Panel discusses Trump’s economic policy, effects on the future of America

By Shira Gould || Staff Writer

On Tuesday, November 29, the Economics Department hosted a panel discussion in the Brooks College House Great Room entitled, “Trumponomics: Trump Economic Policy and What it Means for You.” The panel, consisting of professors and students, discussed Donald Trump’s economic policies and the effects that his policies will have on the American economy. The stated goal was to answer the questions that concerned students first and foremost.

For elementary, middle and high school students, Trump’s policies will likely lead to great school choice because he will likely focus on increasing funding for small charter schools. In fact, Betsy DeVos, Trump’s appointed secretary of education, openly stands for increased financial support for small charter schools.

Additionally, she is in favor of the Common Core curriculum which is in opposition to Trump’s campaign stance. The panelists agreed that Trump’s fluidity in his positions make it difficult to predict what his policies will entail, and if they will work. However, they were still able to make predictions.

In addition to increased support for small charter schools, Trump’s college debt forgiveness plan entails paying 12.5% of one’s income over the course of 15 years. He also wants to stop tax cuts on private universities who are not using their endowment for the students. In relation to international students, they indicated that Trump will likely try to raise the cost of international visas.

The panelists agreed that Trump’s economic policies regarding the environment will be in correlation to his belief that the climate is not a priority. For example, he might back out of the Paris Climate Act, and he is in favor of fracking. Because of his ideologies, he might reduce funding for climate change research. Regarding healthcare, Trump has flipped his previous disdain Obamacare as a whole, and has confessed to liking parts of it. For example, he likes the fact that Obamacare allows for children to stay on their parents’ insurance plans until age 26.

The panelists also discussed trade. They asserted that if his trade policies are to go through, the prices on goods in America will likely go up.

In fact, many said that taxation on the Chinese specifically will increase their prices by 10%, which will likely lead to companies returning to America.

However, it was indicated that there are a few issues with this logic. First, Chinese exports have been diminishing and they move manufacturing to other countries.

Additionally, globalization is becoming more prevalent, and for every exporter there is also an importer. Lastly, international trade is tied to international policy, so it will need to be examined in the broader context of the world.

On the topic of taxes, the panelists discussed how Trump plans to cut the federal income tax by reducing the number of tax brackets. Many panelists discussed how most of his tax cutting benefits will go to the upper 1%, which would be less beneficial to the economy than if there were greater tax cuts to the lower and middle classes.

Some explained that people with greater space to save money will be more likely to put money into the economy, whereas wealthier people would spend a smaller percent of the money they make.

The panel discussion provided students with important insights into the future of America’s economy.

First-year Shira Gould is a staff writer. Her email is sgould@fandm.edu.

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