US Elections: Biden looks to restore, expand Obama administration policies
Washington, Oct 31: Joe Biden is promising to take the country on a very different path from what it has seen over the past four years under President Donald Trump, on issues ranging from the coronavirus and health care to the environment, education and more.
The Democratic presidential nominee is promising to reverse Trump policy moves on things such as withdrawing the US from the Paris climate agreement and weakening protections against environmental pollution.
While Trump wants to kill the Affordable Care Act, Biden is proposing to expand "Obamacare" by adding a public option to cover more Americans.
Here''s what we know about what a Biden presidency might look like.
ECONOMY, TAXES AND THE DEBT
Biden argues that the economy cannot fully recover until COVID-19 is contained.
For the long-term recovery, the former vice president is pitching sweeping federal action to avoid an extended recession and to address long-standing wealth inequality that disproportionately affects nonwhite Americans.
He would cover the cost of some of his big ticket environmental and health insurance proposals by rolling back much of the 2017 GOP tax overhaul. He wants a corporate income tax rate of 28 per cent - lower than before but higher than now - and broad income and payroll tax increases for individuals with more than USD 400,000 of annual taxable income. All that would generate an estimated USD 4 trillion or more over 10 years.
Biden also frames immigration as an economic matter. He wants to expand legal immigration slots and offer a citizenship path for about 11 million people who are in the country illegally but who, Biden notes, are already economic contributors as workers and consumers.
An analysis from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimates that Biden''s campaign proposals would increase the national debt by about $5.6 trillion over 10 years.
The national debt now stands at more than USD 20 trillion.
Biden draws some of his sharpest contrasts with Trump on the pandemic, arguing that the presidency and federal government exist for such crises. Unlike Trump, he doesn''t believe the leading role in the virus response should belong to state governors, with the federal government in support.
Biden endorses generous federal spending to help businesses and individuals, along with state and local governments, deal with the financial cliffs of the pandemic slowdown.
He''s promised aggressive use of the Defense Production Act, the wartime law a president can use to direct manufacture of critical supplies. Trump has used that law on such things as ventilator production.
Biden promises to elevate the government''s scientists and physicians to communicate a consistent message to the public, and he would have the United States rejoin the World Health Organization.
He has promised to use his transition period before taking office to convene meetings with every governor and ask those leaders to impose what would be a nationwide mask mandate because the federal government doesn''t have that power.
Biden says he would go around holdouts by securing such rules from county and local officials - though enforcement of all such orders may be questionable.
The health care law known as "Obamacare" was a hallmark of the Obama administration, and Biden wants to build on that to provide coverage for all. He would create a "Medicare-like public option" to compete alongside private insurance markets for working-age Americans, while increasing premium subsidies that many people already use. Solid middle-class households would have access to subsidised health insurance.
Biden has called Trump''s actions on immigration an "unrelenting assault" on American values and says he would "undo the damage" while continuing to maintain border enforcement.
Biden says he would immediately reinstate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, which allowed people brought to the U.S. illegally as children to remain as legal residents, and end the restrictions on asylum imposed by Trump.
He also said he would end the Trump administration''s "public charge rule," which would deny visas or permanent residency to people who use public services such as Medicaid, food stamps or housing vouchers. Biden would support a 100-day freeze on all deportations while his administration studied ways to roll back Trump policies.
FOREIGN POLICY AND NATIONAL SECURITY
Biden supports a strategy of fighting extremist militants abroad with U.S. special forces and airstrikes instead of planeloads of U.S. troops. He wants to see the U.S. close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay.
He has backed some U.S. military interventions, including the 2003 invasion of Iraq that he now says was a mistake, but he leans toward diplomacy and trying to achieve solutions through alliances and global institutions.
He is a strong supporter of NATO. He warns that Moscow is chipping away at the foundation of Western democracy by trying to weaken NATO, divide the European Union and undermine the U.S. electoral system. He also alleges that Russia is using Western financial institutions to launder billions of dollars to use to influence politicians.
Biden is proposing a USD 2 trillion push to slow global warming by throttling back the burning of fossil fuels, aiming to make the nation''s power plants, vehicles, mass transport systems and buildings more fuel efficient and less dependent on oil, gas and coal.
with PTI inputs