I listened to the reports of last night’s US Presidential Election debate. I’ve only heard edited highlights but it sounds like Clinton came out on top. Of course, that is filtered not only through the bias of Radio 4 but also my own assumptions. The real winner of a debate is the one who persuades listeners of their point of view and I suspect a lot of people have not wavered from where they were before. Trump is still appealing to a popular vote; everything he says seems designed to appeal to whoever is sitting in the gallery.
One thing that struck me was his claim that he would significantly reduce the US corporate tax bill down to 15%. I can see that would appeal to a lot of corporate businesses. The question I think Clinton needs to ask is who is going to pay for this? If corporations pay less, are they going to give more to their workers or just claim it as increased profits for the owners? If tax revenue goes down, what is Trump going to cut in order to make up the shortfall?
Looking from the outside, I wonder if he really has a plan for what he will actually do if he wins? In the UK, ‘Brexit’ has been a farce so far – the victorious leavers have dropped many of their promises and really don’t seem to have a consensus on what they actually want to negotiate for. To my mind, that makes a mockery of the referendum. If Trump comes out on top in the US, I think even Brexit will be overshadowed in the ‘they voted for what!?!’ stakes.