The 2020 Presidential Election: Donald Trump vs. Joe Biden


Courtesy of Google Images

President Donald Trump and Former Vice President Joe Biden are both looking for the Presidential victory following Election Day.

On Tuesday, November 3, American citizens will make their way to local polling sites to cast their ballots for their preferred presidential candidate. This election, there are only two nominees making the headlines: Former Vice President and Democratic Party nominee, Joe Biden, and current President and Republican Party nominee, Donald Trump. The two major party candidates have participated in two debates and their respective town hall meetings in hopes of swaying the American popular vote in their favor. However, these debates, for many citizens who chose to tune in, were hard to listen to and made deciphering each candidate’s stance on a specific issue quite difficult, as much of the screen time was spent dishing out personal attacks. Despite the disorderly behavior at the debates, Americans still maintain a civil responsibility to vote for the candidate who best represents their personal beliefs.

The ongoing Coronavirus pandemic is a hit topic for both candidates, as the process of dealing with the virus has been considered controversial. According to the Center for Disease Control’s Coronavirus Data Tracker, there are currently over 8 million cases of Covid-19 in the United States. Moreover, since the first outbreak of the Coronavirus within American borders, there have been an estimated 227,000 deaths. The handling of this pandemic has been controversial, as some believe the Federal Government should have been more prompt and strict with national guidelines. Democratic Party nominee, Joe Biden, has stated that he plans to ensure free and widely available testing for those affected by the virus. Biden has also stated that he is looking to enact an emergency paid leave for employees who must quarantine after coming into contact with the virus. Biden has mentioned that he would enact a national mask mandate and look towards prompting a national lockdown, if cases continue to grow. Biden’s policy works towards slowing, and eventually stopping, the spread of Coronavirus in the United States. Social Studies teacher, Ashley Hicks, admits the policies are appealing at first glance, but is curious about the specificities behind the plan.

“I looked over the plan, and it sounds really good on paper. The difference is the argument of how much should be up to a state versus how much should be up to the federal government. We are seeing a climb in confirmed cases, so clearly something needs to be done. We are talking about increasing all this stuff, but I am curious where the funds are going to come from,” Hicks stated.

Biden plans to enforce a national mask mandate in response to Covid-19, if elected.

Biden’s mention of another lockdown causes concern for some, especially small business owners. Another lockdown would simultaneously mean another freeze in the nation’s economy. Hicks questions how the United States could maintain a healthy economy, while also protecting the health of its citizens.

“If you are talking about closing again, you have to figure out that people can’t just not work, so how are you going to pay them? From what I understand, when I looked, the plan was just to pay back over time using tax revenue, but where are we getting the funds right now? That is the question,” said Hicks.

Contrary to Biden’s plan, President and GOP nominee, Donald Trump, is not looking for another lockdown, and has not mentioned enacting a national mask mandate. Thus far in the Coronavirus pandemic, Trump has allocated $400 million to the VA’s emergency relief fund, as a result of the virus. President Trump also signed several executive orders to account for student loan relief, economic relief for out-of-work Americans, and eviction protection for renters and homeowners. Despite the actions taken by Trump as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak, some believe his response emphasized how ill-equipped the administration was to deal with the pandemic. The lack of a national standard, with consideration towards the virus, is possibly the result of America’s geographic data, compared to smaller and less populated countries, according to Hicks.

Trump’s handling of the pandemic has been controversial among some Americans. (Courtesy of Google Images)

“Most of the comparisons that I have seen have been to places like New Zealand or parts of Europe. They have systems in place because they are smaller geographically, where it is easier to police and control nationwide mandates like that. If you think about how big the U.S. is and how diverse the U.S. is, it’s hard to have a national mandate because then, how do you enforce it? So, it was left up to the states, even more specifically, it was left up to city officials. Now, did those places do a good job? That is kind of a case by case basis, but I think it’s too hard to have a federal system do a blanket statement that everyone has to do this everywhere because we are so big and we are so different,” stated Hicks.

Perhaps one of the most differentiating policies between Biden and Trump is their view on taxation. Biden has included a detailed plan in his campaign to raise the taxes on corporations and the top 1 percent of individual earners. According to an article published by the Tax Foundation , a site dedicated to the analysis of various taxation policies, in October 2020, Biden’s tax policy would reduce GDP by an approximate 1.62 percent over the long term; however, his plan is estimated to raise tax revenue by $3.3 trillion over the next decade. The article further stated that by 2030, the Biden tax plan would lead to an approximate 7.7 percent less post tax-income for the wealthiest individual earners and an approximate 1.9 percent decrease in post-tax income for all taxpayers.

Contrary to Biden’s plan, Trump’s agenda, with consideration to taxation policy, includes expanding current tax breaks and undetailed tax cuts for individuals. Trump plans to continue the outlines provided by the Tax Cuts and Job Act passed in 2017, but he has yet to release any further details. Tarrant County College Economics professor, Mohammad Borougerdi, notes that the goals for each potential administration are quite different; thus, the results of each policy are different.

“One of the principles of economy is that, market economic system can’t provide both Equity and Efficiency at the same time. This is the most fundamental difference between the two economic systems that existed for a few centuries, one pioneered by Adam Smith who argued free market economy would bring the biggest pie, or more efficiency, for the economy, and the other which advocated for more government involvement in the economy to bring equality. Biden and his team are more concerned about equality by taxing the rich more to provide for the poor- free health care, free college, unemployment benefit and so on. Versus, Trump and his party are for less government involvement in taxing the businesses in general. Therefore, with the Biden plan the pie might become smaller, but more in the hands of middle to lower economic class citizens. By Trump’s plan, the pie gets bigger, but most goes to the wealthy, not much to the middle class and poor,” Borougerdi stated.

Another major issue for Americans unsure of who they are casting their vote for is immigration. The way America has dealt with those who attempt to illegally immigrate to the country has long been controversial, but more so in recent years, as accusations against border officials have been made. The allegations made state the officials have placed children in cages, separated families at the border, and have not maintained a cleanly environment for those who are being detained. Biden’s stance on immigration remains somewhat broad; however, the former Vice President has admitted to wanting to undo everything President Trump has done in office, in regards to immigration. He also plans on modernizing the immigration system and implementing effective border screening. Hicks noticed that Biden has gotten a little more specific in debates, but also knows his broad plan on immigration is more of a tactical move.

Immigration is a hot topic in the current election, as both nominees have a different idea of how to deal with illegal immigration. (Courtesy of Google Images)

“It is hard to analyze when you keep it so broad, but that’s kind of a smart point to me because if you get too specific when you are just running for an office, you kind of dig yourself into this hole. If you keep it broad and say ‘I just want to reform,’ then later on you can define, once you’re in office, what that looks like. He has gotten a little bit more specific in the debates because I remember him talking about creating a program that would allow people who are already in the United States illegally to then gain citizenship. He had a whole process of what that would look like. I know he mentioned DACA a couple times, that he wants to work more with DACA. I also know that he wanted to up our quota for how many refugees we are willing to take into the U.S.,” Hicks stated.

During President Donald Trump’s time in office, he has worked on building a wall between the United States and Mexico border. Furthermore, during his administration, several allegations have been made against border security for separating families, placing children in cages, and maintaining an unclean environment for those detained at the border. Hicks has observed the mistreatment at the border and is curious to see what potential reforms are possible with immigration.

“Immigration is such a big topic because this is a border state. This is Texas. It really is a deep part of what’s going on here in our state. I have heard and I have seen some of the mistreatment at the border and it is sad because they are still people. I do also understand that there has to be some sort of regulation because you can’t just have open border plans because then, how do you track who’s coming in and if they are sick, especially now with Covid. There has to be some type of system in place. I am interested to see what potential reforms there could be with immigration. As far as building a physical barrier, I’m not sure that will ever see the light of day because so much money is being invested into trying to keep everything at least somewhat running. However, I am curious to see what type of immigration reforms come out because there have been so many stories of mistreatment at the border,” said Hicks.

However American citizens choose to vote, there is a certain level of importance for voters to be well informed on who they are voting for and what policies they are voting on. Staying educated and well informed on both, Biden and Trump’s policies, are vital to the progression of America, as a country. Election Day is Tuesday, November 3, and Mansfield residents that are registered to vote can make their way to the Mansfield Sub-Courthouse to cast their ballots for their preferred candidate.