Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton greets workers before delivering a speech on the U.S. economy at Futuramic Tool & Engineering on Thursday in Warren, Michigan. Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Your guide to Clinton’s economic address

Tony Wagner Aug 11, 2016
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton greets workers before delivering a speech on the U.S. economy at Futuramic Tool & Engineering on Thursday in Warren, Michigan. Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Like her opponent did earlier in the week, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton addressed the people of Michigan Thursday, laying out her economic plan.

As with Donald Trump’s big economic speech, we pulled some key lines from Clinton’s remarks, along with some of our reporting on each.

None of us can be satisfied until the economic revitalization we’re seeing in some parts of Michigan reaches every community, but it is inspiring to see this combination of old-fashioned hard work and cutting-edge innovation. And I know my opponent in this election was here in Michigan about a week ago, and it was like he was in a different place. When he visited Detroit on Monday, he talked only of failure, poverty and crime. He is missing so much about what makes Michigan great.

Trump and Clinton both chose to give their speeches in Michigan, the former at the Detroit Economic Club and the latter at Futuramic Tool & Engineering in nearby Warren. While the GOP nominee discussed disappearing manufacturing jobs, Clinton spent much of her introduction on the bright pockets of tech in the state. She took a similar tack during primary season, when we reported on the state’s pronounced, albeit uneven, recovery.

I will stop any trade deal that kills jobs or holds down wages — including the Trans-Pacific Partnership. I oppose it now, I’ll oppose it after the election and I’ll oppose it as president.

Clinton’s history with the Trans-Pacific Partnership is complicated. Like Trump, Clinton now opposes the TPP, but had previously spoken out in favor of it. Her husband, former President Bill Clinton, also signed the North American Free Trade Agreement, which Trump hammers on the stump. Trade deals have become a hot-button issue this election, particularly in manufacturing-heavy states like Michigan. Clinton’s position on trade was a frequent target of Sen. Bernie Sanders during the Democratic primary, and it’s continued to divide insiders and outsiders in both parties. Finally, just for good measure, here’s our conversation with President Barack Obama on trade from last summer.

As president, I will also make a major push to empower small businesses and entrepreneurs with new national initiatives to cut red tape at every level and expand access to credit, especially through community banks and credit unions. I will propose a new plan to dramatically simplify tax filing for small businesses.

This wording caught our eye because the GOP platform talks about streamlining the whole tax code in a much broader way, shredding it up and remaking it simpler and flatter. More on that later. Earlier this year we talked with small business owners about what they want from the next president. Some of them said they don’t get much attention from politicians outside of lip service during elections.

Then there’s Trump’s tax plan. He would give trillions in tax cuts to big corporations, millionaires and Wall Street money managers. That would explode our national debt and lead to massive cuts in priorities like education, healthcare and environmental protection.

In our breakdown of the two major party platforms, we compared Trump and Clinton’s tax plans and their underlying principles. Under Clinton’s plan, all but the top 5 percent of earners would see little or no change.

For too long, big promises about the power of training and retraining haven’t delivered like they should. It doesn’t help anyone to be trained for a job that doesn’t exist. So we’ll support high-quality union training programs, propose new tax credits to encourage more companies to offer paid apprenticeships that let you earn while you learn, and do more to dignify skills training across the board — for welders, machinists, health technicians and so many other fields.

We’ve reported what these types of modern vocational training programs look like at both the high school and college level

So starting on day one, we will work with both parties to pass the biggest investment in new, good-paying jobs since World War II. We will put Americans to work building and modernizing our roads, our bridges, our tunnels, our railways, our ports, our airports. We are way overdue for this, my friends.

Both candidates are pushing infrastructure spending as a way to create jobs and close this country’s massive funding gap. Clinton has called for $285 billion toward infrastructure over five years, and Trump has said he would double that. For more on the variety of issues plaguing America’s infrastructure, check out our series “The Weak Link.”

Incomes aren’t growing fast enough to keep up with costs like prescription drugs and child care. I believe that every employee, from the CEO suite to the factory floor, contributes to a business’ success, so everybody should share in the rewards — especially those putting in long hours for little pay.

Clinton hit on child care several more times in her speech, decrying Trump’s plan to deduct the average cost of child care as unfriendly to the middle class. What’s interesting is that while the cost of care is rising, child care workers are among the lowest paid in the country. They have a medium wage of $9.77 an hour, and about half are on government assistance.

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