The Final Two: A look at the remaining 2020 candidates

Where Joe Biden and Donald Trump stand on similar issues.

Biden+and+Trump+in+their+respective+government+photos.

David Lienemann and Shealah Craighead

Biden and Trump in their respective government photos.

Joe Biden

Brief History:

  • Age – Joe Biden is 77 and was born Nov. 20, 1942.
  • Overview – He was born in Pennsylvania, and moved to Delaware in the third grade. He became a senator in 1973, and around that time his family got into a car accident that left his wife and daughter dead and his two sons in bad condition. Over several decades he garnered quite the legacy as a senator, and in 2008 was selected as Obama’s vice president. He served for eight years and after a 4-year hiatus from politics, is now running for president in 2020.

Experience:

  • Political Experience: Was a senator for 36 years (January 3, 1973 – January 15, 2009) 
  • Some of his past positions are frowned down on by democrats of today because of how long Biden has been in politics and how the landscape has changed. Some of these include voting for the Iraq war and working with segregationists.

Policies:

  • Taxes and Economy Biden constantly pushes his economic policies as expanding and reinvigorating the middle class by pushing policy that will award hardworking Americans with a path to the middle class. According to CNN, “Biden said he would raise the top individual income tax rate to 39.5% and raise the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%.” Further, he would raise the minimum wage to $15.
  • Immigration Biden wants to give many illegal immigrants a path to citizenship and believes that those brought to the US illegally as young children and protected under DACA should be immediately given citizenship. He does not believe in decriminalizing border crossing and believes people should go through the system but it must be modernized. On his website, he also says we have to, “rescind the un-American travel and refugee bans, also referred to as Muslim bans.”
  • Foreign Policy –  Biden believes that renewing America’s alliances and establishing our presence as a dignified country is imperative. According to his website, he believes that America should, “lead the world by example and rally the world to meet our common challenges that no one nation can face on its own, from climate change to nuclear proliferation[…]” In his eyes, Donald Trump has diminished America’s foreign relations greatly. Biden aims to amend that.
  • Health Care Biden has already had a large impact on the health care of Americans. As Vice President, Biden played a major role in the enactment of the Affordable Care Act. Biden seeks to improve America’s health care even more. To give a simple explanation, he plans to build on the Affordable Care Act by creating a public health care option. This would provide all Americans with affordable health insurance. This public option would negotiate with providers, forcing a more affordable option to emerge. 
  • Coronavirus Biden believes that America needs a public health response that allows for free testing, easy access to treatment for COVID-19, and the development of a vaccine. In addition to this, he believes there should be an emergency paid leave for people affected by Coronavirus. According to his website, “Biden believes we must spend whatever it takes, without delay, to meet public health needs and deal with the mounting economic consequences.”

 

Donald J. Trump

Brief History:

  • Age: 73 years, born June 14th, 1946                                                      
  • Overview – A businessman for over 45 years, Trump knows his way around the real estate world and has translated that to success in other industries. He has always courted fame with his success and has made a  big deal of becoming an A-Lister. His businessman persona on the reality show “The Apprentice” had made him a household name before the presidency. Now that he has translated that fame into the highest office in the land, he is trying to get a business-friendly agenda passed.

Experience:

  • Political – Prior to the presidency, Donald Trump had no political experience at all. Becoming the first president to enter office with no political or military experience.
  • As President, he has succeeded at passing sweeping tax cuts to all Americans and corporations and has also appointed two supreme court justices which effectively sways the supreme court to the right.
  • Some of his campaign trail promises are struggling to see the light of day such as his border wall, not growing the GDP by 4% each year, eliminating the estate tax, and balancing the budget.

Policies:

  • Tax Trump has cut taxes for 82% of middle-class families and provided a 20% tax cut for small businesses alleviating $415 billion in taxes and he lowered the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%. 
  • Economy – The economy has done exceptionally well over Trump’s presidency with GDP growth topping 3% in 4 quarters of his administration. Millions of jobs have been created, and before the epidemic, Hispanic, Asian, and African American unemployment rates have all reached record lows. This is all according to Trump’s campaign site.
  • Immigration Donald Trump has rolled back DACA benefits for those who came here illegally as young children. Trump also declared a national emergency allowing him to allocate funds to a border wall. He has targeted illegally immigrated gang members according to his website and has hired many new border patrol and ICE agents. Under the Trump administration, ICE has performed 256,085 removals with 57% of those being convicted criminals according to Trump’s campaign site.
  • Foreign Policy Pertaining to foreign relations, Donald Trump has a very controversial record. He has lessened our reliance on China by imposing tariffs and attempting to reacquire those jobs for Americans. He also has traveled through Europe and the Middle East in an effort to create better relationships with foreign countries, according to his website. On the other hand, the debacle with Iran and a WW3 scare was quite detrimental to his record. In addition to that, he has also been impeached for charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. These charges were related to conduct with Ukraine.
  • Health Care President Trump has allocated a considerable amount of effort to the betterment of Americans’ health care. President Trump has declared the opioid crisis a nationwide public health emergency. In addition to that, the FDA has approved the largest amount of generic drugs in history under President Trump. All of this information comes from his website.
  • Coronavirus Response  Considering the situation the country is currently in, it is difficult to give much praise to the President. We possess the most cases in the world as of now. However, we are seemingly past the apex of cases per day under the Trump Administration as well as states’ individual responses. With that being said, President Trump did appear deceptive to many Americans, seemingly protecting the economy and dismissing warnings.