Hillary Clinton Lays Into Donald Trump on Taxes and the Economy

August 11, 2016, 8:27 PM UTC

Hillary Clinton laid out her economic agenda on Thursday, touting her plan for tuition-free college and infrastructure spending in a sharp rebuttal to Donald Trump’s speech on the economy earlier this week.

She hammered Trump for designing a tax plan that she said would benefit his own family, and said that Trump’s trade plan, which calls for discarding trade agreements and raising tariffs. “The answer is not to rant and rave or cut ourselves off from the world,” Clinton said. “The answer is to finally make trade work for us, not against us.”

And in an effort to contrast her vision with Trump’s, Clinton sounded a blast of optimism. “He’s missing so much about what makes Michigan great,” Clinton said, referring to Trump’s speech in Detroit on Monday. “Yes, there is still a long road ahead, but Michigan is on the rise.”

Clinton explained some of the policies she has developed over the last year-and-a-half, beginning in the primary with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. During her remarks, she called for tougher trade oversight, nearly $300 billion in spending on infrastructure, affordable childcare and strengthening Obamacare, as well as a public option for healthcare and tuition free college a la Sanders’ plans.

In an election that has in large part focused on the effects of trade deals, Clinton took a hard line on trade, saying she opposes the 12-nation TPP and will oppose it as president.

She said she would appoint a chief trade prosecutor and impose targeted tariffs on country—something the federal government already does—and also assign additional trade enforcement officers.

“It is true that too often, past trade deals have been sold to the American people with rosy scenarios that did not pan out. Those promises now ring hollow across” the country, Clinton said.

And in a play for Republican voters, she called for simplifying tax filings and private investment in infrastructure. “And here’s something you don’t always hear enough of from Democrats: a big part of our plan will be unleashing the power of the private sector to create more jobs at higher pay. That means for us creating an infrastructure bank to get private funds off the sidelines” and complement public investments, Clinton said. She also said she would simplify tax filing for small businesses. “It should be as easy as printing out a bank statement.”

Trump has called for tariffs on imports and wants to lower individual tax rates to 10, 20 and 25% and the corporate tax rate to 15%. “The tax cuts he doubled down on in speech on Monday offered trillions to richest americans and corporations,” Clinton said.

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