Lester Holt kicked opened the debate with a segment titled “Achieving Prosperity.” He asked both candidates,”Why are you a better choice than your opponent to create the kinds of jobs that will put more money into the pockets of American works?” Clinton began calmly explaining that we need to raise the national minimum wage, to ensure equal pay for women, and to make the “wealthy pay their fair share.”
When Trump’s turn came, he immediately blamed Mexico. Twelve words into his answer, he put the blame squarely on them by saying:
“Thank you, Lester. Our jobs are fleeing the country. They’re going to Mexico.”
Two sentences later, Trump brought up China, the place where his suits and ties are made. Trump then launched into an inaccurate diatribe about Ford moving jobs to Mexico.To counteract this thing that isn’t actually happening, he has a brilliant plan:
“Under my plan, I’ll be reducing taxes tremendously, from 35 percent to 15 percent for companies, small and big businesses. That’s going to be a job creator like we haven’t seen since Ronald Reagan…Companies will come. They will build. They will expand. New companies will start.”
If this seems familiar, it’s because the idea behind it is quite similar to Reagen’s “trickle down economics.” This fact didn’t escape Clinton.
She quickly responded:
“The kind of plan that Donald has put forth would be trickle-down economics all over again. In fact, it would be the most extreme version, the biggest tax cuts for the top percent of the people in this country than we’ve ever had.I call it trumped-up trickle-down, because that’s exactly what it would be. “
The Washington Post readily identified “trumped up trickle down” as a delicious sound bite. Her phrase even got modified to fit #trumpsniffle, which was trending on Twitter during the debates.
Not just an amusing turn of phrase, Clinton’s plan is more align with what many American voters seem to want. According to a Gallup poll, 61% of Americans believe that the wealthy, like Trump, still don’t pay enough taxes. In fact, Trump pretty much admitted during the debate that he doesn’t pay taxes. His justification for this is “It would be squandered. Believe me.” Certainly explains why he might not want to release his tax returns.