I thought it was great. I’ve long believed Trump is at his best when Paul Manafort and the campaign has him under control. He dug himself out of a big hole – the Judge Curiel fiasco, Hillary’s bump after the primaries – in June and July by giving these detailed policy speeches and avoiding turnovers by going off his core message.
Here is what I heard:
– Trump scrapped the tax plan that I hated last fall. In particular, he moderated the rate on top earners, which was my major objection to it. This is a significant improvement.
– Trump floated making childcare tax deductible for working class women and said he has a plan coming on that. This is something which Hillary has been talking about which I don’t oppose. The topic has flown under the radar in nationalist circles, but Hillary talks about it all the time on her Twitter feed. We don’t want White working class women to have any economic incentive to vote for Hillary.
– Trump stuck to lowering the corporate tax rate. I don’t object to this because it is a major cause of offshoring and corporate inversions. If you want jobs and wealth to stay in America, you can’t have high corporate taxes while simultaneously giving corporations a free hand to relocate to tax shelters and offshore production through globalist free-trade deals like TPP. The backwards system we have now is designed to destroy jobs.
– Unlike Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, Trump isn’t proposing to reform Social Security and Medicare, so Hillary isn’t going to be able scare old people like Obama succeeded in doing in 2012. Romney probably lost Florida because of this.
– Like guns, this is an issue on which I largely agree with mainstream conservatives. We’ve protested the War on Coal several times in Kentucky. Hillary wants to kill the coal industry. Trump wants to put coal miners back to work like we do.
– It is true that we have insane energy resources which are locked up offshore or on federal land and that tapping them would be an instant shot in the arm to the economy.
– The Democrats want to ban fracking which is one of the most insane items on their agenda. Imagine what gas prices would be like now were it not for the relief caused by the pressure fracking has put on OPEC.
– Trump really didn’t address this issue except to say that he wants to “repeal and replace Obamacare.” I guess he has to give the mainstream conservatives something.
– This is Trump’s sweet spot: he has threatened to withdraw from the WTO, promises to renegotiate NAFTA, tear up the TPP. He attacked the South Korean free-trade agreement. Trump has singlehandedly moved the Overton Window on the trade issue. He wisely chose to use Detroit as the backdrop of the free-trade disaster.
– Trade is the centerpiece of Trump’s America First economic policy as it would be if any White Nationalist or Southern Nationalist candidate came to power. If we came to power here in the South, tearing up these globalist free-trade deals would be one of the first things we would do to address the economy.
– When it comes to the American economy, trade is the most important problem that needs to be addressed. As I said above, you can’t have free-trade and high personal and corporate income taxes, a highly regulated economy, high paying union jobs, a national healthcare system, entitlement programs, etc.
The trade issue determines all of these other issues. Corporations that can engage in free-trade and corporate inversions will relocate overseas to tax shelters. They will offshore production overseas, lay off their unionized workers, and export back to the American market duty free. In turn, the loss of tax revenue overseas has a cascading effect of bankrupting entitlement programs, driving up the national debt, and forcing employers to fight tooth and nail against rising healthcare costs. It also undermines domestic environmental and labor regulations and puts pressure on states to lower taxes to compete more effectively.
Basically, the trade issue illustrates why the Rust Belt became the Rust Belt, and why the Sun Belt became the Sun Belt. The difference is that now the Sun Belt is losing its jobs in a race to the bottom with Third World countries like China and Mexico.
– Trump wants a temporary moratorium on new regulations. This is a good idea because of how the trade issue intersects with high taxes and regulations to drive jobs overseas. The system we have now makes no sense and creates incentives to drive production and investment overseas.
The “America First” economy we used to have in the 19th and early 20th century was a low-tax, low-regulation economy that encouraged domestic investment and production by placing the tax burden squarely on the shoulders of foreigners. The “Marshall Plan mentality” globalist system we created after WW2 fundamentally reversed this equation by placing the tax burden on domestic employers and encouraging production and investment overseas in low-wage, low-tax, low-regulation countries.
Even if you believe in some of the accomplishments of 20th century progressives whether it was unionized labor, entitlement programs, abolishing child labor, or financial reforms like the Glass-Steagall Act, as I do, free-trade is the gaping hole in the boat that will eventually sink the entire ship. An open economy will gradually and inexorably force us to become more like Vietnam.
Immigration wasn’t addressed but its enormous impact on the job market and wages ought to be obvious.