October 19, 2020
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have been working hard to make voters forget the full agenda they have repeatedly touted in appearances, debates, and online. An agenda that we now know would cost Americans $36 trillion over 10 years, according to the new Battleground States 2020 study by the James Madison Institute.
Biden and Harris are pretending they don’t support banning fracking. They have vowed 22 times to “eliminate” the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, while pretending they would not raise taxes on middle income households.
The reason for all this cognitive dissonance? Joe Biden needs the votes of Americans who live in battleground states. He’s spending big on ads in key states and touring the rust belt. But to get those votes, he must paper over his own agenda, which would take a big chunk out of the wallets of the very voters he’s courting.
At the top of the agenda is a $4 trillion tax hike. The former vice president wants to repeal the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, cut the child tax credit in half, get rid of the small business deduction, double the corporate income tax to over 40 percent, and add a 15 percent minimum tax on businesses.
For middle class voters, this should be especially alarming as taxpayers earning between $50,000 and $100,000 annually saw a greater average tax cut than those earning over $1 million.
In Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan, those earning $50,000 to $75,000 received an average tax cut of over 13 percent.
Biden wants to take those savings away. He vowed to “eliminate” the Trump tax cuts on “day one” and said he would raise the U.S. corporate income tax rate to 28 percent, higher than China’s 25 percent. This will mean “a smaller capital stock, lower labor productivity, lower wages, and lower total output for businesses and reduced ownership of capital assets and reduced savings for individuals,” says the James Madison Institute report.
While the burden of $4 trillion in tax increases is bad enough, Biden’s plans to hammer taxpayers don’t stop there.
He has signaled support for Medicare for All, which drives a health care agenda that would cost $32.6 trillion; that would be a lower, but still substantial $2.15 trillion if Biden only pursued expanding Medicare and Obamacare. Biden’s education proposals add up to $1.25 trillion. Green New Deal-style policies drive a climate agenda that would cost $2.0 trillion, JMI researchers also hit Biden’s green agenda for killing jobs, “a solution to carbon emissions that causes a depression is not only unnecessary, it’s reckless.”
The impact of these Biden proposals and some others, combined with the tax hikes, would cost each Ohioan $12,300, each Pennsylvanian $10,605, each Michigander $8,142, each Wisconsinite $9,020, and each Floridian $9,389 annually. That rises to four times as much for a family of four.
The economy and job growth would suffer. During a Biden administration, Ohio would add 79,000 fewer jobs than projected under a Trump second term. Florida would add 144,000 fewer jobs, Michigan 73,000 fewer, Pennsylvania 82,000 fewer, and Wisconsin 40,000 fewer.
Voters who might have switched to a new job, or who have a family member getting ready to join the workforce, might find those potential jobs don’t exist during a Biden presidency.
This is especially potent in Pennsylvania, where natural gas extraction has sparked a job boom as the state climbed to the second largest producer in the nation. Yet, both Biden and Harris have vowed to ban fracking, destroying these jobs.
On wages, the difference between Trump and Biden is “a direct differential impact of $69 billion of household income” JMI researchers note.
It’s no wonder Harris and Biden keep trying to distance themselves from their own positions down the home stretch. Joe Biden’s plans will mean tens of thousands of missing jobs, thousands of dollars in new government burdens for families, and even lost revenue for state governments. That is an offer battleground state voters can refuse.
Grover Norquist is president of Americans for Tax Reform.