Next US President Faces Economic Concerns

07 November, 2016

Many Americans want the presidential election campaign to end as quickly as possible.

Political observers say it has been one of the most negative campaigns in many years. The top two candidates have little, if anything, good to say about each other.

Some observers have already begun to think about what will happen after the election. They say it will be very difficult to lead the government in one of the largest economies in the world at a time of economic uncertainty.

William Galston was an aide to Bill Clinton when he served as president.

"Very simply, elections have consequences. You are being hired to do a job and the American people's understanding of what they're hiring you to do is based on what comes out of your mouth during the campaign."

Galston notes that if Donald Trump is elected president, he will be forced to announce the full cost of building a wall between the United States and Mexico. Building a wall to keep out illegal immigrants is one of Trump's main campaign promises.

The Republican Party presidential candidate has said that the project would cost $12 billion. But independent estimates suggest it would cost more than three times that much.

Galston says Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party's candidate, would have other questions to answer if she is elected. Clinton would be forced to explain how much her planned programs would cost and how she would put them in place.

"She's talked about a children('s) family policy. She's talked about a big infrastructure program. She's talked about comprehensive immigration reform. These are all the sorts of things that the American people will hold her responsible for doing."

Maya MacGuineas is the president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. The group is non-partisan, meaning it stays away from party politics.

MacGuineas says whoever wins the presidency will have a difficult time keeping campaign promises.

"Donald Trump, for instance, has promised not to fix entitlement programs -- Medicare and Social Security. Hillary Clinton has promised not to raise taxes on any family making below $250,000. Well that sounds nice, but if you want to spend as much as she wants to, you can't fix this problem from just taxing the rich alone."

She also says the next president will also have to deal with slow economic growth and a job market that worries many Americans.

In addition to slow-rising wages and growing income inequality, the federal government must deal with its growing debt. Experts believe it will be $20 trillion by the end of the year.

"Hillary Clinton, basically, would keep the status quo. Donald Trump would make it worse. So Hillary Clinton comes out significantly ahead, but neither of them has a plan to do what we're looking for and therefore nobody gets a passing grade."

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget says Trump's plan would add $5 trillion to the debt. It says Clinton's would add about $200 billion. Neither candidate has a plan to reduce the budget deficit.

I'm Christopher Jones-Cruise.

VOA's Mil Arcega reported this story from Washington. Christopher Jones-Cruise adapted the report for Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

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Words in This Story

negative – adj. harmful or bad; not wanted

uncertainty – n. the quality or state of being uncertain; something that is doubtful or unknown; something that is uncertain

consequence – n. something that happens as a result of a particular action or set of conditions

infrastructure – n. the basic equipment and structures (such as roads and bridges) that are needed for a country, region or organization to function properly

comprehensive – adj. including many, most or all things

entitlement program – n. a government program guaranteeing access to some benefit by members of a specific group and based on established rights or by legislation

status quo – n. the current situation; the way things are now

passing grade – n. showing that you completed a test or class in an acceptable way