Biden’s Ambitious Agenda

Due to the Democrat’s control of congress, the left-wing of the Democratic party may push for a more liberal Biden agenda.

A+Biden+campaign+flag+held+by+supporters.

Courtesy of Unsplash

A Biden campaign flag held by supporters.

Joe Biden now has the presidency, and his party controls the senate and the house. For Democrats, this is a time of celebration as they have limited opposition towards a new slate of policy proposals that could change the direction of the nation. 

The lack of opposition that comes with majority control in both of the legislative branches could shape a very ambitious two years for the Democrats. Highlighted below are Joe Biden’s policies towards the climate, taxation, and college education followed by ways more liberal figures of the party want to shift his agenda to the left.

 

Climate: Joe Biden has a very clear and ambitious approach to tackling climate change. It has been praised by climate activists as one of the most ambitious to ever be proposed. With BBC saying it is, “the most ambitious of any mainstream US presidential candidate yet.” 

His plan calls for net-zero emissions by 2050 along with US electricity becoming carbon-free by 2035. “Once in office, Joe Biden wants to spend $2 trillion over four years to drive down emissions by upgrading four million buildings to make them more energy-efficient,” says BBC explaining the plan.

 Biden also wants to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord and to build a modern, climate-conscious infrastructure. Building on his theme of unity, Biden wishes for more compromise in congress even with his party holding control.

 Some more liberal figures of the democratic party believe this plan does not go far enough, with calls for embracing the Green New Deal and far more regulations on American industry.

 

Taxation: Joe Biden’s tax plan will reverse many policies championed by Trump during the passing of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. He will call for the top income tax rate to be raised from 37% to 39.6%. Further, he will increase the business tax rate to 28%. Many aspects of his tax policy do with heavily increasing taxes on those making above $400,000. 

Biden’s plan also, “Expands the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC) from a maximum of $3,000 in qualified expenses to $8,000 ($16,000 for multiple dependents)” says the Tax Foundation. His plan is criticized as not progressive enough by liberal members of the Democratic party. Some of them have proposed increasing taxes, such as the estate tax, to 77%.

 

College Education: In a departure from the more liberal wing of his party, Joe Biden’s plan does not call for the forgiving of all student debt or free state universities. Joe Biden’s plan is to grow the middle class through improved resources for community colleges which will allow millions of hardworking students to get some of the roughly 30 million jobs with an average salary of $55,000 as cited in Biden’s plan. 

This plan is likely far less forgiving than many Democrats had hoped for but seems more in line with the beliefs of Joe Biden. Hard-working students will still be able to afford quality education and have the middle-class life on which America is built. That is what Joe Biden believes, and it is doubtful that even with the majority in both houses of Congress that the plan will get much more liberal than the one he has already proposed. 

Joe Biden is in a situation many presidents envy, a unified legislative branch and control of the white house. Joe Biden will not need to compromise to get these deals done, but to stay true to himself the policies will likely remain moderate. It is far more likely that he can get more items checked off his checklist than he could have imagined completing before the Georgia senate seats flipped.