Donald Trump, in a speech this morning before the Detroit Economic Club, will detail a number of policies that appear designed to place his otherwise undisciplined presidential campaign squarely in the mainstream of Republican orthodoxy on issues like the estate tax, corporate taxation, government regulation and more.
Details of the speech were leaked to Bloomberg Politics, which published a summary on Monday.
According to that report, Trump will call for a temporary moratorium on all new financial services regulations and other regulatory relief for small businesses. He will advocate slashing the corporate tax rate by more than half, from the current to rate of 35 percent to 15 percent. He will also call for the repeal of the estate tax -- named the “death tax” by Republican opponents -- which currently hits a small percentage of high-value inheritances.
However, the former reality television star will retain some of his proposals that cut against the grain of typical GOP stances.
As he has in the past, Trump will call for the elimination of the carried interest loophole in the tax code, which allows investment managers to treat fee income as at lower-taxed capital gains income. He will also restate his opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership and international trade deals in general. Trump has regularly railed against the huge multilateral agreement among Pacific nations, calling for the US to strike bilateral trade agreements on a country-by-country basis.
Trump will also make a populist pitch to families – especially women – by making childcare payments fully tax deductible. A spokesperson for the Trump campaign told The Hill, "We're going to help working parents by making childcare payments fully tax deductible. That's new policy."
In a nod to his audience, Trump will attack the Obama administration and his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton, for policies that he says have been particularly harmful to the city of Detroit. That’s a bit of a gamble, because while Detroit is unquestionably still on an economic stretcher, there is presumably a large reservoir of goodwill for the Obama administration because of its controversial decision to bail out large automakers during the Great Recession.
The speech is part of a larger effort by the Trump campaign to right a ship that has gone badly off-course in the past few weeks. Trump has committed so many unforced errors recently, including his inexplicable fight with the parents of a dead US soldier, his initial refusal to endorse major Republicans running for reelection, and his insistence on a scheme to “rig” the federal election that it led to talk of an “intervention” by senior GOP figures.
The speech also comes as both national and battleground state polls have begun trending badly against the GOP nominee. Recent polling shows Clinton surging to a seven percent point national lead, according to the Real Clear Politics polling average. And surveys have also suggested that she is well ahead of Trump in the battleground state of Virginia and that traditional GOP strongholds like Georgia and Arizona, which haven’t voted for a Democratic president since the 1990s, might be in play come November.