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Trump vs. Clinton: Debating the Merits of the Candidates

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Jack Bartucci and Neha Konjeti debated the merits of the presidential candidates in the days leading up to the 2016 election.

Jack Bartucci and Neha Konjeti debated the merits of the presidential candidates in the days leading up to the 2016 election.

Jack Bartucci and Neha Konjeti debated the merits of the presidential candidates in the days leading up to the 2016 election.

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The Prairie Ridge news team meetings this fall have been dominated by conversation about the presidential election, and specifically, the candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. It seems there is always a breaking story or tweet that gets people talking. Who is the best candidate this fall? Staff writers Neha Konjeti and Jack Bartucci debate the merits of the candidates:

Neha Konjeti: Hillary has a great tax plan for our country. Clinton will cut taxes for small businesses so they can hire and grow. She plans on raising taxes for those who earn more than $250,000 per year. She calls this the Buffett rule. This rule insures that the wealthiest families do not pay less than hardworking middle-class families in America. Meanwhile, Trump’s plan benefits himself and rich corporations.

Jack Bartucci: Trump’s website tells us he plans on lowering taxes “across-the-board, especially for working and middle-income Americans who will receive a massive tax reduction.” He also plans on having the rich pay a “fair share” tax, but not too much where it may have a bad effect on jobs. Trump also plans on closing special interest loopholes and plans on lowering taxes for businesses so they can be competitive. Why do you think it is good for the rich to pay more in taxes?

Neha: If Trump is going to cut taxes for rich corporations, how does he plan on helping small businesses? The taxes from richest corporations can be used to invest in America. Hillary plans on closing corporate tax loopholes. Donald Trump used a $916 million loss to avoid paying federal taxes, which he said “makes me smart.” How can America trust Trump if he didn’t even release his tax returns?

Jack: Why can’t rich corporations pay less in taxes? They already pay a lot. In addition, if we make them pay more, then we are going to lose more jobs. Is that what you want to happen? Lose jobs due to a dumb idea of corporations needing to pay a “fair share.” It doesn’t and won’t work. Why would we want to burden the companies that are creating jobs? Who does that help?

Neha: Lowering taxes will increase the national debt. How does Trump plan on solving that problem? According to Los Angeles Times, Trump’s plan would “worsen the national debt by $7.2 trillion over the next 10 years.” Since Clinton’s tax plan would reduce interest costs, it would trim the debt by $1.6 trillion over the next 10 years.

Jack: It will not increase the national debt because taxes are not a direct link to our debt. It is a matter of how we spend our money. Clinton has many of the same ideas as Obama which could add trillions more to our debt.

Neha: It’s not fair to blame Obama for the debt situation. If you compare our economy to 8 years ago, we are doing better now. Factcheck.org reports that “the economy has added over 9 million jobs and the jobless rate has dropped to below the historical median.” Trump is a hypocrite. He says outsourcing is a bad practice, but he does it himself.

Jack: There was no other president during the past 8 years, so who made that debt then? Trump is first and foremost a businessman who is in business to make money. That’s what good business people do; they do what’s best for their company. With his plan, he will be able to bring back his work to America because big corporations won’t have to pay as high of taxes so they can charge less for work.

Neha:  Trump would rather have his work done here? I don’t think so. He has said before that outsourcing jobs is “not always a terrible thing.”

Jack: Trump is the one who runs his business. He knows what he wants to do. Besides, sometimes you have to outsource jobs; that is called business. Government policy can have an effect on the economy. Our government’s policies lead to money being spent in other countries rather than our own.

Neha: Being a president is not like running a business.

Jack: What does that have to do with anything?

Neha: Trump thinks he has an advantage because he’s a businessman, when really Hillary has more experience in political office. And how can Trump be presidential if has such a bad temperament?

Jack: Over thirty years, Clinton has made some bad choices. I guess experience isn’t always something that one ups. Trump is like former president Zachary Taylor who had no experience before he ran our country.

Neha: I think you’re forgetting that Trump has made some bad choices as well, like avoiding federal taxes. When it comes to personality and temperament, he has said many rude comments about women, Mexicans , and many others.

Jack: Emails and Benghazi. Trump has never held office. So you can’t say he has made political mistakes. But then when I mention Clinton’s political  mistakes you bring up Trump’s personal mistakes. A completely different topic.

Neha: Trump has never held office, but he did contribute to the birther controversy about Obama, and he lied about not supporting the Iraq war. Unlike Trump, Clinton actually accepted her mistakes.

Jack: Trump has accepted his mistakes like he has said in the recent debates.

Neha:  No he hasn’t; he blamed others for his mistakes. Do you actually think Trump has the right personality to be president?

Jack: Trump can blame Clinton for the war in Iraq because she voted for it. Trump may have supported it but then turned early on in the beginning realizing it was bad. Moreover, she has said in the debates that she regrets her decision, but this doesn’t matter because the vote took place years ago. Does Trump have the right personality to be president? Well, Trump wants to protect our borders, defeat terrorism, lower taxes (to promote job growth), and ensure that our constitution is protected, respected, and upheld. So overall, he has the right ideas which will help guide him through his presidency.

There are some strong opinions on both sides of the aisle. The Wolf Prints staff has started the conversation; keep it going by adding your views in the comment section.

Notice and Disclaimer: Wolf Prints hopes to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Please ensure your comments are respectful, constructive, and school appropriate. Comments are reviewed. Use your school email address – it will not be displayed but may be used to confirm your comments. Opinions expressed within belong to the student journalists and do not constitute an endorsement of either candidate by the Wolf Prints staff, Prairie Ridge High School, or District 155.

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