Cheat Sheet: A Guide to President-Elect Trump's Views on Key Issues

Image: Bloomberg
Image: Bloomberg
Donald Trump

Donald Trump has called the Affordable Care Act a "complete disaster" and said it needs to be repealed and replaced. "What I'd like to see is a private system without the artificial lines around every state," he told Fox News. His other specific recommendations include:

  • Letting Americans purchase health care across state lines.
  • Creating "a universal 'market-based' plan that would offer a range of choices," according to a Trump spokesperson. "Mr. Trump will be proposing a health plan that will return authority to the states and operate under free-market principles. Mr. Trump's plan will provide choice to the buyer, provide individual tax relief for health insurance and keep plans portable and affordable. The plan will break the health insurance company monopolies and allow individuals to buy across state lines."
  • Suggesting that rich taxpayers should sacrifice the benefits of Social Security for the good of the country.
  • Opposed massive cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. "Every Republican wants to do a big number on Social Security, they want to do it on Medicare, they want to do it on Medicaid. And we can't do that. And it's not fair to the people that have been paying in for years and now all of the sudden they want to be cut," he told a GOP summit in April.
  • Wants to repeal the so-called Cadillac tax, an excise tax of 40% on the cost of health coverage exceeding the threshold value of $10,200 for individual coverage and $27,500 for a family.
  • Promises "six weeks of paid maternity leave to any mother with a newborn child whose employer does not provide the benefit." His plan outlined on his website does not mention if the policy applies to same-sex parents. He says his maternity leave policy will be completely paid for through the unemployment insurance program.
  • Wants parents to contribute up to $2,000 to a tax-free dependent-care savings account. Parents do not have to depend on their employer to set up an account for each of their children, and funds will remain in the account until the age of 18. "Whatever still remains at that time can be used to help offset the cost of higher education for your child," Trump said.
  • Supports a low minimum wage. "Having a low minimum wage is not a bad thing for this country," he said.

'Crony Capitalism'

Trump has been consistently critical of the role of campaign donations in shaping politics, arguing that politicians are effectively "bought" by the firms that give them money. Indeed, part of Trump's appeal to voters is that he didn't accept donations during the primary process. He has subsequently begun fundraising, though he has not received much money from the financial industry.

On Oct. 18, Trump announced a new initiative designed to curb the influence of special interests. He said he would seek a constitutional amendment that would impose term limits on all members of Congress.

His plan would also institute a five-year ban on all executive-branch officials and former members of Congress from lobbying the government. Additionally, Trump is seeking to expand the definition of lobbyist and a lifetime ban against former senior executive branch officials from lobbying on behalf of a foreign government.

During the campaign, Trump also specifically criticized Clinton for accepting money from firms like Goldman Sachs. The Trump campaign also highlighted recent WikiLeaks emails that allegedly provide a transcript of Clinton's speeches to Goldman.

Trump has also been critical of capital gains tax breaks for hedge funds and other securities firms.

"They're paying nothing and it's ridiculous. I want to save the middle class," he said in August on CBS's "Face the Nation." "The hedge fund guys didn't build this country. These are guys that shift paper around and they get lucky."


Trump has taken numerous shots at Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., the founder of the CFPB, but has not specifically addressed the agency itself. Most political observers believe Trump would be open to Republican efforts to dismantle or change the agency — but the president-elect has not endorsed such a plan.

Fed Policy

Trump has long accused the Federal Reserve of acting politically to help President Obama and Clinton. Specifically, he claimed without evidence last year that Fed Chair Janet Yellen was keeping interest rates low in order to ensure the economy did not collapse.

"Janet Yellen is highly political and she's not raising rates for a very specific reason," Trump said in a speech on Nov. 3, 2015. "Because Obama told her not to because he wants to be out playing golf and other things a year from now and he wants to be doing other things and doesn't want to see a bubble burst during his administration."

He amplified those criticisms in the final days of the campaign. During the first presidential debate, on Sept. 26, Trump went out of his way to criticize the Fed, again predicting doom if and when rates go up again.

"We're in a bubble right now. And the only thing that looks good is the stock market, but if you raise interest rates even a little bit, that's going to come crashing down," Trump said.

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