stay in America for consumers to fill.
She has also proposed a tax credit for businesses of $1,500 per apprentice they hire (and a bonus on that tax credit for providing young people with opportunities), creating more doorways for consumers to enter their chosen fields.
As for the believability of the 10.4 million jobs figure? “They seem to be rather feasible,” said Joann Weiner, associate professor of economics at The George Washington University, speaking on behalf of herself.
Trump says his proposals will raise about 25 million jobs over the next 10 years — about 18 million more than the CBO’s projection. He also plans on penalizing American companies for moving abroad, translating to more jobs for American consumers. Trump’s biggest plan is to stimulate economic growth of about 4 percent a year through tax cuts for American companies, saying that economic growth will generate jobs.
If the economy were really to grow by those margins, jobs would follow suit. “As the economy grows, people come to work,” Weiner said.
Trump’s 25 million jobs figure “relies on rates of economic growth that we just do not see on a sustained basis, so it’s not realistic to expect the economy to grow so fast from his tax cuts,” Weiner added.
“If you look back at tax cuts from Ronald Reagan in the ‘80s and tax cuts from George Bush in the 2000s, you didn’t get that kind of job growth.”
Again, let’s start with what we have now: The Affordable Care Act (ACA). Before it, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, 16 to 17 percent of the nation’s population did not have health insurance; now, that has decreased to 9.1 percent. The cost of healthcare premiums are projected to rise 22 percent in 2017.
Clinton would like to keep the ACA, fill in its gaps and expand it — maybe even to be an entitlement (like Medicare and Social Security) that everyone pays into and gets upon qualification. That may mean taking away the marketplace aspect.
Premiums have gone up in recent years since people who needed health insurance the most joined the program first, which caused insurance companies to raise premiums to pay for their health expenses, Weiner said.
But since there are penalties for not having health insurance, in the long run, more and more "healthier" people will make it into the pool. That should make payouts go down, which will likely slow the rate of premium growth the more years the ACA is in operation.
Trump would like to repeal the ACA but hasn’t yet announced what he’d like to replace it with, Weiner said. We’re not yet sure of the implications of repealing the program, but consumers with preexisting conditions would likely pay much more out-of-pocket for health insurance coverage.
Clinton proposes free public university education for households or families making less than $125,000 a year. What does that mean for your wallet? Students would still likely pay for textbooks, room and board and registration fees, but they could work for 10 hours a week in exchange for free tuition, Weiner said.
Clinton is also for student loan reform, specifically the idea that students who have taken out federal loans could refinance to lower rates, and she’d like to give entrepreneurs and people founding startups a three-year break from paying back their loans.
Trump would like to establish “school choice,” or block grants of educational dollars for states to use at their discretion. It’s not clear what he’d like to do with grants like the Pell Grant that go to students now, says Weiner. Trump has also expressed that he’d like to make college more affordable but not detailed his plans.
Under Clinton’s tax plan, 90 percent of the tax increase will be borne to people in the 1 percent tax bracket or higher. The top 0.1 percent will have about an $805,000 tax increase, and she says she'll extend a tax cut to the bottom 80 percent.
Trump would like to cut individual tax rates across board and decrease the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent. He’d also allow businesses that don’t pay the corporate tax (like partnerships and “flow-throughs”) to elect to be treated as a business instead of being taxed at the individual rate, thereby saving money.
A recent report from the Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan group in Washington, D.C., cited by Weiner shows the typical “1 percenter” with an average tax cut of $214,000 under the Trump tax plan. Almost half of his total tax cuts go to people in the top 1 percent. As for the top 0.1 percent? They'd see taxes reduced by an average $1.1 million cut.
Hayden Field contributed to this report.