Updated: September 27, 2016 1:23:58 pm
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and her Republican counterpart Donald Trump sparred over economy and creating new jobs, in their first face-off in a nationally televised presidential debate ahead of US polls.
Trump claimed that the US is being used as a piggy bank to rebuild China.
“Our jobs are fleeing the country. They’re going to Mexico. They’re going to many other countries. You look at what China is doing to our country in terms of making our product.
“They’re devaluing their currency, and there’s nobody in our government to fight them. And we have a very good fight. And we have a winning fight.
“Because they’re using our country as a piggy bank to rebuild China, and many other countries are doing the same thing,” Trump said.
The real estate tycoon from New York said there is need to stop jobs from being stolen from the US.
“We have to stop our companies from leaving the United States and, with it, firing all of their people,” he said.
“We cannot let it happen. Under my plan, I’ll be reducing taxes tremendously, from 35 per cent to 45 per cent for companies, small and big businesses.
“That’s going to be a job creator like we haven’t seen since Ronald Reagan. It’s going to be a beautiful thing to watch,” Trump said.
Clinton, the first woman to appear on the stage of the presidential debate, disagreed.
“I think that trade is an important issue. Of course, we are 5 per cent of the world’s population; we have to trade with the other 95 per cent. And we need to have smart, fair trade deals,” she said.
“We also, though, need to have a tax system that rewards work and not just financial transactions. And the kind of plan that Donald has put forth would be trickle-down economics all over again.
“In fact, it would be the most extreme version, the biggest tax cuts for the top per cent of the people in this country than we’ve ever had.
“I call it trumped-up trickle-down, because that’s exactly what it would be. That is not how we grow the economy,” she said.
Trump reiterated that the trade deals with countries including China need to be re-negotiated.
“Our country’s in deep trouble. We don’t know what we’re doing when it comes to devaluations and all of these countries all over the world, especially China. They’re the best, the best ever at it. What they’re doing to us is a very, very sad thing,” he said.
“We have to renegotiate our trade deals. They’re taking our jobs, they’re giving incentives, they’re doing things that, frankly, we don’t do,” he said.
“In all fairness to Secretary Clinton, when she started talking about this, it was really very recently. She’s been doing this for 30 years. And why hasn’t she made the agreements better? The NAFTA agreement is defective,” he claimed.
Meanwhile, Clinton alleged that Trump has benefited from the economic recession.
“We had the worst financial crisis, the Great Recession, the worst since the 1930s. That was in large part because of tax policies that slashed taxes on the wealthy, failed to invest in the middle class, took their eyes off of Wall Street, and created a perfect storm.
“In fact, Donald was one of the people who rooted for the housing crisis,” she said.
Clinton said that she has a very robust set of plans, “and people have looked at both of our plans, have concluded that mine would create 10 million jobs and yours would lose us 3.5 million jobs, and explode the debt which would have a recession.”
As the two candidate sparred over economy and jobs, they accused each other over facts.
Clinton was the first to raise the issue and directed the millions of viewers to her websites for checking the facts.
“We have taken the home page of my website, HillaryClinton.com, and we’ve turned it into a fact-checker.
So if you want to see in real-time what the facts are, please go and take a look,” she said.
Trump interrupted, “And take a look at mine, also, and you’ll see.”
She said what she has proposed would not add a penny to the debt as compared to Trump’s plans which she claimed would add USD trillion to the debt.
“What I have proposed would cut regulations and streamline them for small businesses. What I have proposed would be paid for by raising taxes on the wealthy, because they have made all the gains in the economy.
“And I think it’s time that the wealthy and corporations paid their fair share to support this country,” she said.
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