Video: Trump adds new details on how he plans to shrink government to pay for tax cuts
Donald Trump offered his most detailed explanation to date on how he will shrink government to pay for his massive tax cut plan, saying the federal departments that regulate classrooms and the environment is in for "big league" reductions if he is elected president.
During an interview while campaigning Thursday in Florida, the GOP nominee said the Department of Education, with a $154 billion annual budget, was getting in the way of local control of schools, and its bureaucracy was ripe to be dramatically slashed in a Trump administration.
'Bring education local'
"We want to bring education local so we're going to be cutting the Department of Education big league because we're running our education from Washington D.C., which is ridiculous, instead of running it out of Miami or running it out of the different place that we have so many people," Trump told Circa.
Love not bureaucracy
The Department of Education and its regulatory authority have long been conservative targets for elimination or cutting, but the agency's budget has survived on the strength of opposition from Democrats and teachers unions.
Trump, who earlier in the campaign vowed to reverse the federally-backed Common Core curriculum, said he felt comfortable slashing the department's budget because schools need to be governed at the local level "from love and not bureaucratically."
EPA? 'Cut that down to shreds'
Trump identified another federal agency resented by conservatives, the Environmental Protection Agency, for big cuts as well. "If you look at education and the EPA there is so much waste in that whole group that we can cut that down into shreds," he said.
During a nationally televised speech Monday at the Detroit Economic Club, Trump offered a broad-brush economic plan that included aggressive tax cuts and reduction of federal regulations. On Thursday, he drilled down into specifics on how he would carry out the vision.
"What's going on with small businesses, it's terrible," he told Circa. "I'm meeting these people all over the country and as high as taxes are they're more concerned with regulations. Because they can't keep their business going."
Some advocates for small business applauded Trump's position. "There are 85 million hard-working Americans dependent on the success or failure of the small business, and we like to say small business is too big to fail," said Alfredo Ortiz, the head of the Job Creators Network group that champions small business interests.
'A huge benefit in particular to the top 1 percent'
Others aren't so pleased with Trump's plan. Ryan Erickson, the associate director of economic campaigns for the Center for American Progress, told Circa that Trump's plan to lower the corporate tax rate would only benefit "America's wealthiest families."
"There's a huge benefit in particular to the top 1 percent, who pay about 47 percent of all corporate taxes," he said.
Low income families 'stand to lose a lot'
Erickson also said Trump would only be hurting vulnerable populations by cutting the Department of Education.
"There's no question that in cutting the Department of Education in particular, low-income and middle class families stand to lose a lot," he said. "The Education Department gets about 70 billion dollars annually in funding, and putting aside that [Trump's] tax proposals are likely to cost significantly more than that, 70 billion dollars goes to help some of our most vulnerable students."
Roll back overtime regulation
"And there are 85 million hard working Americans who would agree with that," Trump said.
"We have to address the issues of over-taxation and over-regulation and the lack of access to credit markets to get our small business owners thriving again. Rolling back the overtime regulation is just one example of the many regulations that need to be addressed to do that. We would love to see a delay or a carve-out of sorts for our small business owners."
No cuts to Pentagon's budget
Trump said there is one area of the $3 trillion-plus annual federal budget he won't touch. "We don't want to cut the military because the military is depleted. Right now, so terribly depleted," he said.
The interview occurred the same day that Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton unveiled an update to her economic plan, suggesting her policies increasing taxes on the rich and lowering burdens on the middle class was a better direction.
Clinton's economic plan
She accused Trump of lowering corporate taxes and income tax rates and lifting a cap on the deductibility of child care costs to benefit the rich.
"Based on what we know from the Trump campaign, he wants America to work for him and his friends, at the expense of everyone else," she said during a stop at a manufacturing plant in Warren, Michigan.
Trump wasted no time countering, saying Clinton's economic plan would impose $1.3 trillion in new taxes and be "catastrophic" to main street America while benefiting what he called the Clinton family's political cronies.
"She was a disaster as a Senator from New York. Unemployment went rampant. It was a total catastrophic situation and she'll do the same for our country," he told Circa.
For more news of the day, check out our 60 Second Circa above.