Showdown 2016: Where the Candidates Stand

The Issues

John Kasich

Ted Cruz

Donald Trump

Hillary Clinton

Bernie Sanders

John Kasich Ted Cruz Donald Trump Hillary Clinton Bernie Sanders

Delegate Count(Delegates needed to win the nomination: Republican, 1,237; Democratic, 2,382)

143 465 739 1,170 delegates
467 superdelegates
870 delegates
26 superdelegates


Reduces the number of tax brackets to three from seven; lowering the top individual tax rate from 39.6 to 28 percent. Caps the long-term capital gains tax rate at 15 percent. Drops the top business tax rates from 35 to 25 percent. Establishes a flat rate of 10 percent on income. Replaces the corporate tax with a 16 percent business transfer tax applying to all capital income and labor payments. Calls for a “simplified” tax code with four brackets: 0, 10, 20 and 25 percent. No business would pay more than 15 percent of its business income in taxes. Adds a 4 percent surtax on income over $5 million. No specific proposal on corporate taxes. Establishes four new brackets of 37, 43, 48, and 52 percent. . No specific proposal on corporate taxes.

Estate Taxes

Eliminates the estate tax. Eliminates the estate tax. Eliminates the estate tax. Increases the top estate tax rate to 45 percent, and lowers the estate tax exclusion to $3.5 million. Increases the top estate tax rate to 65 percent, and lowers the estate tax exclusion to $3.5 million.

Fiduciary Rule

No public position. No public position. No public position. Wrote a letter indicating she would support the rule. Made comments in October in support of the rule.


Supported a bill to reduce the percentage of Social Security benefits that is taxable from 85 to 50 percent for single taxpayers with incomes over $25,000 and married couples with incomes over $32,000. Proposed establishing personal retirement savings accounts. Wants to raise the Social Security retirement age and cap cost-of-living increases. He advocates allowing workers to save up to $25,000 per year in Universal Savings Accounts (USA). Opposes cuts to Social Security and raising the retirement age. Would expand Social Security by increasing taxes on the wealthiest Americans by raising the cap on Social Security taxable income and taxing other income not currently taken into account . Would boost Social Security funding by raising the system’s taxable wage base to $250,000 (it is $118,500 in 2016).


The Kasich Action Plan includes a one-year freeze on major new regulations. It also calls on Congress to require mandatory cost-benefit analysis in rule making. Attributes lack of economic growth to government regulation. “From what I understand, economic growth is not going to come from a bunch of politicians in Washington… The No. 1 thing government can do to encourage that growth is get out of the way.” In 2012, he wrote “government regulations cost us annually $1.75 trillion. They constitute a stealth tax that is larger than the amount the IRS collects every year from corporations and individuals combined. Has said she would use the regulatory authority of the U.S. Department of the Treasury to curb the number of corporate inversions, mergers between U.S. companies and foreign corporations structured to reduce their taxes. Frequently blames Wall Street for the financial recession and has endorsed implementing strong regulations on corporations to protect the American people.


Supports repeal. Quote: “You do not want to kill the small banks and the medium-sized banks. But in addition, you know, the big banks need to reserve against risks.” Supports repeal. Quote: “A law of massive complexity, Dodd-Frank does nothing to prevent future financial bailouts, but instead subjects the financial sector to costly new regulatory burdens — the cost of which invariably will be passed on to consumers.” Supports repeal. Quote: ‘Under Dodd-Frank, the regulators are running the banks,” Trump said. “And the problem is that the banks aren’t loaning money to people who will create jobs.” Supports law. Quote: Vowed to “fight for tough new rules, stronger enforcement and more accountability that go well beyond Dodd-Frank.” Voted for Dodd-Frank and has introduced legislation to break up the big banks. Quote: “If an institution is too big to fail, it is too big to exist and that is the bottom line.”


Supports repeal. Envisions a “managed competition” healthcare plan that would “contain costs and improve access that does not include mandated health alliances, government cost control powers, or employer/employee mandates.” Supports repeal. Voted for the Health Care Choice Act, which would have repealed the ACA insurance mandates and amended the Public Health Service Act to allow insurance policies to be sold across state lines. Supports repeal. Has said his plan will have free market principles and allow insurance to be purchased across state lines. Vowed to strengthen the ACA, and introduced an affordable healthcare and prescription drug plan. Supports a “Medicaid for all” single-payer plan, which he says he will pay for by increasing taxes on the rich.