The Early Stages of an Election: An Economic Comparison

Fire the gun! Release the horses from the gate. The 2016 US presidential race has officially begun. One Democrat and three Republicans have formally announced their desire to run for office in 2016. Currently, the only Democrat who has announced their intent to run is former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. The three Republicans who have announced their official candidacy are Senator of Texas, Ted Cruz, Senator of Kentucky, Rand Paul and Senator of Florida, Marco Rubio.

As these candidates enter the race, they are beginning to reveal their specific plans for the country and there is a huge emphasis on the economy, which is expected to be a particularly controversial topic in the 2016 elections.

All current Republican candidates are strongly against big government and they feel that Washington is overspending. If Cruz, Paul or Rubio are elected, they all intend to cut government spending in many areas including Medicare and the Department of Education. They also intend to make budget plans to cut taxes. Cruz and Paul are both aiming to make tax cuts for the middle class. Conversely, Rubio intends to create a "big tax-cut plan" that will cut taxes for some of the wealthiest members of the US and major corporations. This may be a major drawback for him in the polls considering 60% of Americans feel major corporations aren’t paying enough taxes according to a recent Pew survey.

Contrarily to the tax cut plans of the Republicans, Clinton is more interested in raising taxes on the wealthy. More specifically, she thinks the wealthy should go back to paying pre-Bush tax rates. Her administration is also considering raising the capital gains tax, but they refuse to pass 20%. Clinton's main goal is to strengthen families and she intends to do this by investing in healthcare and education. In her biography, "Hard Choices", she mentioned her support of Obama's plan to make community college free. Also on the economic agenda, she has declared her concern for the wealth gap and income inequality of the country. However, many are critical of these plans to increase spending as the national debt continues to increase at a phenomenal speed.

In all, the economic plans of the two parties differ greatly and the country will have to choose between very distinct ideas that will frame the economic future of the United States. However, as more candidates chose to enter the race, it will be interesting to hear their perspectives on the economy and what they will offer to voters. A likely candidate for the Republican nomination is Jeb Bush and voters will be certainly is looking to see whether his economic plans are similar to his family’s previous presidential actions or if he will chose to set his own path.


Melissa Anber