Trump Pretends the Stock Market Is the Economy, Again. Experts Say Biden’s Plan Is Better for American Workers.

Experts say Joe Biden's economic plan will help more Americans

Photo by Morry Gash-Pool/Getty Images

By Meghan McCarthy

September 29, 2020

In Tuesday night’s debate, President Trump continued to claim that the stock market would save the country. Meanwhile, economists say Biden and Democrats would be better for jobs.

During the first presidential debate Tuesday night in Cleveland, Ohio, President Donald Trump revealed, once again, that he thinks the stock market is indicative of how the economy is performing for normal Americans.

“When the stock market goes up, that means jobs,” Trump said at the debate.

The stock market may have partially recovered during the coronavirus pandemic, but jobs have not. The United States is facing unprecedented unemployment, with tens of millions of Americans out of work. Meanwhile, polls show that little more than half of Americans actually own stock.

When it comes to creating jobs, experts have said Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s plan, which emphasizes creating new jobs by focusing on building a clean energy economy and making existing buildings energy efficient, is better.

According to an analysis from Moody’s Analytics, Biden’s economic plan would lead to 7 million more jobs compared to Trump’s plan. Biden also reiterated his past success in helping turn around the economy after the Great Recession, which lasted from 2007 to 2009, during the Obama-Biden administration.

“We handed him a booming economy, he blew it,” Biden said during the debate. “Manufacturing went in the hole. They brought back nothing … I’m the guy who brought back the automobile industry. Right here in the state of Ohio.”

By contrast, this summer Trump notably suggested boycotting Goodyear Tires, which employs thousands of blue-collar and middle-class workers in Ohio.

In addition to adding jobs through a focus on clean energy, Biden’s plan would increase taxes on the wealthiest Americans. People making less than $400,000 a year—the vast majority of Americans—would not pay any more in taxes. But their expenditures on things like health care could go down.

Here are some specifics on the Biden economic plan:

  • Increase the tax rate on the highest income earners (about $510,000 or more) from 37% to nearly 40%. That is the rate this group was taxed at before the Trump tax bill.
  • Cap some deductions for the wealthiest Americans, meaning potential tax increases for the small number of individuals or families who make $400,000 or more.
  • Make the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share in Social Security taxes. Right now, any income above $137,000 isn’t taxed for Social Security. Biden’s plan would restart the tax on any income above $400,001. It would also close that gap over time, so everyone is paying a portion of their full salary into Social Security, regardless of how much money they make.
  • Right now, earnings from investments are taxed only about half as much as regular income, disproportionately benefiting wealthy Americans (only 22% of Americans making less than $40,000 per year own stock). Biden would tax investments like real estate and stock over $1 million at the same rate as regular income.
  • Raise taxes on corporations that benefit from the labor of the American working classes and consumer markets.
  • Prevent companies like Amazon from avoiding  tax payments altogether by establishing a minimum 15% tax on corporate profits.


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