HOUSTON - For those still weighing their options before casting a ballot in this year's presidential election, a new WalletHub study looks at how a Donald Trump, or Joe Biden victory might affect their finances. A panel of political and financial experts looked at the plans from each campaign and the significant differences between them.
Like any election, those differences hinge on whether voters 'like' the direction the country is headed, under President Trump, or think Joe Biden's call for change is the investment the country needs.
"I think what most Americans want to know is what does either one of these presidencies mean for my wallet?" says WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez.
The study looked at nine key categories, but the financial impact of taxes, healthcare, and social security take center stage, as the campaigns offer very different visions.
"Trump's plan, right now, is simply an extension of what we've already seen, and a blanket-statement about cutting taxes to save jobs," says Gonzalez. "I think Biden's does go a little more into things; making promises, definitely, that need to be kept."
On taxes, President Trump would extend his 2017 tax cuts to 2035. Joe Biden would raise corporate taxes and personal income taxes on those making $400,000 dollars or more.
Despite a Tax Foundation report that the top 1% of taxpayers pay more income taxes than the bottom 90% combined, WalletHub researchers think voters might find the argument compelling.
"If you are making over $400,000, you are going to see less money in your pocket," says Gonzalez. "If Biden is president, if you're not making $400,000 dollars, which 98% of Americans are not, then you'll either see the same amount or more money in your wallet."
Healthcare priorities are very different. The president wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act, cover pre-existing conditions, lower insurance premiums, and reform drug-pricing. A Biden administration would expand the ACA, offer a public option, and increase spending for rural and mental health.
And for Social Security, President Trump wants to reduce welfare spending, and eliminate 'cost of living' adjustments for future retirees. Biden wants to invest heavily on social spending, increase benefits, and hike payroll taxes on high-earners.
Additionally, both candidates are promising to promote the creation of millions of jobs. President Trump wants to reduce federal spending on education, while Joe Biden wants significant investment, including access to free college tuition and student loan forgiveness.
Of course, the future of any of these proposals depends on the outcome of Congressional and Senate races and the ability of the White House to get those measures turned into successful legislation.