2020 U.S. Presidential Election: Key Economic Issues That May Decide Winner

2020 U.S. Presidential Election: Key Economic Issues That May Decide Winner

The race for the White House 2020 is between President DonaldTrump and former Vice President Joe Biden.

While the battleground initially seemed to be over issues of trade and middle-class growth, the candidates are now more focused on how the country will navigate the economic downturn created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

U.S. markets went from record highs in February 2020, to a steep bear market by mid-March as the pandemic took a worse turn in the U.S. Social distancing measures and the temporary closures of businesses across the country have also caused millions of Americans to lose their jobs and file for unemployment and now in the double digits.

With the U.S, and the global economy in a steep recession, Congress and the Federal Reserve have enacted trillions of dollars’ worth of fiscal and monetary stimulus measures to jumpstart a recovery.

Ultimately, due to the COVID-19 crisis and its accompanying economic crisis, the focus is on supporting the unemployed, getting small businesses back up and running, debt forgiveness, health care reforms, and taxes.

Here are key economic issues to swing voters on Election day

National Economic Response to COVID-19

With the COVID-19 crisis shaking the U.S. economy to its core, how much responsibility the U.S. government has been able to help those who have been hurt by the pandemic, and who to prioritize helping, has been a huge bone of contention.

The role of government in addressing the COVID-19 crisis, and the economy more broadly, will be substantially shaped by who the winner of the 2020 election is.

Federal Reserve

The Federal Reserve has introduced a large number of new monetary stimulus measures to try and prevent the COVID-19 crisis from causing a liquidity crisis but there are two empty spaces on the Federal Reserve Board.

Whoever wins the election could get to nominate up to two Federal Reserve Board members, shaping monetary policy for years to come.

Student Debt

Student loan debt is one of the most critical issues facing U.S. voters and their kids. Around 45 million people are carrying a total of $1.54 trillion in student loan debt.

Student borrowers are graduating college with a whopping $30,000 in debt, on average, which presents a major obstacle to starting their post-graduate life on sound financial footing. This debt overhang has major implications for the housing market, upon which much of the U.S. economy is based, and is a major reason for lower rates of homeownership among young people.

Climate Change

This is already one of the most hotly debated topics in American politics and around the world. Since the U.S. pulled out of the Paris Climate Accord, Biden has proposed a climate-change policy that is aimed at slowing climate change while adding jobs. President Trump, on the other hand, has been clear that he regards climate change as a hoax and has no plan to deal with what he considers to be a nonexistent issue.


The U.S.-China trade war has dominated headlines since President Trump took office. In his first two years as president, the Trump Administration has pulled out of several trade deals, introduced a new trade deal with Canada and Mexico, and levied hundreds of billions of dollars in tariffs on Chinese companies.

On his part, Biden’s trade plan focuses on improving the competitiveness of U.S. industry competitiveness by investing infrastructure and R&D across the economy, confronting China in cooperation with allies rather than acting unilaterally on trade, and tightening rules against corporate inversions to discourage companies from moving overseas.


With the eviction moratorium and unemployment expansion provisions of the CARES Act having lapsed in late July, major factors preventing millions of families from losing their homes across the U.S. have disappeared.

President Trump has ordered the Department of the Treasury, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Federal Housing Financing Agency (FHFA) to find ways to provide assistance to renters and homeowners to prevent eviction or foreclosure. However, these instructions do not suggest any specific methods or remedies, nor have they produced any concrete policies as of yet.5

Biden has, however, proposed created a refundable, advanceable (paid at time of usage) tax credit of up to $15,000 to help first-time homebuyers, fully funding the Section 8 voucher program so that the program can serve more than the 25% of eligible households it currently serves, and reinstating the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which requires “communities receiving certain federal funding to proactively examine housing patterns and identify and address policies that have a discriminatory effect.”


The U.S. healthcare system has problems, everyone seems to be able to agree on that. The U.S. spends far more per person than other countries on healthcare, while having lower life expectancy and higher rates of infant mortality than most other rich countries, so we’re clearly not getting our money’s worth.

However, President Trump and congressional Republicans proposed the American Health Care Act (AHCA) back in 2017, and while it failed to pass, it gives an idea of what the party’s ideal solution for healthcare is. While on the other hand, Joe Biden is looking to expand on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), passed when he was vice president.

With the prospect of a vaccine for COVID-19 getting closer, President Trump has become embroiled in a rhetorical battle with one of his top public health experts, Robert Redfield, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about the timeline on which a potential vaccine could be distributed.


One of, if not the largest pieces of legislation passed under President Trump’s presidency was the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The legislation consisted of a large, permanent tax cut for corporations, and temporary cuts to individual taxes that will expire in 2025.

On his part, Biden has proposed a tax plan that would raise taxes for wealthy Americans and tax long term capital gains at the same rate as normal income, going in the complete opposite direction as Trump’s tax plan. Therefore, the overall direction of tax policy in America could be at play this election.


With the five tech titans Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, and Alphabet making over 20% of the S&P 500’s market capitalization, the out-sized role these companies have on our country is going to be an issue for whoever is elected president this year.

President Trump has long railed against large tech companies for what he perceives as a bias against conservatives. These allegations have already had an effect as it was recently revealed Facebook stopped enforcing its anti fake-news policies versus conservative outlets.

In the same vein, Democratic Party politicians have attacked these companies for their sale of users data and their use of corporate inversions to avoid paying taxes.

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