There is a lot of speculation about what Donald Trump will propose in his economic speech today in Detroit.
But what makes Trump’s speech unique? What separates Trump’s proposals from the past two GOP nominees?
Unlike John McCain or Mitt Romney, Trump’s economic plan will speak primarily to workers and secondarily to businesses.
Since 2013, American Principles Project has argued that the corporate-focused economic message of the GOP is a general election loser. Instead of transparently advocating for businesses and business owners, we have argued that the GOP economic message should center on workers and their families and how to address their immediate economic needs. This should be the priority. Focusing on relief to “job-creators” should be an ancillary issue.
Trump’s entire economic message has focused on workers and families, specifically those that have been hurt by illegal immigration and bad trade deals. While we may disagree on the efficacy of addressing these problems, there should be no doubt regarding the politics of putting working families first — it’s a winner and it’s why Trump has gotten this far.
The New York Times ran a story a few days ago that made the case that “reformocons” were trying to use Trump as a vehicle to turn the GOP into more of a workers party — something Trump has already stated as a goal.
What are they advising him? Instead of handing out big tax breaks to wealthy individuals, why not expand tax cuts and credits to the poor and middle class? Don’t push to privatize Social Security and Medicare — or as the Democrats would cynically say, “end Social Security and Medicare as we know it.” Help displaced workers get ahead while pushing for better trade deals.
Is this the direction Trump will go with his economic proposal? And will it help him? We will find out shortly.
Terry Schilling is the executive director of American Principles Project.