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Where the Candidates Stand and How It Will Affect Your Money

August 11, 2020

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The country is headed into one of the most divisive elections ever this November. 

With the unemployment rate at 10.2 percent and 5 million COVID-19 cases, Joe Biden and Donald Trump are fighting to prove they’re the ones that can protect American health, jobs, and money.

We’ve done our best to take a neutral position so you can see where each candidate stands on the big issues affecting your money, like taxes, jobs, and healthcare.

Consumer Issues

For each, we looked at statements and materials put out by each candidate and broke down what that means for the average American consumer.

Federal Minimum Wage

He plans to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour. He told a union audience in 2019 that it was “well past time.”

He said he would veto a 2019 House bill to gradually increase the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour. 

His administration has repeatedly spoken out against raising the federal minimum wage.

What that means for Americans:
Since 2009, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.

Americans working full-time and earning the current federal minimum wage are below the poverty line

Conservative analysts argue that raising the minimum wage would hurt small businesses, but according to the Economic Policy Institute raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour would raise pay for nearly 40 million Americans and give consumers more spending power.

A minimum wage raise would also give more Americans a chance to build and grow their wealth.


His campaign website says Biden will create 10 million clean energy jobs and many more union jobs to improve the country’s infrastructure.

The president launched a Pledge to America’s Workers in 2019, promising to create nearly 10 million “career and training opportunities.” 

These jobs will be created in partnership with more than 280 companies and groups.

What that means for Americans:
As the country recovers from COVID-19, new jobs will need to be created to replace the ones lost.

Job training will help someone making minimum wage break out of poverty, build a safer career  and put aside savings.


Biden has not gotten onboard with the popular call for Medicare for all, although he has advocated for expanding the Affordable Care Act, created under Barack Obama.

He has also supported lowering prescription medication costs, including linking drug prices to those paid overseas.

The president has made repeated attempts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, saying the required deductibles and co-pays are hurting vulnerable Americans, including farmers. 

While he has advocated for replacing the Affordable Care Act, he has not made a specific plan public. 

He touted falling drug prices in the 2020 State of the Union address, but that was debunked by PolitiFact as inaccurate.

What that means for Americans:
Americans spend an average of $5,000 per person on healthcare each year and insurance costs have increased 740 percent since 1984. 

About 20 million Americans are insured through the Affordable Healthcare Act. Losing that coverage could put some Americans into heavy debt.

COVID-19 is still sweeping the U.S. and affordable care is more important than ever.

COVID-19 Response

He has promised to fund widespread and free COVID-19 testing while working toward a vaccine.

He has also called for emergency paid leave for those affected by the pandemic with additional support to employees, families, and small businesses that have been hit hard by the economic fallout.

Trump signed off on a $2 trillion bi-partisan COVID-19 bill this spring, which included $1,200 stimulus payments to Americans making less than $99,000 per year. 

While his website promised expanded, free COVID testing on April 27, he has since called for fewer tests to minimize the number of reported cases.

What that means for Americans:
The United States hasn’t contained the spread of the virus, and the government has done much worse compared to other wealthy countries.

Americans are now banned from traveling to several countries. Florida, Texas, and several states have seen a spike in cases once pandemic rules were laxed.

There is no reason to think the economic effects will let up anytime soon.


He has proposed increasing taxes for the wealthiest Americans by taxing the top bracket nearly 40 percent. He has also promised to cap tax breaks for the wealthy at 28 percent. 

He has indicated that he will release a new tax plan in September that includes a 10 percent tax cut for middle class Americans.

The Trump administration’s 2017 tax overhaul did not provide the intended tax relief to the middle class.

What that means for Americans:
While both the Democrats and the GOP have said their plans are the best, the only true relief will come when the tax burden is lifted from the working class and middle class Americans

Increasing taxes for those making the most money will mean more take-home pay for working class Americans who make every penny count. It also gives more spending power to the middle class.

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Sarah Netter

Sarah Netter

Sarah Netter is a freelance writer based in New Orleans, Louisiana. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, ABC News and

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