Diatribes of Jay

This is a blog of essays on public policy. It shuns ideology and applies facts, logic and math to economic, social and political problems. It has a subject-matter index, a list of recent posts, and permalinks at the ends of posts. Comments are moderated and may take time to appear. Note: Profile updated 4/7/12

04 November 2016

Hillary and Donald: A Handy Comparison Chart


“Handy comparison charts” are a nascent tradition on this blog. They began with a comparison of Hillary and Barack during the primary campaign of 2008. They continued with the general election of 2008 and the general election of 2012.

Therefore there is no excuse, this time, for failing to provide a detailed comparison of Hillary and Donald. In fact, there is a strong reason to provide one: the widespread meme that both are corrupt and undesirable and therefore the same.

The only way to assess that meme effectively is with a detailed point-by-point comparison, which lets voters see whether the two are really equivalent, or even remotely similar. As is traditional, the comparison lays out specific bullet points, with each point liked to a credible news source external to this blog, or to the candidate’s own statements or Website.

As is also traditional, the comparison reports facts only. It avoids the types of assessments or characterizations that have gone rampant in this campaign. It does, however, report some of the candidates’ own assessments of third parties.

Experience in or near political office
Significant action already affecting the public
Immigration policy
Higher-Education policy
Tax policy
Economic plans
Health-insurance plans
Nuclear weapons and their uses
Foreign alliances and unilateralism
Women’s rights
Global warming and clean energy
Gun control
Minorities
Investigations and scandals


Experience in or near political office

Hillary:

First Lady of Arkansas, eleven years (1979-81, 1983-92)
First Lady of the United States, eight years (1992 - 2000)
United States Senator from New York, eight years (2001 - 2008)
Secretary of State, four years (2009 - 2013)

Donald:

None


Significant action already affecting the public

Hillary:

Develops plan for “Hillarycare” while First Lady, which fails (1993)
Promotes plan for “SCHIP (1997),” the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, which insures health of 6 million children
As NY Senator, promotes and wins protection for 9/11 first responders
As Secretary of State, pushes plan to get bin Laden, which President approves, and which succeeds (2011)
As Secretary of State, convinces President Obama to use of force in Libya, and wins UN approval for it, and so succeeds in saving Benghazi rebels from imminent annhihilation and eventually removes Libya Dictator Gaddhafi


Donald:

Becomes noted NY developer after buying and renovating Grand Hyatt Hotel (1974)
Builds “Trump Tower” apartment-retail complex in New York City (1979)
Buys and/or partially builds three casinos in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in 1980s, one of which (Trump Taj Majal) finally failed after multiple bankruptcies (2016)
Buys and refurbishes Plaza Hotel (1988)
Buys Eastern Airlines Shuttle, renames it Trump Shuttle, fails to make profit, defaults on loans, and closes venture in merger (1989)
Manages (barely) to survive economic difficulties of parent “Trump Organization” during 1990s, amid questionable claims of $1.5 and $ 2 billion net worth, which independent sources (including Forbes Magazine) put at $500 million
Began producing and starring (2004) in TV “reality” show “The Apprentice,” whose highlight was him saying “You’re fired!”
Launched (2005) “Trump University,” which became the subject of multiple, still ongoing, lawsuits for fraud, false advertising and breach of contract
Promoted "Birther" movement (2011), which claimed President Barack Obama is not a citizen, until Donald himself confessed Obama’s citizenship on TV in 2016 and blamed conspiracy theory on Hillary
Appoints Roger Ailes, former head of Fox fired for sexual harrassment, as key adviser and Steve Bannon, CEO of extreme right-wing Website Breitbart.com, as head of his campaign, in apparent attempt to challenge Fox for leadership of right-wing “news” media (2016)


Immigration policy

Hillary:

Promises to “introduce comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to full and equal citizenship within her first 100 days in office” (2016)
Promises to fight to overturn Supreme Court’s deadlocked decision on DACA and DAPA and enforce them as within presidential authority (2016)

Donald:

Promises to “immediately terminate” DACA and DAPA and “end sanctuary cities” (2016)
Promises to begin building an “impenetrable physical wall on the southern border” and to get Mexico to pay for it (2016)
During his impromptu visit to Mexico, hears Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto categorically refusing to pay for wall (2016)
Supports a temporary but indefinite halt on immigration by Muslims from states affected by terrorism


Higher-Education policy

Barack Obama:

Promises to make two years of community college free for all responsible students nationwide (2015)

Hillary:

Promises to give every student the “option to graduate from a public college or university in their state without taking on any student debt” (2016)
Promises to have tuition-free community colleges
Promises to allow allow students with income up to $85,000 to attend in-state, four-year public colleges and universities tuition-free (2016), and by 2021 do the same for students with income up to $125,000


Donald:

Promises to “[w]ork with Congress on reforms to ensure universities are making a good faith effort to reduce the cost of college and student debt in exchange for the federal tax breaks and tax dollars.”


Tax policy

Hillary:

Promises to raise taxes on rich and corporations (and close loopholes) and lower taxes on middle class and working families

Donald:

Promises to lower taxes on everyone, including super-rich like himself, by 6.6% (of income, not tax!) for top earners (from 39.6% to 33%) (2016)

Tax Policy Center concludes that Donald’s plan’s “largest benefits, in dollar and percentage terms, would go to the highest-income households,” and plan would decrease federal revenue by more than $9.5 trillion over ten years and “increase the national debt by nearly 80 percent of gross domestic product by 2036”

Donald refuses to disclose his tax returns, but investigative analysis suggests that he may have paid no taxes for up to eighteen years on as much as $50 million of income per year

If Donald had had to pay taxes, his now-proposed 6.6% top-bracket reduction would have reduced tax on his putative $50 million annual income by nearly $3.3 million annually, more than the vast majority of Americans make per year


Economic plans

Hillary:

Promises (Congress willing) to “invest in infrastructure, manufacturing, research and technology, clean energy, and small businesses”

Donald:

Promises to “[c]reate a dynamic booming economy that will create 25 million new jobs over the next decade” without saying how


Health-insurance plans

Hillary

Promises to continue and expand “Obamacare,” work to reduce premiums, and move toward “Medicare for All” over 55 (2016)

Donald:

Promises to “repeal and replace Obamacare with Health Savings Accounts,” i.e., private self-funding accounts, thereby eliminating plan and subsidies under Obamacare that got 20 million people insured (2016)


Nuclear weapons and their uses

Barack Obama:

Is considering declaring a no-first-use policy for the first time ever, which the next president could revoke, in place of so-called “strategic ambiguity” (2015)

Hillary:

Has proposed no such change in policy
Promises to continue and “vigorously enforce” nuclear agreement with Iran, which she helped to negotiate (2016)

Donald:

Opposes nuclear agreement with Iran and would abrogate it in favor of open-ended (re)negotiation backed by threat of war
Misunderstands how sanctions and money freeze worked, and amount of money released to Iran
Has speculated about US’ use of nuclear weapons, has confused “first strike” (on nuclear power) with “first use” (against non-nuclear state) and appears to be considering first strike on rogue nuclear powers such as North Korea


Foreign alliances and unilateralism

Hillary:

Reaffirms longstanding US policy of military alliances with NATO, EU, Israel and other allies, to counter aggression of Russia in Ukraine, Russia and Iran in Syria and Iraq, and China in the South China sea (2016)

Donald:

Proposes reducing support for US alliances if allies refuse to pay more for their defense (2016)
Proposes increased investment in US military’s conventional and cyberdefense capabilities to make it “great,” without regard to allies’ contributions or capabilities (2016)


Women’s rights

Hillary:

In high-profile speech in Beijing (1995), affirms that “women’s rights are human rights” and explains why
Promises to push for up to twelve weeks of paid family and medical leave for all workers
Promises to push for equal pay for equal work


Donald:

In “Access Hollywood” tape, released 2016 but made in 2005, claims his celebrity and stardom permit him to take liberties with women, including those involved in his “Miss Universe” pageants, and to “grab their pussy”
During 2015-2016 campaign, insults various women, including news reporters and debate moderators, based on their looks, weight, and behavior
Admits in interview “he can’t say” that he treats women with respect


Global warming and clean energy

Hillary:

Recognizes global warming/climate change as “an urgent threat and a defining challenge of our time”
Proposes to “[g]enerate enough renewable energy to power every home in America, with half a billion solar panels installed,” by the end of her first term


Donald:

Repeatedly calls global warming a hoax created by China
Proposes energy plan based entirely on coal and other fossil fuels, with no mention of wind, solar or nuclear energy


Gun control

Hillary:

Promises to reduce gun violence by expanding background checks, closing loopholes (include the gun-show and Internet-sales loopholes), revoking licenses of lawbreaking gun dealers, and prohibiting sales to domestic abusers, violent criminals, and the mentally ill

Promises to “support work to keep military-style weapons off our streets”

Donald:

Promises to “[e]mpower law-abiding gun owners to defend themselves[,]” in part by a “[n]ational right to carry[, which] should be legal in all 50 states”

Supports fixing the background-check system “we have and mak[ing] it work as intended,” but not “expand[ing] a broken system”

Opposes gun and magazine bans because “the government has no business dictating what types of firearms good, honest people are allowed to own”


Minorities

Hillary:

Supports reforming criminal justice system and incarceration state (2016)
Supports expanding right to vote and universal, automatic voter registration
Supports building “strong relationships with American Muslim communities” as means of fighting terrorism at home

Donald:

Insults Mexicans (as bringing “drugs” and “crime” and being “rapists”), a Muslim Gold-Star mother, and his own African-American supporter (as a “thug”)
Refuses to condemn the Ku Klux Klan or white supremacists when invited to do so on TV


Investigations and scandals

Hillary:

Is cleared of any criminal wrongdoing (2000) in connection with “Whitewater” affair after six-year investigation
Is cleared by five investigations, including the Starr Report, of involvement in the suicide of family friend Vince Foster
After long investigation, is not charged with perjury or other wrongdoing in connection with so-called “Travelgate” scandal
After one of the “the longest, costliest and most bitterly partisan congressional investigations in history,” is cleared of any wrongdoing or culpability for tragic attack on US compound in Benghazi, resulting in death of four US personnel (2016)
After exhaustive investigation of so-called “E-mailgate,” FBI Director Comey announces that, while Hillary as Secretary of State and unnamed colleagues were “exceedingly careless” with e-mails, no “reasonable prosecutor” would bring charges against her (2016)
FBI Director Comey reveals extension of investigation into contents of computer shared by Hillary’s confidant Huma Abedin and her estranged husband, former Congressman Andrew Weiner (2016)

Donald:

Investigative journalists find pattern of Donald stiffing contractors and suppliers in building his hotels and casinos (2016)
Based on failure to register and evidence that charitable contributions have been used for Donald’s personal benefit, New York Attorney General orders Trump Foundation to stop accepting charitable donations and begins probe of misuse of donations (2016)

Judge allows students’ suit against Donald for fraud involving Trump University to go to trial; Donald later seeks to remove same judge for his Mexican heritage (2016)

Trump University is also the object of two class-action lawsuits in California and one suit by NY Attorney general

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