- Joe Biden is the Democratic nominee for president, and he's proposed $4 trillion in new tax increases to fund a collection of federal programs to pull the US out of recession.
- Among the measures are a possible round of stimulus checks, state aid, $8,000 tax credits for parents with young kids, and coverage of health-insurance costs for newly jobless people.
- He also supports boosting unemployment benefits, though his platform doesn't specify an amount.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Joe Biden accepted the Democratic presidential nomination on Thursday evening. He said he could bridge fierce political divisions if he's elected and set in motion an ambitious agenda to address a collection of historic challenges facing America.
The US has been beset by numerous crises, Biden said. The former vice president named the coronavirus pandemic and the economic crisis stemming from it, along with climate change and a racial justice movement — a combination he called "a perfect storm."
In his speech, Biden cast President Donald Trump's record as disastrous (without naming him once). He argued he could provide an antidote to the Trump presidency by reinforcing the public health response and recalibrating the economic scales of power away from the rich and towards the middle class. He said:
"Nearly one in six small businesses have closed this year. And this president, if he's re-elected, you know what will happen. Cases and deaths will remain far too high. More mom-and-pop businesses will close their doors, and this time for good. Working families will struggle to get by. And yet the wealthiest one percent will get tens of billions of dollars in new tax breaks."
To that end, Biden has proposed nearly $4 trillion in new tax increases over the next decade, according to an analysis from the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center. Most of the new taxes would fall squarely upon the top 1% of households, and some revenue would come from a partial repeal of the 2017 GOP tax cuts.
"There is a clear and concerted effort to tackle racial inequality on a scale we haven't seen in generations," Indivar Dutta-Gupta, co-executive director of the Georgetown Center for Poverty and Inequality, recently told Business Insider. "There is a clear willingness to raise substantial revenue from the highest-income households in a way we haven't seen for decades."
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Biden's pandemic platform
Biden would increase funding for coronavirus testing and tracing to slow the rate of infections and ultimately thwart the virus. Most economists say the US economy won't be able to recover until the spread of the pathogen is under control with a vaccine.
But with unemployment still likely to be near 10% next year, Biden has laid out a roadmap to jumpstart an economic recovery. Among those key measures:
- Another possible round of stimulus checks.
- Boosting unemployment benefits and strengthening existing systems.
- Implementing paid sick leave for workers.
- Creating an $8,000 annual tax credit for parents of young children.
- Covering the cost of health-insurance for newly unemployed people.
It also includes federal aid to states. Local and state governments can draw from a pool of funding to enact rental relief programs or assist small businesses in dire financial straits due to the pandemic.
Congress approved a one-time $1,200 stimulus check for the majority of American taxpayers earlier this year. Republicans and Democrats in Congress support a second round in negotiations for another stimulus package, but those talks are stalled. The Biden plan doesn't specify an amount.
Other pillars of Biden's economic plan include a $700 billion initiative to shore up US manufacturing and research programs to spur innovation at home. It's part of a broader campaign plan called "Building Back Better," which also includes initiatives to tackle racial inequality.
"When Vice President Biden says building back better, he means building an economy that is far more resilient to the kinds of shocks that come fast and furiously in today's global economy," Jared Bernstein, an outside economic adviser to Biden, said on PBS Newshour.
Much of Biden's agenda hinges on Democrats retaking control of the Senate, which Republicans have controlled since 2014. With the filibuster in place, the size of a Democratic majority could decide whether Biden is thwarted by a GOP that's unlikely to support many of his proposals.
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