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Clinton slams Trump's plans, claims billionaire will only help the rich

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Hillary Clinton ripped into Donald Trump's economic plan Thursday, contending his proposals would aid the wealthy while she claimed her investment and job training initiatives would lift the middle and working class.

In a speech in Warren, Michigan, the Democratic presidential nominee criticized policies that her Republican rival outlined in the state earlier this week, casting a more optimistic picture of the American economy than Trump. Trump proposed broad income and business tax cuts, efforts that Clinton said would benefit the wealthy and Trump himself.

"I'm running for president to build an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top and based on what we know from the Trump campaign, he wants America to work for him and his friends, at the expense of everyone else," Clinton said. "He's offered no credible plans to address what working families are up against today."

Clinton's economic message follows recent days in which a policy focus from Trump devolved into more controversy over his off-the-cuff remarks. More attention has turned to Trump's comment that some interpreted as a suggestion of violence against Clinton than his criticism of Clinton's record as senator and secretary of state.

Hillary Clinton
Gregg Newton | AFP | Getty Images

Clinton bashed his plans as an "outlandish, Trumpian" take on "the failed theory of trick-down economics" that even some Republicans reject. Trump has proposed big income tax cuts for across the board, aiming to reduce the seven current brackets to three with rates of 33 percent, 25 percent and 12 percent. The top rate now is nearly 40 percent.

Clinton alleged that Trump may not follow through on tax cuts for lower-income individuals.

Trump also wants to chop taxes to 15 percent of income for businesses of all sizes, while ending the estate tax on transfer of property for wealthy people. Trump said his tax policies would help small businesses get on their feet and keep other corporations in the United States. He claims the overall plan will boost economic growth and create "millions of good-paying jobs."

"The rich will pay their fair share, but no one will pay so much that it destroys jobs or undermines our ability as a nation to compete," Trump said in the speech at the Detroit Economic Club on Monday.

Clinton contended those policies would boost Trump, who claims an often disputed net worth of $10 billion, more than they would aid working families. She claimed all of those tax cuts would help Trump, his businesses and other wealthy people like him.

"Well, Donald Trump wants to give trillions in tax breaks to people like himself. I want to invest in our veterans, our kids, and our police officers. You can judge for yourself about our values," Clinton said.

She contrasted her economic vision from Trump's, highlighting her previously outlined economic policies. Clinton has tried to sway voters with her plans for investment in job training, reducing college costs and taxing the wealthy.

Clinton tries to court blue-collar voters in Michigan after a tour at design and manufacturing company Futuramic Tool and Engineering. Both she and Trump have pledged to boost American manufacturing, which has taken a hit in states like Michigan.

Here are some of the economic policies she touted, among others:

  • Clinton claimed she would work to pass the "biggest investment" in new jobs since World War II.
  • She reiterated her pledge to invest $10 billion in American manufacturing, partially funded by tax increases on the wealthy and closing some tax loopholes.
  • Clinton said she would simplify the tax code for small businesses but did not offer details on how she would do it.
  • She said she would seek to create an "infrastructure bank" and use private funding to complement public spending. She claimed $25 billion in "seed funding" could give a $200 billion boost to the economy.
  • Clinton called for an "exit tax" on American companies that move their headquarters overseas. Trump has pledged to cut their taxes so they do not move.
  • She pledged to expand the tax credit for child care and limit those costs to 10 percent of family income. Trump said this week he would made child care tax deductible, but critics say his policy may help wealthy families more.

Trump has consistently railed against American trade deals that he says take jobs out of the U.S., though many Trump products are made outside of the country. Clinton, a past trade deal supporter, has changed her tune and opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership after pressure from primary challenger Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Outside analyses have generally given better grades to Clinton's economic plan than Trump's. Moody's previously said Clinton's plan would make the economy "somewhat stronger" while Trump's could lead to a lengthy recession. . The firm's chief economist, Mark Zandi, who did the analyses, has supported Clinton.

That analysis came before Trump changed part of his plan from its original form after concerns about how much it would cause the federal deficit to grow. The 33 percent top income tax rate is higher than his originally proposed 25 percent.

Still, the change may not help the potential deficit growth as much as Trump hopes.