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Biden lays out vision in convention speech, including tax changes

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Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden described his vision if he wins election against Donald Trump in November, expressing optimism and hope about overcoming the coronavirus, the economic crisis, climate change, racial divisions and other challenges during his acceptance speech at the virtual Democratic National Convention.

Speaking from a stage in Wilmington, Delaware, on Thursday night, Biden also briefly described his tax agenda in contrast to what would happen if Trump is re-elected in November. “If this president is re-elected, we know what will happen,” he said. “Cases and deaths will remain far too high. More mom-and-pop businesses will close their doors for good. Working families will struggle to get by, and yet, the wealthiest 1 percent will get tens of billions of dollars in new tax breaks.”

Biden discussed his plans for expanding health care, building on the Affordable Care Act that he helped pass in 2010 as vice president in the Obama administration, along with plans for building bridges and roads, improving child care and elder care, making college more affordable, and dealing with climate change while creating more jobs in the clean energy industry.

“And we can pay for these investments by ending loopholes and the president's $1.3 trillion tax giveaway to the wealthiest 1 percent and the biggest, most profitable corporations, some of which pay no tax at all,” Biden added. “Because we don't need a Tax Code that rewards wealth more than it rewards work. I'm not looking to punish anyone. Far from it. But it's long past time the wealthiest people and the biggest corporations in this country paid their fair share.”

Biden also took aim at Trump’s recent executive orders and memoranda, which included one that defers payroll taxes that are used to fund Social Security and Medicare, vowing to defend the programs.

“For our seniors, Social Security is a sacred obligation, a sacred promise made,” said Biden. “The current president is threatening to break that promise. He's proposing to eliminate the tax that pays for almost half of Social Security without any way of making up for that lost revenue. I will not let it happen. If I'm your president, we're going to protect Social Security and Medicare. You have my word.”

Trump responded on Twitter to Biden’s speech, tweeting, “In 47 years, Joe did none of the things of which he now speaks. He will never change, just words!”

Biden concluded his speech on a hopeful note. “May history be able to say that the end of this chapter of American darkness began here tonight as love and hope and light joined in the battle for the soul of the nation,” he said. “And this is a battle that we, together, will win, I promise you. Thank you, and may God bless you, and may God protect our troops.”

(For potential post-election planning tips, see our story. For a comparison of Biden and Trump’s tax policies, click here.)

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Joe Biden Tax planning Donald Trump Payroll taxes Social Security Coronavirus Election 2020 Elections Politics