We need Biden’s plans for U.S. long-term health

We need Biden’s plans for U.S. long-term health

Letter to the Editor:

It’s easy to find Joe Biden’s meticulous Build Back Better plans on the internet, which I urge the public to do. The Biden plan to build a modern, sustainable infrastructure and an equitable clean energy future portion is truly ambitious in scope and the amount of investment required.

But the economists who analyze and score such plans don’t find lofty, unattainable goals. They find merit and forecast better economic and job growth under a Biden first term than under a Trump second term if Biden can implement the plan.

Nonpartisan Moody Analytics and Goldman Sachs, after extensive evaluation, scored the plan favorably: 4.5% better growth than under Trump’s policies, with 7 million more jobs, per Moody’s, and Goldman Sachs predicting 3.7% greater growth.

There is no written Trump blueprint for a second term. While Trump the candidate in 2016 called for huge infrastructure investment, he has done almost nothing to provoke a Republican Senate to consider it.

Congressional Republicans and Trump have been content with their massive tax-cut law of 2017, which primarily benefited large, already-profitable corporations and shareholders, many of whom weren’t U.S. citizens.

Bold predictions by GOP leaders and pundits that such companies would invest huge refunds and savings on lines of production were wrong. Money that would have flowed to the U.S. Treasury went instead into already deep pockets and stock holdings.

The federal deficit has soared, even before the pandemic. Manufacturing actually decreased in 2019.

Biden’s policies are aimed squarely at the middle class and the poorer paid. The wealthiest Americans would see an increase of 2.6% in their top tax rates, and profitable corporations would have their tax limit taken to 28% from 21%.

Biden also would shore up the Social Security and Medicare funds by lifting the cap on wages subject to these payroll taxes. Trump has instead talked on and off about an extended cut in Social Security and Medicare payroll deductions, which he thinks will stimulate the economy.

The Congressional Budget Office and others think this could imperil the functioning of these funds by mid-decade.

There has been no pandemic recession for the upper classes. Biden’s plan recognizes the focus has to be on the middle class. His plan emphasizes the rebuilding of roads, bridges, rail and more by American workers, with a preference for reinvigorated unions, using American-manufactured materials.

It should be remembered it was Vice President Biden who successfully managed the $500 billion infrastructure relief money in Obama’s first term after the Great Recession had cratered the economy late in George Bush’s second term. The money spurred green technology.

And it was the Obama-Biden Administration that successfully bailed out the auto companies when the GOP was willing to see them tank.

Trump’s plan for the second term is to continue riding exclusively with fossil fuels with no concern for air and water pollution or global warming.

Health-insurance coverage from private employers was shrinking even before the pandemic recession, and that decline is expected to continue during the pandemic and after. Biden’s plan is to incrementally expand Medicare availability, and Trump’s is to let insurance markets do what they do when there is no law requiring coverage for pre-existing conditions.

David Worth

New Philadelphia

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