Both Biden and Trump Plan to Spend Well Beyond the Government’s Means
Admittedly, comparing the tax and spending proposals of the legacy-party presidential candidates seems a bit pointless in 2020. This isn’t an election waged over policy; it’s a grudge match between two tribes of mutually loathing partisan drones with incumbent President Donald Trump serving as the living totem of all they respectively love or loathe—cults of personality and anti-personality.
That said, there are differences between what Republican Trump and Democrat Joe Biden threaten to inflict on us in terms of raising revenue and how to spend it. The details are hard to nail down—probably deliberately so on the part of the campaigns—but Trump essentially promises tax cuts (and penalties for those who cross him) while spending too much, and Biden intends to raise taxes while ignoring the idea that spending must be constrained in any way.
When it comes to taxes, Trump continues the Republican Party’s traditional interest in reducing the government’s take.
“Without further details or clarification, it is difficult to fully analyze President Trump’s second term tax policy agenda,” Erica York noted last week for the Tax Foundation. “Broad themes of the president’s agenda include providing tax relief to individuals and tax credits to businesses that engage in desired activities.”
The exception is on the matter of tariffs, given that the president has wandered from his party’s long-time support of free trade.
“In his first term, President Trump has imposed more than $80 billion of tax increases in the form of tariffs,” adds York. “Recently, the president said he would impose tariffs on companies that do not move jobs back to the United States from overseas. Whether this is a formal policy proposal is unclear, but it indicates the possibility of continued tariffs if Trump wins reelection.”
Biden, too, fulfills the role you would expect of his party affiliation as a Democrat.
“Biden has not released a single formal tax plan, but he has proposed many tax changes and incre
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