By Amanda Becker
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democrat Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday that if Republican rival Donald Trump wins the White House, it will be a disaster for the U.S. economy, predicting a “Trump recession.”
“Now I don’t say this because of typical political disagreements – liberals and conservatives say Trump’s ideas would be disastrous,” Clinton said. “Economists on the right, the left and the center all agree Trump would throw us back into recession.”
Clinton’s speech in Columbus, Ohio, a state that will be a battleground in the Nov. 8 election, was the second in which she has argued the wealthy businessman is “temperamentally unfit” to lead the country. The first was on foreign relations and national security.
“Donald Trump has said he is qualified to be president because of his business record,” Clinton said.
“So let’s take a look at what he did for his businesses: He’s written a lot of books about business. They all seem to end at Chapter 11; go figure,” Clinton said, in a jab referring to Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.
Clinton then said Trump, a self-described “king of debt,” had allowed businesses to amass huge debts and declare bankruptcy, leaving hundreds of people without jobs and wiping out shareholders.
Allowing the United States to accrue similar debt would rattle investors and could lead to economic catastrophe, she added.
On Twitter during Clinton’s speech, Trump said, “I am ‘the king of debt.’ That has been great for me as a businessman, but is bad for the country. I made a fortune off of debt, will fix U.S.”
Clinton also said the likely Republican nominee’s tax plan – which aims to simplify the tax code, along with slashing the top corporate tax rate to 15 percent from 35 percent – would benefit the wealthy over working families. The nonpartisan Tax Foundation estimated the plan would increase the federal deficit by $9.5 trillion over the next decade.
The former secretary of state also said Trump’s plan to scrap trade deals could start “trade wars” and that the agreements should instead be renegotiated if they do not benefit American workers.
Clinton said Trump’s plan to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and deport undocumented immigrants would shake the workforce and prove disastrous for the U.S. economy, creating a “Trump recession.”
The tussle over the economy came as the two continued preparing for what is expected to be a fierce campaign. Trump was slated to give a speech criticizing Clinton in New York on Wednesday.
As the presumptive Democratic nominee spoke on Tuesday, Trump’s campaign tested what appeared to be a more active rapid-response operation, sending emails saying Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, had backed bad trade deals and that her immigration plan would lower wages.
(Reporting by Amanda Becker; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)