Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump: Whose Economic Plan Is Better for Small Business?

Date: November 04, 2016 Last Edit: November 10, 2016

Two senior economic advisers discuss the candidates’ economic plans—but small business gets neglected yet again.

“This is an election about visions,” said Peter Navarro, professor of economics and public policy at the University of California-Irvine and senior economic adviser to Donald Trump. 

But the visions of Trump and Hillary Clinton wildly differ.

Navarro and Roger Altman, founder of investment bank advisory firm Evercore Partners and former senior Treasury Department official, as well as senior economic adviser to Hillary Clinton, discussed each candidate’s economic plans Nov. 1 during a Yahoo! Finance panel hosted by columnist Rick Newman. 


Newman pointed out that Trump’s big idea is to “make America great again,” with Navarro elaborating that Trump’s economic plan involves boosting growth from the current 2 percent range to 3.5 percent or more. Altman said Clinton’s big idea is “getting middle class incomes moving up,” and laid out the candidate’s three main economic points:

  • Create the biggest infrastructure plan since World War II.
  • Get more young adults to attend college.
  • Make it easier/affordable for families to take care of their children by expanding the earned income tax credit, implementing paid family leave, and creating universal Pre-K. 

Despite Newman’s opening plea to not derail the discussion, it quickly devolved into a debate, touching on issues like taxes, trade, and immigration. However, one idea was never mentioned during the 47-and-a-half-minute discussion: small business. 

That isn’t to say that issues important to small business owners weren’t brought up. Infrastructure was discussed at length, with Navarro saying Clinton’s plan would raise taxes on businesses to fund it. Jobs in energy also were discussed, with Navarro saying Trump’s plan will expand the coal, mining, and manufacturing industries. 

As far as job growth, Navarro reiterated Trump’s plan to create 25 million new jobs by combining huge tax cuts with the deportation of 11 million undocumented workers. Altman, on the other hand, stressed the importance of college attendance in improving “getting incomes turned around,” and explained how universal Pre-K will improve “the lifetime earnings of that child.”

However, there are flaws to both of these plans. Economists argue that Trump’s plan could bring on another recession, and researchers see the potential in Clinton’s plan but worry the long-term goal might not be worth the wait. 

So which candidate should small business owners vote for? It all comes down to three things, according to Navarro: 

“Jobs, jobs, jobs. The question [this election] is which economic plan is going to deliver that.” 

*Note: This news coverage does not equate to an endorsement of any candidate by NFIB.

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore 


What Does Donald Trump’s Economic Plan Have in Store for Small Business? 

Hillary Clinton’s Economic Plan: What Does it Mean for Small Business? 

The Country’s Top Economists Weigh in on What the Next President Should Do

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