Trump fails to say how he'd make America great again

The GOP debate in three minutes
The GOP debate in three minutes

Once again, Donald Trump failed to bring fresh ideas on the issue that Americans care about most: the economy.

The closest he got was on Social Security.

CNN's Dana Bash pushed Trump on whether rich Americans like him should be receiving modest monthly payments from the government when they retire.

The average Social Security recipient gets about $16,000 a year. That's peanuts for Trump, regardless of whether his wealth is really $2.9 billion as Bloomberg News estimates or $10 billion as he likes to say on the campaign trail.

"I would be willing to check it off, and say I will not get Social Security," said Trump.

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But when pressed on whether he thinks all rich people shouldn't get Social Security, he retreated to what he does best: talking about Trump.

"I would be willing to write mine off 100%," he said. But "As a policy, I would ... leave it up to the people."

But he didn't really talk national policy.

While Trump is still leading in the polls, his lack of ideas is starting to bite him. He largely faded in the second half of the CNN debate as personalities mattered less and policy mattered more.

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The general consensus is that Carly Fiorina won the night. She managed to get in entertaining one-liners, take jabs at Trump and still lay out some pronounced stances on everything from Planned Parenthood funding to Iran to medical marijuana use.

It's telling that Trump's campaign website has a section called "Positions" and there's only one item on there: Immigration reform.

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Trump biggest ideas so far are:

1. An immigration plan that could cost the U.S. a ton to put up walls and deport millions of people.

2. A protectionist trade policy that experts say could start a trade war with Mexico and China (among others) and harm U.S. industry even more.

3. Taxing hedge fund managers more by ending the a loophole that allows managers to pay lower income taxes -- their investment gains fall under the lower capital gains tax rate of 20% vs. the top income tax rate of nearly 40%.

Trump deserves praise for making the hedge fund tax loophole a talking point on the 2016 campaign trail. Even Jeb Bush joined in and endorsed the idea.

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But while that's a good start, it's certainly not a wide-ranging tax policy, let alone an economic plan.

Americans are worried about wages, jobs, inequality and a deep unease that their children might not end up better off.

Trump's slogan "Make America Great Again" tapped perfectly into that concern and uncertainty. But as the campaign rolls on, people will want solutions to their problems.

Perhaps Fiorina summed it up best Wednesday night: "All of us will be revealed over time and under pressure. I look forward to a long race."

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