How Will the Next President’s Policies Impact Your Business?

In this presidential election year, it is hard to escape the 24/7 media coverage of the candidates: where they’re campaigning on any given day, what they’re saying, how they stand in the polls, and who made the latest gaff. Although some may want to tune all of this out, it is important to pay attention to their policies – whomever becomes president will likely introduce major policy shifts around wages, taxation, trade and other factors that can have far-reaching impacts on business.

What started as a large field of contenders ranging from political heavyweights to the more obscure candidates (see: Lincoln Chafee or Jim Gilmore), has gradually been reduced to five. The remaining candidates, two Democrats (Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders) and three Republicans (Ted Cruz, John Kasich and Donald Trump), each have widely different ideas on how to lead the future of the country.

So, where do these candidates stand on the crucial issues related to work? Consider the following cheat sheet to better understand the policy proposals of Clinton, Cruz, Kasich, Sanders and Trump.  

Hillary Clinton: One of Clinton’s tenets is to raise income for Americans by way of increasing the federal minimum wage to $12 an hour and strengthening overtime rules. She also advocates for ensuring workers receive a cut of corporate profits by introducing a 15 percent tax credit for companies that share profits on top of their wages and pay increases. Clinton has also vowed to invest in infrastructure, clean energy and scientific and medical research to create more jobs. In addition, she plans to restore union collective bargaining rights and protect workers against employer misclassification, wage theft and other forms of exploitation, as well as support working families through equal pay, paid family leave, earned sick days and affordable child care.

Ted Cruz: One of Cruz’s campaign promises is to create nearly 5 million jobs; by doing away with the current seven different rates of personal income tax in favor a single rate of 10 percent. He contends this would result in a 13.9 percent boost to the GDP, increase wages by 12.2 percent and create 4,861,000 additional jobs. His plan also includes regulatory reform to help employers innovate, expand and create new jobs. He is in favor of approving the Keystone Pipeline and other infrastructure projects to empower the private sector to create more jobs. He also vows to audit the Federal Reserve and create a rules-based monetary system to restore stability to the dollar and result in greater productivity, economic growth and higher incomes.

John Kasich: In his plan for the country, Kasich would draw heavily on the policies he enacted as governor of Ohio. This includes introducing policies that have helped job-creators in Ohio add hundreds of thousands of new private sector jobs. He believes a more competitive tax environment is key to job creation, and plans to eliminate the death tax, introduce a 16 percent income tax cut and phase out income taxes for small business. He contends this would free up more capital for growth and job creation. He also believes that unnecessary regulations stifles job creation and discourages investment and is committed to reducing hardships that he feels government places on business.

Bernie Sanders: Sanders is committed to reducing income and wealth inequality by increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2020. He also anticipates putting at least 13 million Americans to work by investing $1 trillion over five years to rebuild the country’s roads, bridges, railways and other infrastructure needs. He plans to fight for pay equity by signing the Paycheck Fairness Act into law to put an end to the fact that women earn 78 cents for every dollar a man earns. He also supports overtime pay protection and ensuring workers have a say in their economic futures by way of supporting the Employee Free Choice Act, making it easier for workers to organize and bargain collectively.

Donald Trump: Trump promises to lower the corporate tax rate in the U.S. to a standard 15 percent. In addition, he wants to create a new business income tax rate within the personal income tax code to match the 15 percent corporate tax rate, benefiting sole proprietors, unincorporated small businesses and freelancers who are often taxed at high personal income tax rates. Trump is also committed to providing tax relief for the middle class by way of a simpler tax code that would eliminate the marriage penalty and the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), resulting in the lowest tax rates since before World War II. Moreover, by discouraging corporate inversions, he plans to help grow the American economy and create many new jobs.

Agree with them or not, on November 8, 2016, the U.S. will elect one of the above as our new President. As such, knowing the policies of whomever is elected will help you prepare for any business changes he or she may introduce.