U.S. voters will soon decide who occupies the White House for the next four years.

As the Biden and Trump campaigns race toward the finish line, our 24-hour news cycle offers up an endless supply of predictions, polls and punditry. Whether or not you’ve already decided who will get your vote, sifting through everything to find the most relevant information can be tedious at best. To help, we’ve compiled a summary comparison of some of the candidates’ major policy proposals. The information outlined has been taken from the official Trump and Biden websites, budget documents and statements made recently by the candidates and their advisors. And while we gathered the most current information available, candidate positions may have changed since the time of writing.

Who will get your vote on Nov. 3? We hope this helps make your decision a little easier.

Policy/Issue If re-elected, Trump proposes to… If elected, Biden proposes to…
Taxes – Individual Earned Income
  • Extend the individual tax rates enacted by the 2017 Tax Cuts & Job Act (TCJA) that are scheduled to expire after 2025.
  • Enact a 10% middle-class tax cut, which could include lowering the 22% marginal tax rate to 15%. For 2020, the 22% marginal tax rate applies to the $40,126 to $85,525 income bracket for individuals.
  • Raise the top marginal tax rate to the pre-TCJA rate of 39.6% for income over $400,000.
  • Ensure that anyone making under $400,000 would not be subject to new taxes.
Taxes – Corporate
  • Maintain the current corporate tax rate of 21%.
  • Maintain 20% business income deduction for small businesses that file as pass-throughs.
  • No current proposal for corporate minimum tax, which was eliminated by the TCJA.
  • Raise the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%.
  • Repeal small business pass-through deduction.
  • Enact a 15% minimum “book tax” — a levy on income, net of expenses, for corporations with income of $100 million or more.
Taxes – Capital Gains
  • Reduce the capital gains tax rate (currently, top tax rate for capital gains and qualifying dividends is 20% for income over $441,450 for individuals).
  • Index capital gains to inflation.
  • Eliminate the preferential treatment of capital gains and dividends for income over $1 million by taxing them at ordinary rates.
Taxes – Estate and Gift
  • Extend the higher estate and gift tax exemption enacted by the TCJA that is scheduled to expire after 2025. (For 2020, the estate and gift tax exemption is $11,580,000, double the pre-TCJA indexed amount of approximately $5.8 million).
  • Maintain stepped-up basis on transfers of appreciated property at death.
  • Raise estate taxes back to the historical norm.
  • Eliminate stepped-up basis on transfers of appreciated property at death.
Social Security
  • Maintain current law, which dictates that the 12.4% payroll tax is not collected on wages above $137,700.
  • Forgive recently deferred payroll taxes (in August, Trump announced that payroll taxes would be deferred from Sept. 1 through the end of the year to provide coronavirus relief to workers) and make permanent cuts to the payroll tax.
  • Extend the 12.4% payroll tax on wages above $400,000 to fund more generous Social Security benefits.
  • Increase the minimum benefit, boost benefits for surviving spouses and support Social Security expansion to better account for the challenges facing unpaid caregivers and caregivers for family members.
Health Care
  • Continue to roll back the 2010 health care law. Currently, the Trump administration is asking the Supreme Court to overturn the law.
  • Continue working to lower prescription drug prices for consumers. He recently signed two executive orders — one directing his administration to make it easier to import cheaper drugs from other countries, and one limiting the sizable rebates that benefit managers and insurers can receive when negotiating prices with drug makers.
  • Keep and expand Obamacare, including adding a Medicare-like plan designed for Americans who cannot afford commercial insurance or live in a state that hasn’t expanded Medicaid eligibility.
  • Roll back Trump administration policies that eased rules for health insurers, allowing some to offer less robust policies that cap benefits and exclude coverage for some diseases and preexisting conditions.
  • Increase subsidies to help Americans buy plans on insurance marketplaces created by the 2010 Affordable Care Act.
  • Impose tax penalties on drug companies that increase drug costs by more than the rate of inflation and eliminate deductions for advertising expenses.
  • Find ways to control drug prices, including allowing Medicare to negotiate directly with drug companies.
Infrastructure/Jobs
  • Spend $1 trillion over 10 years on infrastructure. Specifically, $810 billion on highways and transit, and $190 billion on rural broadband, 5G cell services and other non‐transportation infrastructure.
  • Help U.S. workers by expanding apprenticeship programs; reform job training programs, and bring businesses and educators together to ensure high-quality classroom instruction and on-the-job training.
  • Spend $2 trillion over four years to significantly escalate the use of clean energy in the transportation, electricity and building sectors. Includes spending on roads and bridges, green spaces, water systems, electricity grids and universal broadband.
  • Allocate $400 billion toward buying U.S. products and services to spur job growth and revitalize manufacturing.

While it’s clear that the candidates offer decidedly different policy proposals, the different ways in which those policies might impact the post-election economy are less clear. Contact your Westwood Wealth Advisor if you have any questions.

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