Seeking to reset the course of his presidential campaign, Donald Trump on Monday rolled out a blueprint of his economic agenda that included eliminating the death tax and imposing a temporary moratorium on new federal regulations.
Nine months after his campaign released a policy paper that gave voters a loose idea of what tax reform and trade would look like under a Trump administration, the Republican presidential nominee offered a cornucopia of details during a speech at the Detroit Economic Club. Much of what Trump told voters in the once-iconic industrial city marked a change from what he had previously proposed.
He promised to lessen the tax burden on American families and challenge regulations that have constrained job production and devastated major industries. "The Obama-Clinton agenda of tax, spend and regulate has created a silent nation of jobless Americans," Trump said, proceeding to outline an economic agenda that he claimed will stimulate recovery and growth beyond that of his opponent's.
American families should be able to deduct child care costs from their annual income, Trump told a mixture of steadfast supporters and protesters who repeatedly interrupted his speech. American workers "should not be taxed again at death," he said.
Trump, who recently slammed the Environmental Protection Agency in a separate speech about energy policy, vowed to eliminate regulations from all federal agencies that hurt business owners, workers, markets and industries.
"I will ask each and every federal agency to prepare a list of all of the regulations they impose on Americans which are not necessary, do not improve public safety, and which needlessly kill jobs. Those regulations will be eliminated," he said matter-of-factly.
Trump appeared to adjust his previous proposal to afford individuals earning less than $25,000 annually and couples making less than $50,000 a federal income tax rate of 0 percent and create four tax brackets: 25, 20, 10 and 0 percent. Instead, he said he would use "the same brackets [House Republicans] have proposed: 12, 25 and 33 percent."
With 7 different tax brackets for individuals & a top rate of 39.6%, America's tax code is too complicated. pic.twitter.com/OvcCo1XoeW— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) August 8, 2016
The billionaire's hour-long speech was seen by many as a Hail Mary effort to save a campaign that has been marred by controversy and sagging poll numbers. A new Monmouth University poll released while Trump delivered his remarks showed the candidate trailing Hillary Clinton by 13 percentage points among likely general-election voters.
"The city of Detroit is the living, breathing example of my opponent's failed economic agenda," Trump told the crowd within seconds of taking the stage in Detroit. "Every policy she has tilts the playing field towards other countries at our expense."
Clinton herself had forcefully pushed back against Trump's economic proposals in a series of tweets early Monday morning before he arrived in the Great Lake State.
When you're comparing Hillary's and Trump's economic plans, there are two numbers you need to know. pic.twitter.com/GdanBYOMUz— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) August 8, 2016
But Trump slammed his Democratic opponent as a candidate of the past who can be trusted only to enforce what has become the "status quo."
"The other party has reached backwards into the past to choose a nominee from yesterday — who offers only the rhetoric of yesterday, and the policies of yesterday," he told the audience. "The reforms I have outlined today are only the beginning. When we reform our tax, trade, and regulatory policies we will open a new chapter that in American prosperity that is so desperately needed.