In his first 2020 presidential campaign speech, former Vice President Joe Biden explained that the United States needs to completely redefine what equals a successful economy in order to better provide for the middle class. On Monday, while speaking in front of a crowd of union workers outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Biden provided little to no information on how to accomplish this. Although, he did say that the 2017 tax cuts from the Republicans didn’t do anything to help. Biden also advocated for the mandatory national minimum wage of $15 per hour.
Biden said: “I think we have to rethink how we define what constitutes a successful economy. It’s not enough for the stock market to rise. That’s not a bad thing, but it’s just not enough. Workers feel powerless, too often humiliated. I call it an abuse of power.” When Biden spoke about the GOP tax cuts, he said: “There was a $2 trillion tax cut last year. Did you feel it? Did you get anything from it?” In response, hundreds of audience members at the Teamsters union hall yelled out, “No!” Biden continued by saying: “All of it went to the folks at the top and corporations that pay no taxes. The number of corporations that pay no taxes now has doubled since [then].”
The Republican tax plan cut $1.9 trillion taxes for companies and individuals of every income level throughout a period of ten years. According to the Congressional Budget Office, $461 billion of that money would be offset by increased revenues created from economic growth.
According to The Hill, the Institute of Taxation and Economic Policy released a report earlier this month that found that many corporations “used a ‘diverse array of legal tax breaks,’ including accelerated depreciation, stock options and energy-related tax subsidies to ‘zero out’ their federal income taxes.” The Institution of Taxation and Economic Policy also pointed out that many of the tax breaks were active before the GOP tax plan. Because of this, the corporate tax rate decreased from 35% to 21%, which is slightly below average.
Corporations are also responsible for paying other forms of federal taxes for their employees, such as Social Security taxes. According to the Tax Policy Center, the payroll receipts for 2017 were over $850 billion. Half of that money came from corporate employers, while the other half came from their employees. Anyone who is self-employed must pay the entire 12.4% of their salaries.
Soon after Biden gave his speech, Trump tweeted: “Pittsburgh jobless rate hits lowest point since the early 1970s (maybe even better than that) and Sleepy Joe just had his first rally there. Fact is, every economic aspect of our Country is the best it has ever been!”
Earlier in the day, Trump tweeted: “Sleepy Joe Biden is having his first rally in the Great State of Pennsylvania. He obviously doesn’t know that Pennsylvania is having one of the best economic years in its history, with lowest unemployment EVER, a now thriving Steel Industry (that was dead) & great future!”
According to NBC News, the Georgetown Institute of Politics and Public Service “Battleground Poll” discovered that 58% of voters are in approval for how President Trump has handled the economy. According to the Department of Labor, the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits has dropped to an almost 50-year low.
According to The Washington Post, U.S. workers are finally seeing the fastest wage growth in ten years, dating back to before President Obama was in the White House. Larry Kudlow, Trump’s top economic adviser, made his case earlier this year at the Conservative Political Action Conference. He explained that the economic policies enacted by the Trump Administration have caused the boom in the economy. “It’s the hottest economy in the world,” said Kudlow.
Kudlow also pointed out that the answer to creating economic growth include lowering tax rates on businesses and individuals, cutting regulations, negotiating new trade deals, and unleashing the energy sector of business. Every single one of these policies goes against everything that Obama tried to do while he was president. “Our opponents are proposing to overturn America’s success and its greatness. It’s crazy stuff … high taxes, health care take over, impoverished poverty traps … socialism,” said Kudlow.