Donald Trump unveiled a new version of his economic plan Monday, calling for cutting business taxes, eliminating regulations and boosting domestic energy production.
Speaking at the prestigious Detroit Economic Club, Trump began his policy speech by unleashing a blistering attack on Democratic rival Hillary Clinton's approach to the economy while promising he would provide deep tax cuts and jolt middle class workers back to work. The Republican presidential nominee said Clinton supports policies that have shipped jobs overseas.
"The one common feature of every Hillary Clinton idea is that it punishes you for working and doing business in the United States," Trump said. He said he wants to "jumpstart America" and added, "It won't even be that hard."
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Delivering his speech from a teleprompter at a downtown convention center, Trump was interrupted every few minutes by protesters — all women — who stood on chairs and shouted at him before being pulled out of the room by security guards. Though their chants were inaudible, the protests appeared coordinated, and Trump varied between powering through his speech and acknowledging the interruptions.
"It's all very well planned out," Trump said of the protesters. He added at one point, "I will say, the Bernie Sanders people had far more energy and spirit."
Seeking to reset his campaign, Trump delved into a subject — the economy — that is seen as one of his strengths. It also was aimed at showing that Trump is a serious candidate despite a disastrous stretch that has prompted criticism from Republicans and Democrats alike. But his speech was void of the details many were hoping the candidate would finally divulge.
Trump says he wants to simplify the current seven-bracket tax code to three: 12 percent, 25 percent and 33 percent of income. It's a change from September 2015, when he proposed four brackets during the primaries that would pay zero, 10 percent, 20 percent and 25 percent.
He also said he will eliminate the carried interest deduction and “other” special interest loopholes "that have been good to Wall Street and people like me but not for average Americans," without detailing which ones.
"In the coming weeks we will be offering more details on theses policies,” Trump said, who noted his daughter Ivanka Trump was helping him put together his economic agenda.
Trump also called for a 15 percent cap on business income tax and said he'd place a temporary moratorium on federal regulations, calling them the "anchor dragging us down" while vowing to "massively" cut them down.
In a new proposal, Trump called for allowing parents to fully deduct the average cost of childcare from their taxable income. It's a theme Trump and his daughter, Ivanka, first introduced during the Republican National Convention as his campaign seeks to broaden its appeal to Democratic voters ahead of the general election.
The current Child and Dependent Care tax credit includes caps for qualifying expenses that Trump's plan would eliminate, though a senior campaign aide said there would be an income limit for eligibility.
Detroit, with its devastated real estate market and dearth of jobs, has come to symbolize the nation's broader struggle to recover from the recession and restore manufacturing jobs. But Democrats have touted the comeback of the auto industry during the Obama administration as a mark of success for the types of economic policies Clinton is supporting.
"In short, the city of Detroit is the living, breathing example of my opponent's failed economic agenda," Trump said, referring to Clinton. He called her "the candidate of the past."
While polls have shown that voters have deep concerns about Trump's temperament and fitness for office, he fares better on the economy. On that topic, recent polling puts him ahead of or on par with Hillary Clinton.
The Democratic nominee is also focusing on the economy this week as she lays out plans for what her campaign describes as "the biggest investment in good-paying jobs since World War II." Clinton has argued that Trump is focused only on the wealthiest Americans. She has questioned his commitment to creating U.S. jobs, given the history of outsourcing at his companies.
On Monday, Clinton will visit the battleground state of Florida, where she will tour a small brewery and hold two rallies. On Thursday, she is set to deliver her own economic speech in Detroit, a city that has symbolized the nation's manufacturing plight.
Trump also revisited his opposition to current trade deals, including his plan to renegotiate the NAFTA trade agreement with Canada and Mexico, and vow to improve intellectual property protections.
Clinton has proposed raising taxes on the highest-income earners, including a surcharge on multimillionaires, but analysts have found lower-income earners would see little change beyond measures such as additional tax credits for expenses like out-of-pocket health care costs.
This won't be the first time Trump lays out his economic vision. He first unveiled his tax plan last fall, framing it as a boon to the middle class. "It's going to cost me a fortune," the billionaire businessman told reporters as he vowed to lower taxes across the board without exploding the deficit.
But a host of independent groups crunching the numbers soon concluded otherwise. The plan, they said, dramatically favored the wealthy over the middle class and would increase the debt by as much as $10 trillion over the next decade.
Trump had promised at the time that he would make up for lost revenue by closing a slew of loopholes. But like so many of his plans, he declined to provide specifics. And a companion plan on reducing government spending, which he had promised would follow, never came.
Trump's running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, called the real estate mogul a "refreshing" change and argued he'd never forgotten the workers who made his projects possible.
"He's a dreamer. He's a builder. He's a driver," Pence said. "And he is a man who speaks his mind."