Election 2020: What to Expect from Trump and Biden on Economic Policy
Between COVID-19 woes and record unemployment, the economy has become one of the most important issues on voters’ minds heading into the 2020 presidential election. With November fast approaching, what should employers know about President Trump’s and former Vice President Biden’s approach to economic policy—and how will each plan impact companies around the country?
What is President Trump’s Economic Platform?
Much like his approach to healthcare, President Trump is running on economic victories from the past four years as commander-in-chief. According to his 2020 campaign website, Trump identifies the following as key economic victories:
- The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: A historic tax reform bill, this piece of legislation cut taxes for small businesses, repealed the ACA individual mandate, and lowered the corporate tax rate.
- New Job Growth: The U.S. unemployment rate was at a 50-year low of 3.5% before the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the economy is still recovering from the effects of the outbreak, which saw a record 14.4% unemployment rate in April. As of August 2020, that percentage had dropped to 8.4%.
- Driving Economic Empowerment of Women: In 2019, the Trump Administration launched the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative (W-GDP), which dedicated $50 million to advance women’s participation in the global economy, including workforce participation, entrepreneurship, and economic participation.
- Expanded Federally Funded Apprenticeship Programs: President Trump signed an executive order in 2017 that made it easier for businesses to develop apprenticeship programs and on-the-job training opportunities.
- COVID-19 Relief: Under the Trump Administration, the SBA loaned billions of dollars to small business owners through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to fight the economic impact of the coronavirus. President Trump also signed executive orders in August 2020 to provide aid in lieu of stalled, Congress-backed COVID-19 relief.
What is Former Vice President Biden’s Economic Platform?
As the challenger in the 2020 race, Biden’s approach to economic policy is built on what he plans to do differently from the Trump administration. According to his 2020 campaign website, Biden identifies the following as key focuses if he wins in November:
- Comprehensive COVID-19 Strategy: Biden plans to provide immediate relief to working families, small businesses, and communities by extending crisis unemployment insurance; giving aid to state, local, and tribal governments to protect essential workers; and issuing a “comeback package” to local businesses and entrepreneurs. Biden also plans to enlist unemployed workers to help fight and recover from the pandemic.
- Mobilize American Manufacturing and Innovation: Biden plans to invest in American-made products and industry to strengthen small business supply chains and boost quality union jobs in manufacturing and technology.
- Build a Modern Infrastructure and Establish a Clean Energy Future: The former Vice President has released proposals that address rebuilding America’s infrastructure and building “a clean energy economy” to address climate change.
- Invest in Education and Home Care: Other proposals look to “ease the burden of care” for working parents and especially women, including more affordable childcare and home care for aging relatives and people with disabilities. This plan also includes supporting educators with improved pay and benefits.
- Advance Racial Equity: Biden plans to address the racial wealth gap by expanding affordable housing, investing in BIPOC entrepreneurs and communities, and more.
What Should Employers Expect Heading into the Election?
It’s difficult to predict exactly how the next few months will play out. Contrary to popular belief, American presidents actually have less control over the economy than imagined. However, there are a few takeaways from the candidates’ planned approaches:
- If President Trump wins reelection, employers can expect a continued commitment to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, as well as the eventual rise in American employment once the coronavirus is eradicated or controlled. A second Trump Administration may also succeed in repealing Obamacare—a key pillar of the president’s healthcare policy.
- If former Vice President Biden wins, employers can expect a different approach to COVID-19 relief in the short-term, as well as other government-led initiatives that are designed to strengthen small businesses and entrepreneurs in the long-term. The Biden campaign has also promised to support and restore Obamacare.
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