Clinton’s plan for Student Loan Forgiveness would allocate roughly $115 billion dollars to assist students and provide potential benefits to approximately 25 million borrowers. The key points of Mrs. Clinton’s plan are the following:
- Permit borrowers to lower their payments by refinancing at current interest rates.
- Establish a mandatory three month moratorium on all student loan payments in order to consolidate, refinance, or negotiate different repayment plans.
- Expand income base repayment plans to insure that all borrowers going forward never have to pay more than ten percent of their disposable income towards student loans.
- Permit borrowers to refinance both federal student loans as well as private student loans.
Trump’s plan in addressing the student loan crisis has not been formulated as of July 26, 2016. He has indicated that he would like to provide a program to assist students, but has not provided the specifics as to how many people it will help or how to fix the college affordability problem. He did state, “the Federal Government should not be making money off of student loans.”
As recently stated by President Obama, “Climate Change is the greatest long term threat facing the world, as well as a danger manifesting itself as droughts, storms, heat waves and flooding. It is a terrifying path, more than health care and more than riding a sinking economic ship.” Major climate change promises to make life a lot more difficult for our children and grandchildren”.
Global Warming impacts must be a priority for our next President. July was “absolutely the earth’s hottest month ever recorded”, as stated from Gavin Schmidt, who directs NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, which is responsible for temperature measurements. The effects of Global Warming include accelerating sea level rise and increased coastal flooding (August, 2016, Louisiana Flood) and longer and more damaging wild fires (August, 2016, California out of control fires).
Global Warming also increases more frequent and intensive heat waves and produces a longer and more intensive allergy season, spread of insect born diseases, and more severe droughts in some areas. Further, our aging electrical infrastructure is increasingly vulnerable to the growing consequences of Global Warming, plus the potential damage from rising sea levels. Destruction to food supplies may also occur due to Global Warming.
Donald Trump does not believe in Climate Change and previously called global warming “bull____” and asserts that the changes we see are just actually “weather”, unaffected by human actions. He puts Climate Change low on the list of problems that we need to address. In 2012, Trump said “Global Warming was a hoax created by China to make U.S. Manufacturing uncompetitive”; however, he supports regulating air pollution.
Earlier this year, Trump promised to scale back Obama’s Environmental Regulations and called for faster development of U.S. Energy Resources. He said he would cancel the “Paris Agreement” to address Climate Change that was adopted last year by more than 190 countries and stop funding any international efforts to address Global Warming.
The prospect of a Trump Presidency has already unsettled Foreign Leaders who have prioritized addressing Climate Change. French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius, stated “if a climate change denier was to be elected, it would threaten dramatically global action against climate disruption”.
Clinton’s position is quite different than Trumps. Clinton believes Climate Change, which is damaging our infrastructure, is an urgent threat in defining challenge of our time. It threatens our economy, our National Security and our children’s health and future. She wants to make United States the world’s Clean Energy Super Power by creating millions of good paying jobs, taking bold steps to slash carbon pollution at home and around the world.
The future of the Supreme Court is dependent upon the results of this election. Justice Ginsburg is 83, Justice Kennedy is 80, and Justice Breyer is 78. Since 1971, the average age of retirement for a Supreme Court Justice has been just under 79 years.
In addition to filling Justice Scalia’s seat, the new President will likely make three (3) additional nominations in his/her first term.
During the past ten years, it has been much harder for the Supreme Court to challenge wealth and power and to assist the weak, poor and extend social justice to minorities, to reduce violence, stop discrimination, and defend the right to vote. Further, with a conservative majority of five (5) Justices’, positions have changed in the nature of American Democracy. The Court opened the campaign spending floodgates so that corporations and unions could spend unlimited amounts of money on political activities, as long as it was done independently of a party or candidate.
(Accordingly, huge amount of cash poured into so called super PACS-particularly single candidate PACS or political action committees, which are nominally only independent from the candidates that they support.) As a result, legal protections for corporations mean much of the spending, known as “dark money”, never has to be publicly disposed.
Thanks to the Citizens United case, supporters can make the maximum $5,200.00 donation directly to a candidate and then make an unlimited contribution to a single candidate Super Pac. The super wealthy, using million dollar contributions are now drowning out the voices of ordinary citizens.
The future of Citizens United will to a great degree, depend upon the makeup of the Supreme Court in the future.
Clinton and Trump have opposite views relating to the Citizens United decision. Clinton feels the case must be reversed; therefore, there will be a litmus test for Supreme Court nominees who will pledge to overturn Citizens United. An analysis of the eleven potential nominees that Trump would consider to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia, in all likelihood, would not reverse Citizens United.
The tax policies for the two candidates are quite different. Clinton wants to raise taxes on high income households, while Trump wants to cut taxes for all income brackets.
In August, Trump released a revised economic plan where proposed tax rates were 12%, 25% and 33%. He also wanted to cap taxes on dividends and capital gains at 20%, which would result in repealing the Net Investment Income Tax (NITT), which was to fund the Affordable Care Act. This tax is currently 3.8% and applies to investment income for households earning more than $250,000.
Presently, high income owners could have a tax liability of up to 43.4%, which now will be reduced to 33%.
With respect to business taxes, Trump proposes a top rate on pass-through businesses such as Partnerships, to be 15%. This would substantially benefit venture capital firms (Wall Street) so that carried interest would be taxed at a much lower rate than under current law, notwithstanding the reclassification as ordinary income (rather than capital gains), because the entities that earn carried interest income are organized as Partnerships. Under current law, such income is taxed as capital gains, which can be as high as 23.8%; however, under the Trump plan, income would be taxed at a top rate of 15%, resulting in a reduction of tax liability of almost one-third.
Clinton would not repeal the Net Investment Income Tax (3.8%) and would create a new tax bracket of 43.4% for households of incomes over five million dollars. She would also mandate a minimum 30% tax rate for people with income over one million dollars.
With respect to Estate Taxes, Clinton would raise the tax rate from 40% to 45% and reduce the exemption for Estate Tax from $5.45 million to $3.5 million. Trump’s position is quite different. He would repeal the Estate Tax and Gift Tax.
The Tax Foundation, a Conservative-Leaning Research Firm, has calculated that Trump’s tax plan would cost approximately $5 trillion dollars over ten years. The revenue deficit would directly increase the national debt.
Trump’s Plan on Immigration based on his August 31st speech in Arizona, consists of the following:
- Build the wall which would be paid for by Mexico. (Trump told reporters that he and the President of Mexico did not discuss the cost of who would pay for the multibillion-dollar project; however, later that day Pena Nieto, sent out a tweet that stated, “as the start of the conversation with Donald Trump, I made it clear that Mexico will not pay for the wall.”
- Trump has stated that “For those here today illegally who are seeking legal status, they will have one route and only one route: to return home and apply for re-entry under the rules of the new legal immigration systems.”
- Trump has stated that there will be “no amnesty, anyone who enters the country illegally will be “subject to deportation”.
- Trump said he will triple the number of deportation officers at the Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
During Trump’s speech in Arizona, he did not give a definitive answer as to what he would do with most of the eleven million undocumented people who are not criminals. Previously, Trump pledged to forcibly remove the eleven million immigrants who are in the United States illegally; however, in his speech he did not give a definitive answer as to what he would do with those individuals.
In contrast to Trump, Clinton has called for a path to “full and equal citizenship” for undocumented immigrants who have not committed any violent crimes. She has vowed to not only defend President Obama’s executive actions but even take them further to “keep families together”. Clinton has said that as president she would “end family detention, close private immigrant detention centers, and help more eligible people become naturalized.” She has also proposed creating a new government agency – the Office of Immigrant Affairs – to help deal with immigration-related matters. Clinton has promised to introduce comprehensive immigration reform and a path to legitimate citizenship within the first 100 days of her presidency.
Trump opposes almost all recent actions at reducing gun violence, such as expanding background checks to people buying firearms on gun shows and online; limiting the capacity of magazines; and banning assault weapons. Trump stated, “gun and magazine bans are a total failure.” “The Government has no business dictating what types of firearms good, honest people are allowed to own.” (Please note this was a reversal of where he stood about fifteen years ago, when he was considering running for President.) At that time, he supported a ban on assault weapons and a “slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun”.
Clinton has said she wants to balance Second Amendment rights with the goals of keeping guns out of the “wrong hands”, in which category she places terrorists, domestic abusers and people with “serious mental challenges”.
She has called for “commonsense reforms to keep guns away from terrorists, domestic abusers, and other violent criminals”. She is in favor of “comprehensive background checks” and “closing loopholes that allow guns to fall into the wrong hands”, including the following loopholes:
- Gun Show loophole: Under federal law, private sellers are not required (nor permitted) to do background checks on buyers. In addition, private sellers are not required to record the sale, nor ask for identification.
- Charleston loophole, which allows gun sales to go through without a background check after the three-day waiting period for the government to perform a background check runs out.
- The ‘on-line loophole’, which lets private sellers do in-state transactions online without running background checks.
Keeping Donald Trump Honest
Trump is refusing to release his tax returns because he is being audited. That excuse has no merit.
Nominees to Cabinet and sub-Cabinet level positions in the Treasury Department, Social Security Administration, Department of Homeland and Security, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and other agencies are required to submit their tax returns to the Senate. This is normally done for the most recent three years.
Trump previously told one interviewer that a question about his taxes was “none of your business”.
Warren Buffett has now joined the chorus asking for some transparency. The “Oracle of Omaha,” who says his tax returns like Trump’s are under audit, offered to share his filings along with Trump’s at a meeting – any time, any place, before the election – where the public could ask questions of both billionaires.
Former Governor of South Carolina and Republican, Mark Sanford, has stated the following:
“I support you, Donald Trump. Now release your tax returns. The Presidency is the most powerful political position on earth and the idea of enabling the Voter the chance to see how a Candidate has handled his or her finances is a central part of making sure the right person gets the job. Voters deserve transparency and in the event Trump does not release his tax returns, then it will set a precedent for County and State elections.”
“Not releasing his tax returns would hurt transparency and our Democratic process, and particularly in how voters evaluate men and women vying to be our leaders. Whether he wins or loses, that is something our country cannot afford.”
With respect to Trump not releasing his tax returns, Mitt Romney stated, “we can only assume, it’s a bombshell of an unusual size.”
Trump’s campaign previously compiled a list of his contributions to charity which totaled $102 million during the past five years. His donations included 2,900 free rounds of golf, 175 free hotel stays, 165 free meals and 11 spa gift certificates. One reason why Trump might not be releasing his tax returns is because those items are not tax deductible.
Another issue could be that Trump’s brand names and trademarks are intangible assets separate from the man himself, which could be owned by an offshore tax haven company.
Sheldon Cohen, former Commissioner of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service stated:
“Taxation, in reality, is life. If you know the persons take on taxes, you can tell their whole philosophy. The tax code, once you get to know it, embodies all the essence of life: greed, politics, power, goodness.”
In order for Trump to be true and honest with the public, he needs to release his tax returns in order to avoid a conflict of interest if he becomes President.
Trump casts himself as an honorable business man; however, after many allegations that Donald Trump does not pay his bills, a June 2, 2016, USA Today story provided the following:
“(We) found he has been involved in more than 3,500 lawsuits over the past three decades – and a large number of those involve ordinary Americans…who say Trump or his companies have refused to pay them.
“At least 60 lawsuits, along with hundreds of liens, judgments, and other government filings reviewed by the USA Today Network, document people who have accused Trump and his businesses of failing to pay them for their work. Among them: a dishwasher in Florida. A glass company in New Jersey. A carpet company. A plumber. Painters. Forty-eight waiters. Dozens of bartenders and other hourly workers at his resorts and clubs, coast to coast. Real estate brokers who sold his properties. And, ironically, several law firms that once represented him in these suits and others….
“The action in total paint a portrait of Trump’s sprawling organization frequently failing to pay small businesses and individuals, then sometime tying them up in court and other negotiations for years. In some cases, the Trump teams financially overpower and outlast much smaller opponents, draining their resources. Some just give up the fight, or settle for less; some have ended up in bankruptcy or out of business altogether.”
- The Trump Taj Mahal, 1991. He funded the construction with one billion dollars, primarily with junk bonds at a 14% interest rate. A year later the Casino was nearly three billion dollars in debt, while Trump racked up nearly $900 million in personal liabilities. As a result, he gave up half of his personal stake in the Casino and sold his yacht and airline.
- Trump Castle, 1992. Trump Castle, which opened in 1985, filed for bankruptcy within one year after his first bankruptcy.
- Trump Plaza and Casino, 1992. Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, which opened in 1984, declared bankruptcy at the same time as the Castle.
- Plaza Hotel, 1992. Trump purchased the Plaza Hotel in Midtown Manhattan for $390 million in 1988, but accumulated more than $550 million in debt by 1992.
- Trump Hotel and Casino Resorts, 2004. Trump Hotels and Casinos filed for bankruptcy again in 2004, when his Casinos, Tash Mahal, Trump Marina, and Trump Casino Plazas in Atlantic City, and Riverboat Casino in Indiana had accrued an estimated $1.8 billion dollars in debt.
- Trump Entertainment Resorts, 2009. After debating with the company’s Board of Directors, Trump resigned as the company’s Chairman and had his corporate stake in the company reduced to 10%. The company continued to use Trump’s name and licensing.
It is very important to understand the background relating to the bankruptcy of the Taj Mahal and how Trump misrepresented his financing plan to the Casino Commission. When Trump took over the Casino he had to convince the Casino Commission that he could raise enough money to complete the project at a low enough interest rate in order for the ambitious project to be feasible. According to the transcript of one of the Casino Commission’s hearings, Trump stated that:
“I do not have to use junk bonds. I can use my own funds or I can use regular bank borrowing, so I can build at the prime rate. I mean, the banks call me all the time. Can we lend you money?, Can we do this?, Can we do that? And he always says it’s easier to finance it if Donald Trump owns it. With me, they know that there is certainty that they would get interest. I get it down, and everybody is happy.”
Just months after Trump obtained the approval from the Casino Commission, he did not obtain prime rate loans and went ahead and got junk bonds (14% interest rate) and paid roughly 50% more in interest than he told the Commission.
Republican Senator, Susan Collins, in her op ed Letter to the Washington Post, in part stated the following:
“Mr. Trump lacks the temperament, self-discipline and judgment required to be President. “
“I am also deeply concerned that Mr. Trump’s lack of self-restraint and his barrage of ill-informed comments would make an already perilous world even more so. It is reckless for a presidential candidate to publicly raise doubts about honoring treat commitments with our allies. Mr. Trump’s tendency to lash out when challenged further escalates the possibility of disputes spinning dangerously out of control.”
Meg Whitman, a prominent Republican Fund Raiser and Chief Executive of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, endorsed Hillary Clinton and stated the following:
“To vote Republican out of party loyalty alone would be to endorse a candidacy that I believe has exploited anger, grievance, xenophobia, and racial division. Donald Trump’s demagoguery has undermined the fabric of our national character.” She said that it was time “to put country first before party”. She further stated that, “Trump’s unsteady hand would endanger our prosperity and national security. His authoritarian character could threaten much more. “
Representative, Richard Hanna, Republican of New York, has endorsed Hillary Clinton for President stating that:
“Mr. Trump is “unfit to serve”. “I think Trump is a national embarrassment. Is he really the guy you want to have the nuclear codes?”
Jeb Bush top advisor, Sally Bradshaw, has left the Republican Party to become an independent. She stated:
“I can’t look my children in the eye and tell them I voted for Donald Trump. I can’t tell them to love their neighbor and treat others the way they wanted to be treated, and then vote for Donald Trump. I won’t do it.” She stated, “we are at a crossroads and have nominated a total narcissist-a misogynist-a bigot. This is a time when country has to take priority over political parties. Donald Trump cannot be elected President.”
Long time Chris Christie Aid, Maria Comella, stated she is to vote for Hillary and said:
“Donald Trump has been a demagogue this whole time, preying on people’s anxieties and loose information and salacious rhetoric, drumming up fear and hatred of the other.”
Comment from Tom Ridge, former Republican Governor of Pennsylvania & Secretary of Homeland Security under George W. Bush:
“I thought he was an embarrassment to my party; I think he’s an embarrassment to my country…I can’t vote for him.”
Former House Speaker, Newt Gingrich, stated the following about Trump:
“Can’t learn what he doesn’t know because he doesn’t know he doesn’t know it”.
William D. Ruckelshaus and William K. Reilly, two former Republican Administrators of the Environmental Protection Agency, stated:
Trump has exhibited “a profound ignorance of science and of the public health issues embodied in our environmental laws.”
The former Administrators take particular exception to Trump’s stand on climate change, which he characterized as a “hoax”. They say climate change is “the singular health environmental threat to the world today.” “To back away now, as Trump wants to do, would set the world back decades-years, we could never recover. The young people in this country deserve far better than that as our legacy.”
Comment from Mel Martinez, former Republican Senator from Florida & former Chairman of the Republican National Committee:
“I would not vote for Trump, clearly. If there is any, any, any other choice, a living, breathing person with a pulse, I would be there.”
Comment from Henry M. Paulson Jr., Treasury Secretary under George W. Bush:
“The G.O.P., in putting Trump at the top of the ticket, is endorsing a brand of populism rooted in ignorance, prejudice, fear and isolationism. This troubles me deeply as a Republican, but it troubles me even more as an American…Never Trump.”
Comment from Mitt Romney, 2012 Republican Nominee for President:
“Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud. His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University.”
Comment from Ken Cuccinelli, President of the Senate Conservatives Fund:
“When you’ve got a guy favorably quoting Mussolini, I don’t care what party you’re in, I’m not voting for that guy.”
Comment from Eliot A. Cohen, a Senior State Department Official under George W. Bush:
“A man utterly unfit for the position by temperament, values and policy preferences…whose personal record of chicanery and wild rhetoric of bigotry, misogyny and misplaced belligerence are without parallel in the modern history of either major party.”
Mark Kirk, Republican Senator from Illinois, stated:
“Cannot and will not support” Trump who, “does not have the temperament”, to be the Commander-in-Chief.
Former Secretary of State, Colin Powell, a registered Republican, describes Donald Trump as:
a “national disgrace” and an “international pariah”, and has a “long track record, unbridled ambition, greedy, and non-transformational.”
Robert Gates, Former Secretary of State from 2006-2011 and Former Director of the C.I.A. for President Bush, stated:
“Donald Trump is “beyond repair” and is “in a league of his own”. When it comes to demonstrating his credibility on foreign affairs, Trump is “cavalier about the use of nuclear weapons”. “He has no clue about the difference between negotiating a business deal and negotiating with sovereign nations”. Further, Trump, “a thin-skinned, temperamental, shoot-from-the-hip and lip, uninformed commander-in-chief is too great a risk for America.”
Michael J. Morell, former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, who is neither a registered Democrat nor a registered Republican, will vote for Hillary Clinton and stated the following about Donald Trump:
“Mr. Trump has no experience on national security. Even more important, the character traits he has exhibited during the primary season suggest he would be a poor, even dangerous, Commander in Chief.”
“These traits include his obvious need for self-aggrandizement, his overreaction to perceived slights, his tendency to make decisions based on intuition, his refusal to change his views based on new information, his routine carelessness with the facts, his unwillingness to listen to others and his lack of respect for the rule of law.”
Fifty GOP National Security Officials who held positions in Republican Administrations from Richard Nixon to George W. Bush, including former Director of National Intelligence, John Negroponte, Homeland Security Secretaries, Tom Ridge, and Michael Chertoff and CIA Director, Michael Hayden said they will not vote for Donald Trump. Please note their written statement in part included the following:
“From a foreign policy perspective, Donald Trump is not qualified to be President and Commander-in-Chief. Indeed, we are convinced that he would be a dangerous President and would put at risk our country’s national security and well-being.”
“Most fundamentally, Mr. Trump lacks the character, values, and experience to be President.”
“We are convinced that in the Oval Office, he would be the most reckless President in American history.”
Michael Hayden, a retired 4-Star General and former Director of the CIA and the National Security Agency, stated:
Trump’s “language” in essence represented a “tactical success for our enemy”. Hayden stated he could not support Trump for President by stating his “courses of action that I think would be destructive for our country and our allies and the world.”
(General Hayden was also signatory to the letter that was signed by fifty GOP National Security Officials).
Leon Panetta, former CIA Director and Secretary Defense, had the following comments about Donald Trump:
“You’ve got now, a Presidential Candidate who is in fact, asking the Russians to engage in American Politics and I just think that is beyond the pale. I have a lot of concerns of his qualities of leadership, or lack thereof. That kind of statement only reflects that he truly is not qualified to be President of the United States. “
Comments from Brent Scowcroft, who served as National Security Advisor to Presidents George W. Bush and Gerald Ford, stated:
“Clinton brings truly unique experience and perspective to the White House. She brings deep expertise in International Affairs and a sophisticated understanding of the world, which I believe are essential for the Commander in Chief. I believe Hillary Clinton has the wisdom and experience to lead our country at this critical time.”
Richard Armitage, the Deputy Secretary of State under George W. Bush, who also was the Assistant Secretary of Defense under Ronald Reagan, stated:
“If Donald Trump is the Nominee, I would vote for Hillary Clinton. He doesn’t appear to be a Republican, he doesn’t appear to want to learn the issues. So I’m going to vote for Mrs. Clinton.”
Former New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, referred to Trump as a “dangerous demagogue”. Bloomberg stated the following:
“I’m a New Yorker, and New Yorkers know a con when we see one.”
“Throughout his career, Trump has left behind a well-documented record of bankruptcies, thousands of lawsuits, angry shareholders and contractors who feel cheated, and disillusioned customers who feel ripped off.”
“Trump says he wants to run the nation like he’s run his business. God help us.”
“Let’s elect a sane, competent person with international experience”.
“The bottom line is: Trump is a risky, reckless and radical choice and we can’t afford to make that choice”.
New York City Police Commissioner, Bill Bratton, one of the nation’s best known names in law enforcement, stated the following about Trump:
“He scares the hell out of me”. He has “lack of depth on issues and shoots from the hip”. He is “not fit to be the President”.
Warren Buffet, one of the nation’s most respected business leaders, had the following comment about Donald Trump:
“How in the world can you stand up to a couple of parents who lost a son and talk about sacrificing because you were building a bunch of buildings.? Have you no decency, sir?”
Daniel Akerson, former Chairman and CEO of General Motors from 2010 to 2014, who always voted for Republicans for President, stated the following:
“Unfortunately, Trump has appealed to the lowest common denominators in our society; prejudice, xenophobia and intolerance. He has mocked people with disabilities, tarred ethnic minorities, demeaned woman and insulted religious leaders, including the pope.”
“A good leader must demonstrate such qualities as competence, integrity, empathy, character and temperament. Hillary Clinton has these essential qualities. Donald Trump does not.”
The tax filings for the Donald J. Trump Foundation, which are public, document that possibly Trump used charity’s money to settle his legal disputes. The well written article in The Washington Post, September 21, 2016 confirms that Trump may have violated laws against “self-dealing”. Leaders of charities are prohibited from benefiting themselves or their businesses. (Trump personally has refused to release his personal tax returns, which possibly could also reveal questionable business relationships and tax deductions.)
For detailed description how Trump used charity’s money, please click here.