Against all expectations of the polling stations and most of the major media, the US elections between sitting president and Republican Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden have ended in a nerve-racking battle. The (most) votes have been counted and if we are to believe the results, the now 77-year-old former Vice President Joe Biden will be the next president of the United States. Although Donald Trump has not yet accepted his loss and insists that widespread fraud would have been committed during the vote count, we can assume that a changing of the guard is taking place. What can we expect from Biden as president of America? We look at his main election points .
Fighting the corona crisis
Things looked so good for Trump's America at the start of the year. Despite all the trade troubles, especially with China, the US economy was running at full speed. Economic growth was high, unemployment low and the minimum wage, which had already risen steadily under Obama, continued to rise. And then the corona virus also entered the US. Unemployment rose sharply and the economy suffered a major blow. In the meantime, the number of infections and the number of deaths in the US was running high, although you can not say that the US was necessarily doing worse than other Western superpowers.
Still, it was impossible for a president to stay on with these corona statistics, Biden thought. Corona became the main theme among his constituents . That social distancing was no longer so important to his supporters once Biden had won, we could see from the mass celebrations that erupted in the big cities.
While Trump was of the opinion that the economy should not be completely shut down for the corona pandemic, Biden prioritizes the health aspect.
In concrete terms, it wants to significantly increase the testing capacity and production of prevention products in the US, draw up clear behavioral regulations and communicate to the public (such as social distancing and wearing face masks), guarantee that a possible vaccine becomes available for every American, prevent the elderly and other vulnerable groups are at greater health risk and restoring institutions and measures to prevent pandemic threats that have been broken by Trump (such as restoring relations with the World Health Organization WHO)
He immediately appointed a task force to advise him on the fight against COVID-19, although Trump was of course also assisted by various advisers. In particular, he wants to be a role model in order to encourage people to comply with the regulations, unlike Trump, who repeatedly downplayed the impact of the virus. Lockdown to control the virus is a realistic option.
Realizing job and economic growth
The state of the economy is perhaps the greatest success during the Trump presidency. Before the corona pandemic took hold in the US, the economy was running at full speed. The economy was growing fast, unemployment had reached the last point in 50 years, the minimum wage was climbing steadily and the poverty rate was even at an all-time low. You can't possibly attribute this to a president alone, but still. They are statistics that you can hardly ignore.
To give the economy an extra boost during his presidency, Trump has implemented tax cuts that benefit people with high incomes and large companies. Biden wants to largely reverse those tax cuts and even make top incomes pay a little more. He not only wants to reduce the gap between rich and poor, but also the racial prosperity gap, including access to affordable housing and education and reform of the police and justice system.
Trump promised to bring jobs back to America in his first "Make America Great Again" campaign. Biden may have been inspired by him, because he wants to make the US less dependent on foreign countries and has the ambition to create more quality jobs in production and technology, but also in home care and childcare in order to get more women on the labor market. to activate. Under Obama, the US became energy independent, but Biden is now committed to an energy transition from fossil to green energy.
COVID-19 also plays a role in his economic recovery plan. Biden believes it is essential that the coronavirus is brought fully under control before the economy can be released again. He wants to help unemployed people find a job in healthcare and support small entrepreneurs. Several bailouts under Trump's presidency have already been facilitated during the corona pandemic to mitigate its economic impact.
When Obama ran for the 2008 election, he delivered a message of great change. His greatest electoral promise was to provide affordable, quality care for every American. That never really got off the ground. There was a much slimmed-down version of the plan that he originally wanted and which we now know as Obamacare , officially the Affordable Care Act. Although he partly fulfilled an election promise with this, there was immediately a lot of resistance against this law. Of course, every American wants access to good healthcare, but being obliged to insure it was a bridge too far for many Americans.
The arrival of Obamacare thus meant that every American had to take out insurance. Uninsured people could do this at a reduced rate through the government. Employers with a minimum of 50 employees were obliged to insure their employees or to pay a premium for them. Partly due to the intervention of judges and the Trump administration, Obamacare has now been partly dismantled. While 27.5 million Americans are still uninsured and an estimated 43.5 million underinsured , it has provided access to healthcare for about 20 million Americans. In addition, insurers can no longer refuse people or charge extra premium based on their medical history.
Biden wants to increase the reach of Obamacare so that about 97% of Americans will use it. He wants to achieve this by removing government-run health insurance, discounts on health insurance premiums for low- and middle-income earners, and removing control over health funds from individual states and transferring them to the federal government. As a result, the care system must also become more transparent and affordable. The influence of pharmaceutical companies must be reduced and the prices of medicines must be brought down.
The election of Joe Biden as president of the US has caused a lot of euphoria among a large group of Americans. On the one hand because they are relieved to finally get rid of that terrible Trump, on the other hand because they place their hope for a better life on Biden. He has already achieved one thing in that regard. In his victory speech, he called for unity and clearly wanted to build a bridge between his supporters and opponents in order to jointly address the problems in the US.
It is by no means a guarantee that this very elderly racial politician will actually bring about a major change, not least because there is still a risk that his room for maneuver will be limited by the current electorate , but we like to be surprised.