As presidential candidate Donald Trump held two rallies in North Carolina on Tuesday, he and Hillary Clinton are touting economic strategies that they say could help transform North Carolina’s and the nation’s economies, but critics say they don’t provide enough details on how the small-business community could navigate difficult issues.
Trump wants to lower taxes on small businesses, which pay up to 39 percent in income taxes. The Republican candidate has proposed prohibiting new regulations until the country shows signs of significant economic growth, and he would place a 35 percent tax on companies that leave the country only to ship products back to the United States. He has said he wants the United States to back away from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade plan, which would allow foreign countries to capitalize on an expanded trade market.
Trump traveled to Fayetteville and Wilmington on Tuesday to drum up support in North Carolina for his strategy.
Some of Trump’s ideas sound promising, said Molly Day, vice president of public affairs for the National Small Business Association, a nonpartisan advocacy group. She said the group approved of Trump’s plan for corporate tax restructuring and tax simplification. Trump has been specific about how those things would affect the small-business community, she said. However, his approach to new regulations is somewhat worrisome, she said.
Trump would allow Congress to vote to embrace or reject new regulations that would have a significant impact on businesses, she said.
“It may sound like a good idea, but involving Congress in that process, based on how dysfunctional they’ve been lately, we’re a bit skeptical of that plan,” she said.
They both talk about small business and how important it is to create jobs and access to capital, but small business is much more broad than just that.
Molly Day, vice president of public affairs for the National Small Business Association
U.S. Rep. G. K. Butterfield, D-Wilson, said the Trump economic-growth plan wasn’t viable. Additionally, Trump’s adviser list for that plan “is dominated by his billionaire buddies” as well as “personal bankers who have gotten him out of jams over the years and several major donors to his campaign,” Butterfield said during a Monday teleconference.
“His list includes men, like Trump, who have made their careers profiting on economic crisis and business practices that hurt everyday working Americans,” Butterfield said.
Clinton has her own ideas for how to grow the economy and has declared that she wants to be “a small-business president.”
Clinton wants small companies to have better access to the financing they need to grow, and she has proposed providing tax relief to businesses that have fewer than five employees. She wants to create a regulatory map so that those businesses can navigate the process with ease. Additionally, she proposes creating an exit tax so that U.S. companies would think twice about relocating outside the country.
Her campaign criticized Trump this week for proposing an economic strategy that would increase debt. Former White House Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Alan Krueger said during the Monday teleconference that an analysis by Mark Zandi, an independent economist and former economic adviser to Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain, had shown that Trump’s strategy would lead to a recession.
As a U.S. senator, Clinton pledged to create 200,000 jobs in upstate New York, but her economic programs didn’t have a substantial impact on employment, according to a Washington Post report.
U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger, R-Charlotte, described Clinton’s exit fee as “very shortsighted” during an interview Monday with The Charlotte Observer.
“Let’s consider why they’re leaving,” Pittenger said. “It’s because we have the highest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world. It’s because of the high regulatory burden. It’s because of Obamacare.”
To date, neither candidate has offered the small-business community “a really clear, concise, fleshed-out small-business platform,” Day said.
“They both talk about small business and how important it is to create jobs and access to capital, but small business is much more broad than just that,” she said. “It’s immigration, it’s regulations, it’s taxes, it’s access to capital. It’s all of that.”