Wednesday, Jan. 6 will go down in history as an unprecedented day of violent unrest in the Capitol apparently encouraged by President Trump. But one day later, the electoral college votes for President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. have been formally certified by Congress, and the president has promised a peaceful transition of power for the first time in an official statement:
“Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th. I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!”
In his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention – a moment that may now feel like a lifetime ago, but was less than five months ago – Biden said his economic plan “is all about jobs, dignity, respect and community.” There are many ways the future president’s policies can affect your wallet beyond the taxes you pay. From fighting the coronavirus to lowering drug prices to his jobs plan, see how Biden’s planned programs will have a direct effect on how much you earn, spend and save.
Biden has called for any efforts to return to normal be mitigated by the best scientific evidence. He advocates wearing masks as a way to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in public spaces, citing clear evidence of their effectiveness in doing so in most other countries. He has called for a national mask mandate.
He supports offering financial support to states to allow them to extend unemployment benefits, and he has presented plans for trillions in new spending to help create jobs. He also plans on a third stimulus check, which is very likely now that the election in Georgia has resulted in a Democratic-controlled Senate.
Biden has cautioned against reopening until the country ramps up testing for COVID-19. He has said he’ll listen to scientists on how to proceed. In the second presidential debate Biden said, “What I would say is I’m going to shut down the virus, not the country.” He has said that he would shut down reopenings if they are followed by an outbreak.
In regards to schools reopening, Biden supports new federal spending on equipment and training that would allow for safer reopening plans.
Biden has criticized the Trump 2017 tax cut and advocates returning the top tax bracket to 39.6% from its current rate of 37%. Under Biden’s plan, taxes wouldn’t increase for households earning less than $400,000 a year.
Affordable Care Act
Biden has been a vocal proponent of the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, and is proposing an influx of $750 billion in new spending over the next decade to strengthen the law, financed by raising taxes on the wealthy.
Biden supports the bill passed by the House of Representatives last year that would allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices in the same way private insurers do.
Biden wants to lower the eligibility age for Medicare to 60, giving access to an additional 20 million Americans.
Biden has advocated plans for supporting domestic manufacturing, including investing $700 billion in industrial research and American-made products that he believes will create 5 million jobs.
Biden has proposed a $2 trillion investment in his first term — along with research into advanced models for nuclear energy — with a goal of reaching 100% clean energy generation by 2035.
Biden supports increasing emissions standards for automobiles that were created during the Obama administration. He also wants incentives for producing zero-emission cars, a new federal procurement program to put clean vehicles in federal fleets and a mandate for all new buses to be zero emissions by 2030.
Tech and Privacy
Biden has criticized major tech firms during his campaign and proposed a new minimum federal tax for companies such as Amazon. Has said he would explore breaking up big tech firms.
Biden has called for revoking Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which exempts social media platforms from being held liable for posts made by users. He wants data privacy standards that are similar to those that exist in most of Europe.
Biden wants to invest $20 billion in a rural broadband project — paid for by tax increases on businesses and richer Americans — designed to expand access to high-speed internet in remote areas and potentially save Americans a lot of money.
Student Loan Debt
Biden supports addressing the student debt problem by expanding or supporting existing programs, such as the Obama administration’s income-driven repayment initiative and those that forgive student loan debt if the borrower takes part in certain forms of public service. He has expressed support for some loan forgiveness for low-income borrowers.
Biden has expressed broad support for increasing resources available to educators and parents across the country as part of efforts to reduce the inequalities that exist between districts.
Biden wants to establish minimum collective bargaining rights for public employees and create a cabinet-level group to support labor organizing. He wants to raise the national minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 an hour.
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