Clinton or Trump: Who’s Better for the U.S. Economy?

Posted: Jul 29, 2016 12:01 AM

At this year’s FreedomFest conference, by far the most fiery debate ever in our 10-year history was “The YUGE Debate: Trump, Pro and Con,” between Trump supporters Wayne Allyn Root and Dan Mangru and critics Matt Welch and Jeffrey Tucker (Nick Gillespie of ReasonTV was the moderator). It turned into a shouting match, the first ever at FreedomFest. Watch it here.

For investors, the big question is, which candidate would be better for the stock market and the economy?

Certainly, the first Clinton (Bill) was bullish for stocks — the stock market skyrocketed during the 1990s under Bill Clinton, who favored a cut in the capital gains tax and encouraged Fed chairman Alan Greenspan to adopt easy money policies. Unfortunately, Hillary is not like her husband and favors higher taxes on wealthy investors.

There’s even more uncertainty under Donald Trump. If elected, he will push through tax cuts (good), but will discourage international trade (bad).

The best candidate for the economy and stocks would be Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate. If the media would give him equal billing on TV and in the national debates, he might have a fighting chance. Sadly, it isn’t happening. Last year at FreedomFest, there was a media frenzy when Trump spoke there in Las Vegas. But this year, the media didn’t bother to cover Johnson’s speech. Even C-SPAN skipped our FreedomFest conference, July 13-16, to go directly to Cleveland for the Republican National Convention, July 18-21.

No matter who is elected president, the first year of the presidential cycle (2017) will probably be rough. Stocks tend to decline or rise very little in the first year of a new president. According to Ned Davis Research, the S&P 500 posted its weakest returns in the first year of the four-year election cycle. After a seven-year bull market, chances of a decline are high.

So who is going to win in November? Odds makers have Hillary winning 66% to Trump’s 32% — a landslide at this point. But the odds makers were wrong about Brexit, when U.K. voters opted to leave the European Union, so you never know. Frankly, Trump has been so divisive among Republicans that I can’t see how he can win, regardless of any of Hillary Clinton’s shortcomings.

By staying fully invested, subscribers to my Forecasts & Strategies newsletter have beaten the market and gained close to 10% so far this year. To read about one of my favorite current Forecasts & Strategies recommendations, I encourage you to click here.