Peggy Sands Orchowski
As important as education is to Hispanic voters, two other issues were identified in the Latino Decisions survey as even more important: “the economy and jobs.”
Both parties recognized these top concerns in their platforms under economic growth and trade. But each party platform had a different emphasis on the issues and a different focus on what needs to be done.
“We are the party of a growing economy that gives everyone an opportunity to learn, work and realize prosperity,” the Republican Party Platform begins. They blamed taxes and too big government. “Government cannot create prosperity: individuals do that through self-discipline, enterprise, savings and investment. But government can limit or destroy these efforts,” the platform states. The Republican policy solution as seen in the platform are: fair and simpler taxes.
“Creating jobs” is one of Trump’s biggest promises. “What are our priorities? Before we build bridges to Mars, let’s make sure the bridges over the Mississippi River aren’t going to fall down,” he said. “Rebuilding America will create 13 million jobs.”
The Democratic platform addresses economic issues not as a tax policy but as a “fight for economic fairness and against inequality” for a “thriving middle class, which is shrinking.” Democrats blamed Wall Street for the rising inequality. “We must make Wall Street work for the job-creating economy by making loans more affordable for small and middle businesses…and making the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes.”
“Prosperity is not a zero-sum game. We can create millions of new jobs and raise the minimum wage,” Texas Congressman Joaquin Castro said at the Democratic convention. “Hillary Clinton is working to build an infrastructure of opportunity—a way for Americans to get where they want to go in life: great schools to prepare us for college and career, a strong health care system and an economy where no one who full-time time lives in poverty.”
There was one issue where both parties seemed to agree, however: international trade. The Republican and Democratic Parties’ platforms use almost the same words to make their arguments:
“We need better negotiated trade agreements that put America first…that protect American interests and that don’t limit American access to their markets,” the Republican platform says.
The Democratic platform states: “We need to develop trade policies that support jobs in America…that do not undercut American workers by taking shortcuts on labor policy or the environment.”
Will trade deals be an area for bipartisan agreement in the next Congress? •