MARCA POLITICA breaks down the nominees' pie-in-the-sky policy proposals.
Donald Trump, like Hillary Clinton, has promised big-spending infrastructure plans to revitalize the nation’s highways, railroads, bridges and airports
Hillary Clinton promises to create jobs in coal country and provide debt-free college education for the middle class. Donald Trump pledges to rip up trade deals like NAFTA, negotiate lower drug prices for Medicare and get Mexico to pay for his border wall. And both presidential hopefuls are trying to outdo each other with grandiose plans for upgrading the nation’s crumbling roads and bridges.
But don’t bet on either candidate having an easy time delivering on those promises in the White House.
The two candidates are on different planets in their overall approach to policy — Clinton’s dozens of position papers and hundreds of informal advisers contrast with Trump’s skimpy agenda, bare-bones staff and frequently vague, contradictory pronouncements from the stump. But they are alike in the massive political, practical and financial hurdles that their campaign promises would confront.
Drug companies are prepared to unleash hell on any president who seeks to open Medicare drug negotiations, while reworking NAFTA would require buy-in from Mexico and Canada, and Clinton’s college plan would costs tens of billions of dollars per year. And of course, the next president will still face a Congress that has proven incapable of agreeing on much of anything.
Here is MARCA POLITICA breakdown of the nominees’ pie-in-the-sky policy proposals:
Trump: Getting Mexico to pay for the wall
“We will build a great wall along the southern border. And Mexico will pay for the wall. One hundred percent. They don’t know it yet, but they’re going to pay for it." — Donald Trump, Aug. 31
The New York businessman has been remarkably consistent about one promise throughout his campaign — not only will he build his border wall, but he’ll somehow get Mexico’s government to pick up the tab.
Even after he began wavering about how many undocumented immigrants he plans to deport, Trump doubled down on his wall pledge after meeting last month with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. “They don’t know it yet, but they’re gonna pay for the wall,” Trump told a crowd in Phoenix on Aug. 31, just hours after Peña Nieto said he had told Trump otherwise during their private meeting.
Trump’s campaign has said he will compel Mexico by threatening to block immigrants living illegally in the U.S. from wiring money back home. That move would cut off a multibillion-dollar flow of cash that Trump describes as “de facto welfare for poor families in Mexico.” But if Mexico agrees to pay for the wall, he will not impose the regulation. (His campaign website predicts this would all happen by “day 3.”)
In addition, Trump would be willing to use trade tariffs, increase visa fees and even cancel visas to pressure Mexico to pay for the wall.
But experts say there’s no reason to think the Mexican government will change its mind.
“I think the chances that the Mexican government will pay for a wall are near zero,” said Alex Nowrasteh, an immigration policy analyst at the Cato Institute.
Trump’s strategy of threatening Mexico will only further infuriate the country’s leaders, he said. “Trump has just held out a stick and he’s said we’re going to beat you with this no matter what,” Nowrasteh said.