Former Vice President Joe Biden said at an online campaign fundraiser that he plans to remove a large portion of Trump’s tax cuts, a move he knows would hurt his donors. Yahoo Finance’s Rick Newman joins The Final Round to discuss.
- Welcome back to "The Final Round." Joe Biden giving some details last night about what his presidency would potentially look like, laying out some policy goals during a virtual campaign fundraiser. And Rick, he told those potential donors that he would roll back most of President Trump's tax cuts. What do we know about Biden's plan, and what do you think the reception for this will be?
RICK NEWMAN: We know a lot about Biden's plan. He published it last year, so this is nothing new. I guess what happened last night is-- keep in mind, these are wealthy donors, this is not your average man in the street who's part of a Biden online fundraiser event. These are wealthy donors, and he basically told them what he's already said which is you people, among you wealthy people, I'm probably going to raise your taxes, and that's because Biden has said he favors raising the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%. He raises higher income taxes on people with incomes above $400,000, higher capital gains taxes, and also higher inheritance taxes. That's all part of his published plan. I think a lot of people probably don't know a lot about Biden's economic plan because they've been preoccupied with coronavirus and the recession and other things. But Biden himself is bringing it up, so I guess people are going to be learning more about it.
- And also Rick, going off that, he mentioned some interesting things. Obviously, he made the point that he wants to beat the virus clearly, but he was also talking about how he wants to build a stronger and more responsive public health system. He talked about how he wants to invest record sums of money in clean energy innovation and also infrastructure. So how does that stack up, do you think, to what we're going to hear, what we could hear from President Trump over the next couple of months?
RICK NEWMAN: Yeah. Again, those programs by Biden, they've all been on his website since last year. We just have not been talking a lot about them. He has a whole list of plans. I mean, not as many as Elizabeth Warren, famous for her plans probably had when she was a candidate, but he's got a lot of things. He's basically taking, he had his own ideas for what to do, and lately he's been taking some of Elizabeth Warren's ideas, some of Bernie Sanders' ideas, and putting together this very large agenda. Trump has been struggling to define what he would do in his second term. He got some attention for an interview that he did this week with Sean Hannity on Fox News where Hannity asked him what is your second term agenda anyway? And Trump didn't really have a solid agenda.
So this is part of Trump's problem. Just because Biden has a clearer agenda than Trump, I don't think that in itself gives Biden a huge edge at this point. It will as we get closer to the election, and you mentioned health care. I mean, the Democrats obviously have been trying for a long time to patch the holes in the health care system and create better public options for people. Biden does favor an expanded public option. He does want to fix some of the problems with the Affordable Care Act, and Trump's health care plan at this point almost doesn't even make sense, because it's just repeal the Affordable Care Act, the same thing he said in 2015 and 2016. He's still trying to do that without a plan to replace it, so that does not seem like it is completely in tune with what's happening during this pandemic.
- Well, Rick, Joe Biden is now running only against Donald Trump. But in even just the three months since it went from, you know, Joe Biden is part of a very large democratic field until now, does it seem that his platform I guess has moved a little bit to the left, and then would that be another way of saying that the broader Democratic platform which, you know, under the Obama administration was pretty center, center-left. I mean, it didn't really hew that far off that middle line, that kind of broad, you know, party wide policies are moving to the left. And at the same time, right, I think Republican policies have moved further to the right.
RICK NEWMAN: Yeah, I think you're right, Myles. So what Biden needs to do is get the votes of supporters of Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, and that's not automatic just because they all happen to be Democrats. I mean, there were a significant enough group of people who supported Bernie Sanders in the primary elections in 2016 but then went on to vote for Donald Trump. The Democratic party knows that now, so they want to make sure they don't lose those so-called Sanders to Trump voters. So yeah, Biden has tapped to the left a little bit. Green New Deal, he now embraces the Green New Deal, although not all the specifics of it. That's the huge climate plan that some of the progressive Democrats had.
He also said, earlier this year I think, he'd be fine lowering the eligibility age for Medicare from 65 to 60. That is starting to sound like Medicare for all. I mean, which is the big health care plan for everybody that would eliminate private insurance. Now, Biden has said many times, no, he wants to keep the private insurance system in place, but look what he's doing by making it easier for younger people to get into Medicare. He's kind of creating a pathway toward Medicare for all. So for sure, he's doing what you just suggested, which is trying to appeal to everybody in the Democratic party and independents.
- He certainly is and then he's also getting criticism from people who are more down the middle just in terms of they think that he's going too far left at this point, so it'll certainly be an interesting next couple of months as we lead up to the election here in November.