×

In Gettysburg, we need the pro-life, pro-growth, ‘King Dollar’ Donald Trump

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump
Jonathan Ernst | Reuters
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump

The Trump campaign has announced that the GOP presidential candidate will deliver a major speech in historic Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on Saturday, October 22. Donald Trump will present his "closing arguments for American voters," outlining the steps he will take in his first 100 days to make America great again.

I hope it's his best speech yet. For all his gaffes and misstatements, the fact is this: The race is not over until it's over. (Even when he means it's over.) So, as Trump heads into his Gettysburg address, I want to emphasize what he should replay from last week's debate, and what he needs to emphasize more.

I'll begin with where Trump shined in Las Vegas: His support of a ban on late-term partial-birth abortion was a heaven-sent gift from God.

Trump's opposition to abortion, in general, is a wonderful thing. So is his pledge to nominate pro-life judges, and his related idea that if pro-life judges overturn Roe v. Wade, that's fine. Send abortion back to the states where it started.

So I sincerely hope that in Gettysburg, just as President Lincoln defended the ending of slavery, Trump continues to defend the life of the unborn.

And I hope he contrasts his position with that of Democratic challengerHillary Clinton, who would permit abortions even in the ninth month — an un-American, unethical stance that is meant to curry favor with left-wing women's groups.


It's still the economy, stupid

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump listens as Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks during their third and final 2016 presidential campaign debate at UNLV in Las Vegas, October 19, 2016.
Mark Ralston | Reuters
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump listens as Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks during their third and final 2016 presidential campaign debate at UNLV in Las Vegas, October 19, 2016.

Next, on the economy—the number-one issue this campaign—Trump has some expanding to do.

In last week's debate, he briefly set forth his business tax cuts. But in the face of Clinton's left-wing, "trickle down" critique of tax cuts for investors and the rich, he didn't make the sale.

Instead, he veered off the tax-cut course, launching into a tirade against Germany, Japan, South Korea, NATO, and Saudi Arabia for not paying enough to shoulder the burden of the U.S.'s defense umbrella. He let Clinton off the hook.

He did commendably suggest that the U.S. could grow at 4, 5, or even 6 percent, and that growth is the ultimate solution to reducing our deficit and debt burden. And he also restated his pledge to repeal and replace Obamacare.

But relentlessly hammering on the details of the economic rejuvenation of America will win this thing, if only he'll get down to it.

So for Gettysburg and beyond here are a few simple points that Trump should make, over and over and over again.

Reduced marginal tax rates on individuals and business foster growth every time. So why not point to the tax-cut successes of Democrat John F. Kennedy and Republican Ronald Reagan? They reached across the aisle to create nonpartisan tax-cut coalitions that succeeded in launching booms of 4 to 5 percent.

And why not remind voters that Bill Clinton, after raising income taxes in his first term, which resulted in slower growth, aligned himself with Republicans to slash the capital-gains tax by 30 percent, resulting in a late 1990s economic boom?

Without rancor and with civility, these presidents rejuvenated American prosperity. That's the art of the deal.

'Sell it, Mr. Trump'

Tax time 1040
Will & Deni McIntyre | Getty Images

Trump should also attack Hillary Clinton's class-warfare tactics. Research overwhelmingly shows that the biggest gainers from steep business-tax reduction—such as 15 percent down from 40 percent for large and small businesses—are middle-income wage earners.

Yes, in a highly progressive tax code, successful top-end earners benefit in dollar terms from across-the-board tax cuts. But Trump's tax plan would slash middle-income tax brackets to 12, 25, and 33 percent.

And he would double the standard deduction, slash the marriage penalty, and provide child health-care assistance. These are winners for the middle class.

Sell it, Mr. Trump.

He could use language like this: "My tax cuts will put more money in your pocket. Hillary's trillion-dollar tax hikes will take money out. My plan will repatriate nearly $3 trillion in overseas cash for investment, jobs, and wages. America will become the best destination for global capital, and this investment will restore productivity to raise our standard of living."

He might also say: "It defies common sense that Hillary's trillion-plus-dollar tax hike will boost the economy, and that her multi-trillion-dollar spending will succeed where Obama's failed. She keeps talking tax hikes. Well, there she goes again."

Trump could also add: "Like JFK, Reagan, and Bill Clinton, we will once again have a strong and reliable 'King Dollar.'"

And in summation he can state: "I have a prosperity plan. My opponent has a recession plan."

Disclosure: Larry Kudlow serves as an informal advisor to the Donald Trump campaign.

Commentary by Larry Kudlow, a senior contributor at CNBC and economics editor of the National Review. Follow him on Twitter @Larry_Kudlow.