CNBC’s Ron Insana the economic plans of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are both “disappointing in their own way.”
Trump's plan lacks any description of how his tax cuts would be paid for, while Clinton's plan, to borrow a Stephen Colbert-style expression, lacks "growthiness," Insana recently wrote for CNBC.com.
“Given that the U.S. economy is growing at its slowest pace in decades and that budget deficits may begin to grow again, the U.S. needs a plan that at least tries to stimulate growth toward its long-run 3-percent potential while either holding annual deficits steady, or cutting them sufficiently to keep the national debt from growing further,” Insana said.
“Trump's plan is the product of unreconstructed supply-siders who believe that large tax cuts solve all our economic problems,” wrote Insana, a CNBC and MSNBC contributor.
“Clinton's plan won't boost the budget deficit by as much, but it lacks the firepower necessary to jump-start the economy, and her proposed tax increases in the name of "fairness" could prove quite harmful to an economic recovery that is a tad long in the tooth,” wrote the author of four books on Wall Street.
Insana instead touts a plan from a handful of years ago “when former Republican Senator Alan Simpson and former Clinton administration official Erskine Bowles released a plan that would that was so roundly criticized by members of both parties that it must be the right thing to do. Essentially, everyone's ox gets gored in an attempt to right the nation's listing fiscal ship.”
The Simpson/Bowles Plan, “created by a bipartisan commission empaneled by President Obama, would cut discretionary spending by $200 billion per year while increasing tax revenues by at least $100 billion, according to a Congressional Research Service report. It would extend the solvency of Social Security and Medicare by decades, while also allocating ample dollars for much needed infrastructure and education reforms," he said.
"To top it off, Simpson/Bowles simplifies the individual tax code and reforms corporate taxes to make US corporations more globally competitive, from reduced rates to a territorial system that prevents double-taxation of profits,” he said.
“Both Clinton and Trump's economic plans leave much to be desired. Simpson/Bowles gets my vote,” he said.
Meanwhile, one of history's most admired investors says it really doesn't matter who wins the White House.
Warren Buffett, chairman and chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway Inc, has said a Trump presidency wouldn’t be the blow to U.S. business that some fear, Bloomberg reported.
“If either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton becomes president, and one of them is very likely to be, I think Berkshire will continue to do fine,” Buffett, 85, said at the company’s annual shareholders meeting in Omaha, Nebraska.
The outcome of November’s presidential election is unlikely to change the fact that the U.S. is a “remarkably attractive place in which to conduct a business,” said Buffett, who endorsed Democrat Clinton at an Omaha rally in December. U.S. companies have enjoyed “terrific” returns on equity despite a sustained period of ultra-low interest rates, he added.
Buffett, who has criticized Trump in the past and scorned politicians’ pessimism about the country, looked past the current voter angst for a longer view of U.S. economic prospects.
Twenty years from now, there’ll be far more output per capita in the United States in real terms than there is now. In 50 years, it’ll be far more,” Buffett said. “No presidential candidate or president is going to end that. They can shape it in ways that are good or bad, but they can’t end it.”
(Newsmax wire services contributed to this report).
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