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Election Guide: Where the Candidates Stand on Issues Affecting Business

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Ready to vote? Here’s a two-minute update on where the US presidential candidates stand on key issues for businesses and the economy. 

If you’re a registered voter in the United States, chances are you already know how you will vote in the upcoming 2020 presidential election. 

However, if you’re among the estimated 11% of eligible voters who remain undecided about whether to vote for President Donald Trump or former Vice President Joe Biden, or if you just want to know where each candidate stands on the issues, you might find the following scorecard especially handy.

Below, we highlight the two candidates’ positions on key issues impacting business like labor, health care, taxation and sustainability. 

As you can imagine, the candidates have clear distinctions on where they stand: Biden favors more government spending and an increase to corporate income taxes, while Trump proposes extending his 2017 tax cuts and removing more government red tape. Both candidates, however, promise to provide more stimulus support for businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

For deeper analysis on what to expect in the Nov. 3 election, including key Senate, House and gubernatorial races, we hope you’ll attend our Oct. 28 political outlook webinar, What to Expect on Election Day. To register for this event, click here.

Joe Biden

  • Expand government health care programs with a Medicare-type public option to compete with private insurance.

  • Allow Americans ages 60 to 64 to buy into Medicare.

  • Allow Medicare to negotiate Rx drug prices.

  • Penalize drug price increases that are greater than the inflation rate.

  • Prohibit “surprise billing.”

  • Double federal investment in community health centers.

Donald Trump

  • Continue efforts to limit implementation of the Obama-era Affordable Care Act.

  • Propose rules on drug pricing that include importing certain drugs from Canada.

  • Require drug makers to list prices in TV ads and reform rebates to pharmacy benefit managers.

  • Promote efforts for a bipartisan deal from Congress to reduce drug prices.

  • Combat surprise billing with rules requiring hospitals and insurers to display prices online.

taxation

Joe Biden

  • Raise the corporate income tax rate from 21% to 28%.
  • Remove the capital gains inheritance loophole and the 20% deduction on pass-through income.
  • Cap the value of all tax deductions at 28%.
  • Double the Global Intangible Low-Taxed Income to 21%.
  • Implement a minimum 15% tax on reported corporate profits.
  • Sanction foreign tax havens to “tighten up” compliance.
  • Pledge to not raise taxes on those making less than $400,000 a year.

 Donald Trump 

  • Extend the 2017 individual tax cuts, which are set to expire in 2025, to 2035.
  • Implement $4.4 trillion in spending cuts over 10 years, with half of the cuts coming from changes to welfare programs.
  • Propose coronavirus relief measures like cutting payroll taxes and relief to hourly workers. 

Labor

Joe Biden

  • Increase the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour.
  • Expand worker protections to the “gig economy.”
  • Enforce federal labor laws by increasing employment agency investigators, codifying Obama-era National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) rules, and issuing a federal debarment for employers who engage in union-busting.
  • Expand union membership through a federal guarantee for public sector employees to collectively bargain and ban state “right to work” laws.
  • Penalize corporations and hold executives personally liable if they interfere with union organizing efforts.

Donald Trump  

  • Maintain the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.
  • Continue deregulation. The administration has carried out deregulatory actions at the NLRB, including rescinding the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces executive order and replacing the Browning-Ferris decision on joint employer standards. 
  • Expand and reform apprenticeship and job training programs.
  • Enact tax cuts and other policies to boost job creation.
  • Veto the Protect the Right to Organize (PRO) Act if passed by Congress. 

sustainability

Joe Biden

  • Achieve 100% net-zero emissions by 2050.
  • Adopt more stringent fuel economy and GHG emission standards.
  • Promote a carbon pricing mechanism. 
  • Rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement and negotiate with countries to increase domestic environmental standards.
  • Provide a tax credit for electric vehicles and build a national electric charging system of 500,000 outlets by 2030.

Donald Trump  

  • Enact a rule to “modernize and accelerate” environmental reviews under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). 
  • Continue rolling back back Obama-era environmental regulations.
  • Maintain U.S.-focused environmental efforts. 
  • Resist attempts to enact a carbon tax.
  • Eliminate the electric vehicle tax credit. 

small business

Joe Biden

  • Provide a bigger share of CARES Act stimulus money to small businesses.
  • Support the True Small Business Fund, a $60 billion loan facility for small lenders and community-based lenders.
  • Propose $50 billion in public-private venture capital for minority-owned businesses.
  • Propose $100 billion in low-interest business loans for communities of color. 

Donald Trump 

  • Sign a new stimulus bill for individuals and businesses affected by the pandemic.  
  • Continue pushing for cuts to regulations that affect small businesses, reforming laws like the National Environmental Policy Act. 
  • Propose other coronavirus relief measures like cutting payroll taxes.

Source: Peck Madigan Jones

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