As the _New York Times_ put it, the election offers a "stark choice" on the economy.
The contempt that Hillary Clinton and Donald J. Trump express for each other will continue to play out in vitriolic sound bites. But their profound differences on what to do about the economy and the struggling middle class are far more important.
The Clinton agenda
Mrs. Clinton’s agenda includes calls for a higher minimum wage, 12 weeks’ paid leave for chronically ill workers and parents with a newborn, more funds for job training and education, especially higher education, and a $275 billion infrastructure plan.
She would raise taxes by $1.1 trillion over the next decade, the Tax Policy Center estimates. These raises are mainly aimed at wealthier Americans and include higher capital gains taxes on assets held for longer periods, a larger estate tax for wealthy heirs, and closing some corporate loopholes and advantages enjoyed by hedge fund and private equity executives.
These increases will be offset, however, by a subsequent middle-class tax cut.
The Trump promises
Mr. Trump, in defiance of Republican orthodoxy, seems unfazed by debt. He proudly says that borrowing fueled his business ventures and has even suggested that as president, he might try to negotiate down American debt obligations.
Mr. Trump, by contrast, has offered huge tax cuts, which policy experts estimate will cost $9 trillion to $11 trillion over a decade. He also vows to end or soften many federal regulations, which he calls job killers. Look for him to focus on a pro-growth energy policy that his camp calculates would split two of Mrs. Clinton’s important constituencies: labor and environmentalists.
From Trump that would be "more fossil fuels and fewer rules." Just what we need.