Comparison: Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton on the economy

Comparison: Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton on the economy

Politics

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton laid out competing visions for the American economy during a pair of speeches this week, pitching a variety of ideas to accelerate job creation and economic growth.

The proposals they unveiled – some new, some familiar – ran the gamut from tax and wage reforms to national investments in infrastructure and manufacturing.

Here’s a look at how their plans compare and contrast.

Taxes

Trump

*Trump has proposed to abolish the estate tax, which he calls the death tax, saying people who have been taxed all their lives shouldn’t also be taxed when they die.

*To reform personal income taxes, Trump has embraced the House Republican plan, which proposes eliminating the current seven income brackets and replacing them with three brackets – individuals with annual incomes up to $37,650 would pay 12 percent. Individuals earning between $37,650 and $190,150 would pay 25 percent, and individuals earning more than $190,150 would pay 33 percent. For many low-income people, Trump emphasizes, deductions would bring their total federal income tax burden close to zero.

*The current federal corporate tax rate is 35 percent, though many companies pay far less than 35 percent due to deductions and loopholes. Trump would slash the corporate tax rate to 15 percent and eliminate a variety of deductions and loopholes in the tax code to fill some of the resultant revenue shortfall.

* Trump’s latest tax plan has been revised from a previous version, but an analysis of the previous version by the left-leaning Tax Policy Center concluded it would reduce revenues by roughly $9 trillion. Trump has said the growth his plan would create would offset that shortfall, but beyond that, his team has offered little specifics on how a President Trump would prevent the deficit from exploding.

Clinton

*Clinton would like to expand the estate tax. Currently, the first $5.45 million of an individual’s estate is untaxed, and beyond that threshold, the government collects 40 percent when that person dies. Clinton would like to lower that threshold to $3.5 million for an individual’s estate ($7 million for a married couple’s estate), and she’d like to tax estates above that threshold at a 45 percent rate.

*On personal income taxes, with the goal of reducing inequality, Clinton would institute the “Buffett Rule” to ensure nobody with an income over $1 million pays less than 30 percent in federal income tax. She’d do that by eliminating certain deductions and investment maneuvers that primarily benefit wealthy people. She’d also impose a four percent tax “surcharge” on incomes over $5 million.

*On corporate taxes, Clinton would adjust the code to incentivize businesses to keep jobs in the U.S. She’d make it more difficult for companies to undergo “inversions,” in which a corporation merges with a foreign competitor to put itself under the auspices of that competitor’s more favorable tax environment. She’s also suggested offering tax credits to companies that offer jobs to former apprentices, and levying an “exit tax” on companies that are moving overseas.

*Analysts at the left-leaning Tax Policy Center estimate Clinton’s tax proposals would bring in an additional $1.1 trillion in revenue over 10 years. She’s said she will use that money to fund some of the additional investments detailed below.

Family and Workplace Reforms

Trump

*After a complicated back-and-forth, Trump seems to have settled on a proposal to hike the minimum wage from the current $7.25 to $10 per hour, and he’s suggested individual states and localities could raise wages even higher.

*Trump would also like to create a tax deduction for child care. According to the New York Times, “If the policy were implemented as a typical deduction, it would provide no advantage for the 45 percent of people paying no tax and provide the biggest advantages to people in high-income tax brackets. His campaign has indicated that the Trump administration would find ways to make its advantages shared more broadly, though staffers had no details.”

Clinton

*The federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 per hour. After initially proposing to raise the minimum to $12 per hour, Clinton eventually said she would support a hike to $15 per hour, indexed to inflation – a proposal that has now been enshrined in the Democratic platform. She’s supported efforts by states and localities to go even higher.

*Clinton has proposed capping limiting the cost of child care to 10 percent of a family’s income, and she’d increase access to child care on college campuses for parents getting a degree. Perhaps her most consequential proposal on child care, though, is her idea of a child care tax credit for families. The New York Times explains how her idea differs from Trump’s proposal of a child care tax deduction: “While she has not enumerated all the details of what she has in mind, a refundable credit would avoid the problems created by offering a tax deduction and would be valuable for lower- and middle-income families even if they don’t pay federal income tax.”

*Clinton has also proposed guaranteeing at least 12 weeks of paid family leave, with individuals on leave receiving at least two-thirds of their usual wages. Current law guarantees 12 weeks of leave for new parents, but it does not require employers to pay them, leaving many families with infants unable to take considerable time off work after a child’s birth.

*Clinton would also like to guarantee universal access to pre-Kindergarten education, arguing it would both help children develop and relieve financial burdens on low- and middle-income families.

Infrastructure and Energy

Trump

*Lamenting the “disastrous” condition of America’s roads, bridges, and airports, Trump has proposed spending at least double the $275 billion that Clinton has suggested to rebuild the country’s infrastructure and create jobs. He’s not offered an exact spending target, but he has raised some ire among fiscal conservatives by suggesting he’d tolerate significant deficit spending to make it happen.

*On energy, Trump has proposed a broad regulatory overhaul that would open up significantly more U.S. energy resources for development. He’d immediately rescind all of President Obama’s executive actions, including the Climate Action Plan capping greenhouse emissions from coal-fired power plants.

*Trump would also like to lift the moratorium on energy production on federally owned areas, and he’d urge Canada to renew the application for the Keystone XL oil pipeline, which the Obama administration quashed.

*Trump has suggested any revenues accrued by increased energy production could be redirected to fund his proposed infrastructure developments.

Clinton

*Clinton, as noted above, has proposed $275 billion in new infrastructure spending to improve roads, bridges, rail lines, airports, and more. Her website claims she’d pay for the improvements through unspecified “business tax reform.”

*Clinton wants to preserve and strengthen President Obama’s climate action plan,arguing the new federal standards should be a “floor,” not a “ceiling,” when it comes to cleanliness and efficiency.

*Clinton has also proposed a sizable investment in clean energy, with two stated goals: first, powering every home in America with renewable energy within 10 years of taking office. Second, increasing renewables’ total share of U.S. energy production to 33 percent, also within 10 years of taking office.

*She wants to install half a billion additional solar panels and expand other forms of clean energy, like wind, geothermal, hydroelectric, and more. She also wants to invest in revitalizing the power grid to increase efficiency and reliability, especially in rural areas.

Trade and Manufacturing

Trump

*Trump has said he will pull out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and renegotiate existing trade agreements (like the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA), to secure a more advantageous deal for the United States.

*Trump has also pledged to crack down on China’s unfair trade practices by imposing tariffs and fighting back against the country’s export subsidies, currency manipulation, and theft of American intellectual property.

*Trump has repeatedly suggested he’d slap a steep tariff on any company that relocates its manufacturing to another country, arguing the move would discourage outsourcing by raising the company’s cost of operating abroad. He’s offered prospective numbers as high as 45 percent, saying the “threat” of such a tariff would keep American companies from shipping jobs overseas. He’s largely brushed aside concerns that such a move could ignite a trade war and raise the cost of goods and services.

Clinton

*Despite speaking positively about a draft version of the Trans Pacific Partnership as secretary of state, Clinton has now confirmed her opposition to the final agreement, suggesting it doesn’t meet the labor, environmental, and other standards she’s set for any such pact. She’s said she will continue opposing it unless those standards can be met.

*Clinton has also proposed a crackdown on unfair trade practices from China and other countries. She’s said she wouldn’t hesitate to impose “targeted tariffs” on any country that “gamed the system,” and she’s pledged to expand the U.S. trade policy personnel by “appointing a new chief trade prosecutor, tripling the number of enforcement officers.”

*Clinton has floated the idea of a $10 billion “Make it in America” partnership that, according to her website, would “bring together workers and labor, business, universities, community colleges, and government at every level to harness the strength of manufacturing communities across America. Businesses that take part will pledge not to shift jobs or profits from these partnerships overseas. And we will support strong “Buy American” standards so we make things here.”

*She’s also vowed to offer tax incentives to lure businesses to particularly hard-hit manufacturing communities, and to expand apprenticeships and job training programs to ensure manufacturers have access to a skilled American workforce.

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Latest Presidential Polls For Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump: Can Hillary Win Some Key Red States? Gary Johnson A Spoiler?

Latest Presidential Polls For Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump: Can Hillary Win Some Key Red States? Gary Johnson A Spoiler?

Politics

Donald Trump is in jeopardy of being the first Republican presidential nominee since George H.W. Bush in 1992 to lose multiple red-leaning states, according to recent polls. Arizona, Georgia, Missouri, North Carolina and potentially even Utah have a chance to swing toward Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton on Nov. 8.

A recent national poll has Trump gaining ground on Clinton, though Clinton still leads, 48-44, according to an NBC News/SurveyMonkey Weekly Election Tracking Poll. But holding onto certain red states won by previous Republican nominees is considered crucial for the Trump campaign to remain competitive.

Arizona, a state with 11 electoral college votes, has voted for a Republican nominee in the last four elections, yet an NBC/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll had Trump only leading Clinton, 42 to 41 percent among likely voters. Among registered voters, Clinton leads, 41-40.

The same survey had Trump owning a slim 46-43 lead among likely voters in Georgia, a state that hasn’t voted for a Democratic nominee in the last five elections. Georgia has 16 electoral college votes and is considered a “must win” for Trump.

The picture is a bit more mixed in Missouri. In July, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch had Clinton leading, 41-40, though a poll by Remington Research last week showed Trump with a comfortable advantage over Clinton among likely voters, 47-38.

While North Carolina has traditionally been a red state, it’s become more of a swing state in recent presidential elections. President Barack Obama narrowly won North Carolina in 2008 and lost to Republican nominee Mitt Romney, 50.39 percent to 48.35 percent, in 2012.

Clinton owns a small lead in North Carolina. In a Quinnipiac poll conducted in late August, Clinton came in at 47 percent among likely voters, compared to Trump at 43.

The good news for Trump is that he has widened his lead over Clinton in Utah amid fears in July that Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson could potentially gain stronger support. According to a poll by UtahPolicy.com, Trump had 39 percent of likely voters, while Clinton polled at a meager 24 percent. Johnson, meanwhile, dipped to 13 percent, perhaps due to the emergence of independent candidate Evan McMullin.

Should Clinton capture any of the aforementioned states, she could potentially win in an electoral-college-vote landslide. Obama defeated Republican nominee John McCain in 2008 with 365 electoral votes and defeated Romney with 332 electoral votes and Clinton could conceivably carry all the states Obama won.

But Trump still has a sizable lead in many red states. Texas, Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky, and Louisiana—five states with 74 total electoral college vote—all appear to be firmly in favor of the Republican businessman.

In order to reach the 270 electoral votes needed to win the election, experts believe Trump must win key battleground states like Ohio, Florida, Iowa, Nevada and New Hampshire. In those swing states, Trump either has a very small lead or is losing, so failing to win a traditional red state could spell doom since Clinton has comfortable leads in blue states.

It’s unclear how much Johnson can influence the election results. In 2012, the former governor of New Mexico received under one percent of the vote but is currently polling at nine percent. According to RealClearPolitics.com, Johnson has polled as high as 12 percent.

Embezzlement, Money Laundering: Lawyers Ask EFCC To Investigate Former NBA President Austin Alegeh

Embezzlement, Money Laundering: Lawyers Ask EFCC To Investigate Former NBA President Austin Alegeh

Naija News NEWS

A group of lawyers, under the umbrella of “Lawyers for Justice” has demanded an immediate investigation into the tenure of Mr. Austin Alegeh (SAN), immediate past president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The group’s demand was contained in a petition addressed to the EFCC Chairman.

Jointly signed by Seth Amaefule, second Vice Chairman of the Lagos branch of the NBA, and Dotun Hassan, Assistant Secretary of the Epe branch of the Association, the petitioners based their demand on suspicions of a number of illegal deeds, including money laundering and corrupt enrichment by Alegeh while he served as NBA President.

On August 25, alleged the petitioners, Mr. Alegeh informed the NBA Annual General Meeting that he left N200million in the association’s account. However, the new officers only found N20million.

“Not being prepared to render a satisfactory account of the association’s funds and donations, investigations into those activities bordering on illegality and criminality ought to be uncovered by our law enforcement agents with a view to bringing culprits to book,” the group stated in its petition.

The petitioners also alleged that before Alegeh became the NBA President, he lived at 11 Ladipo Bateye Street, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos. This address, they claimed served as his residence, law firm and the office of Tratrix Engineering Limited, a company in which he holds majority shares as  Chairman/CEO. The former NBA President, added the petitioners, also had offices in Benin and Asaba.

After becoming NBA President, Mr. Alegeh moved from his Ikeja home to 24 Ilabere Avenue in the upscale Ikoyi area of Lagos and acquired a fleet of exotic cars. This, Lawyers for Justice reckoned, is enough ground for suspicion, given that the NBA is a non-profit organization, whose officers are not allowed personal benefits, salaries, bribes and other forms of income from corrupt streams.

Also while serving an NBA President, Lawyers for Justice added, Mr. Alegeh moved from his rented office at 48 Lobito Crescent, Wuse 2 in Abuja, to a considerably swankier office at 22 Ziguinchor Street, Wuse 4. The property is believed to be owned by him.

“It is a matter of general knowledge amongst lawyers that Mr. Augustine Alegeh (SAN) spent a humongous sum of money prosecuting his campaign for the office of the President of the Nigerian Bar Association 2014, which he eventually won in July 2014 against four others, and which would naturally have depleted his resources.  He appears to have stupendously, illegally recouped his pocket, as President who abused the office of the NBA President,” wrote Lawyers for Justice.

The group equally alleged that Mr. Alegeh personally showed his friends around his estate at Ilebare Street, Off Macpherson Street, Ikoyi, after a church service to mark his exit from office on August 28  2016. He is also said to own a stupendous, though yet to be completed, home in Benin, where he hosted some lawyers who attended the June 2016 NBA National Executive Council Meeting in Benin.

Another allegation leveled against the former NBA President carried the whiff of contractual fraud. According to the petitioners, before Mr. Alegeh took office in August 2014, the NBA had awarded an N2.5billion contract for the construction of the 11-floor NBA House at Plot 1101, Cadastral Zone A00 in Abuja’s Central Business District to Schaums Nigeria Limited. The contractor, noted the petitioners, was still building the first floor when Mr. Alegeh, using his office, decided that the building must be completed by direct labour despite the fact that the contract was not terminated. He was said to have approved and paid money to Tratrix Engineering Limited, where he is Chairman/ CEO, via proxies.

“Against ethical and lawful conduct, he retained his position as Chairman/CEO of Tratrix Engineering Limited during his NBA Presidency from August 2014 – August 2016. Mr. Alegeh sought and received colossal sums as donations for the building project. It remains to be investigated suspicious activities of diversion of funds by Mr. Augustine Alegeh (SAN) for personal use,” the petitioners noted.

Also during his tenure as NBA President, Mr. Alegeh, alleged Lawyers for Justice, organized six National Executive Committee Meetings and two Annual General Conferences of the Bar. These entailed the donation of huge sums of money by individuals, corporate organizations, governors and other political office holders.

The former NBA President, it was further alleged, entered an arrangement with Access Bank Plc to warehouse all NBA accounts in return for the bank sponsoring NBA NEC Meetings and Conferences with approximately N250million yearly and created a system that made lawyers pay extortionate registration fees to attend the Annual General Conferences 2015 and 2016.

Despite the huge registration fees paid by lawyers and hefty donations from other sources, the Annual General Conferences in Abuja and Port Harcourt in August 2015 and 2016 respectively were parodies, as conference bags and materials were barely distributed to conferees.

“The Annual General Conference, Port Harcourt, which concluded on Friday,  August 26th 2016 was dubbed by some senior lawyers as “a scam and a sham.” Despite large sums of money, it generated little value. At the conference, not only did many lawyers not receive conference bags, others got very low-quality bags without conference programs, papers, and proceedings. The Annual Reports 2016, which included NBA Treasurer and General Secretary’s reports, were scarcely distributed to NBA members,” wrote the petitioners.

Lawyers for Justice also claimed that Mr. Alegeh received the dollar equivalent of N250million from Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State as a gesture of appreciation for bringing the 2016 Bar Conference to Port Harcourt. This sum, which the group said belonged to the NBA, was allegedly diverted, converted and shared by a few national officers, notably Mr. Alegeh, and immediate past General Secretary Mr. Afam Osigwe.

Google’s Deepmind AI beats Go world champion in first match

Google’s Deepmind AI beats Go world champion in first match

NEWS

Google’s Deepmind artificial intelligence has done what many thought it couldn’t: beat a grandmaster at the ancient Chinese strategy game Go. The “AlphaGo” program forced its opponent, 33-year-old 9-dan professional Lee Sedol, to resign three and a half hours into the first of their five-match battle. While Deepmind has defeated a Go champion before, it’s the first time a machine has beaten a world champion.

The result comes as a surprise, particularly after Sedol himself predicted a 5-0 whitewash. Despite the tough talk, the Korean told Associated Press reporters that he may slip up once — he’ll just have to hope that this is his one and only time. A $1 million prize is on the line, which AlphaGo will give to charity if it wins.

If you’re unfamiliar with Go, the game originated in China around 3,000 years ago. With its 19×19 board and black and white lens-shaped disks, called stones, Go is considered to be a lot more complex than Chess, a game that also hosted a man vs machine battle when IBM’s Deep Blue computer famously defeated world champion Gary Kasparov in 1997.

To prepare the system’s neural network, the AlphaGo team fed the computer 30 million moves from professional Go players so it could adopt its own strategies using a process of trial and error that is referred to in AI circles as reinforcement learning.

AlphaGo and Sedol will meet another four times this week but now that the computer has the edge, it only needs to win two more rounds to be crowned champion. You can see how the first match unfolded in the video embedded above, but be warned, it’s almost four hours long.

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