According to a new analysis from the Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania — which is where Donald Trump himself went to school — the economic proposals that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has put forward would actually give the economy a boost rather than send it into some nearly unimaginable recession, which is what Trump has claimed a Biden presidency would bring. CBS reports that according to the Wharton analysis, Biden’s proposals “would create a faster growing economy, higher wages for American workers and reduce the debt compared to where the U.S. is headed under” Trump.
It’s worth noting that federal debt is projected to increase substantially under both Trump and Biden, but it’s clear: Biden is not some kind of apocalyptic economy-wrecker.
President Donald Trump has frequently tried to take credit for the supposedly great economy in the present. In reality, prior to the onset of the Coronavirus crisis, many of the positive trends that were evident in the economy had begun under the leadership of Barack Obama. Once the virus set in — and, crucially, as Trump refused to take the pandemic seriously, thereby exacerbating the problem — millions of Americans lost their jobs, and the economy was thrown into chaos. Recently, Trump has touted high numbers of jobs that have been “created,” and he has almost completely ignored the huge hole that those jobs are making up for. He peddles detached nonsense.
The Wharton analysis of Biden’s plans found that he “would also significantly increase government spending and raise taxes, though mostly on higher-income Americans,” as CBS summarizes. Over the next ten years, Biden’s proposals would raise government spending by $5.4 trillion, it says, and the policy platform would add nearly $3.4 billion in new taxes — but, it is critical to note that these proposed new taxes would mostly be paid by people with incomes of $400,000 a year or more. That is, under no present circumstance, the majority of Americans, despite Trump’s consistent fearmongering about Biden’s plans.
Unlike the major corporate tax cuts that Trump signed into law in 2017, which preceded record rates of companies buying back their own stock, Wharton’s analysis concludes that Biden’s “proposals on education, infrastructure and health care would largely pay for themselves” through means like lower health care costs and increased wages for many workers. (Biden wants the federal minimum wage to be set at $15 an hour, among other goals.)
Richard Prisinzano, who works as director of policy analysis at the Penn Wharton Budget Model, explains that the school wasn’t able to make its own detailed analysis of the potential economic impact of a second Trump term because his campaign has failed to produce economic proposals in enough detail to allow for such an analysis. (They used Congressional Budget Office estimates.) Trump wants the chance to lead the U.S. for four more years, but his campaign apparently can’t even be bothered to venture far beyond the president’s own overused, hyperbolic, and often totally nonsensical rally talking points. This year, the Republican Party didn’t even write up a new official policy platform heading into the election. They’re simply deferring to past precedents and, crucially, the agenda of the Trump campaign itself.