Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Sen. Joe Biden: a Deeper Look at his Tax Views

With Election Day only a few months away, both Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain have announced their running mates. Although everyone in the media is talking about Sen. Joe Biden and Gov. Sarah Palin, no one is really talking about their tax or economic views. With a looming recession, and gas prices expected to spike because of Hurricane Gustav, I decided to take a deeper look into Senator Joe Biden’s tax views.

Ending the War

One of Biden’s most progressive tax views is his adamancy about ending the war. Biden feels the sooner we end the war, the sooner we can start saving money again and reducing our national debt. Currently, the war on Iraq is costing around $100 billion a year, and Biden wants use that money to invest in our own country.

Bush Tax Cuts

The Bush tax cuts have been a large subject of debate this election season. Biden opposes the tax cuts and has voted against them recently and voted against similar tax cuts in the past when Bush Sr. was president. Although the argument has been made that the “trickle down” effect will make sure the tax cuts benefit us all, Biden claims that this tactic has not worked. “Imagine what we could do if we had a president who had the nerve and the wisdom to understand that rich folks are just as patriotic as poor folks--you just have to ask them,” claimed Biden. “I spoke to a group of millionaires about taking away their tax cut, and when I explained how I'd use it, they gave me a standing ovation.”

Health Care

Joe Biden is known for his fight for an ethical and easy health care system for America. Working closely with Social Security as well as Medicare, he has been a big part of numerous changes that have already been made to health care in this country. If elected as Vice President, Biden has claimed that he would like to work alongside Obama to strengthen prescription drug programs and make them affordable and available to everyone.

Biden recognizes that Medicare has many flaws and that it requires improvement. He would like to open programs to promote wellness and disease prevention, waive co-payments, and advance technology within the medical industry. He hopes to fund these new programs by repealing the Bush tax cuts for the top 1% and withdrawing troops from Iraq. However, there are noticeable flaws in Biden's health plans such as his neglect to recognize youth needs. Most of his plans emphasize senior health, which is important but should not be the only part of his plan.

Gas Prices

Taking on the OPEC monopoly is one of the riskier moves Biden wants to make. Some critics think this will not help but hurt the problem, as OPEC is not the only cause of high gas prices. Biden’s other energy plans are to invest in new alternative energies will be pricey at first, but have the potential to save billions in the long-run.

Education and Taxes

Biden has worked on numerous bills designer to make education more affordable, and introduced the college ACCESS legislation that provides a refundable tax credit for struggling students to help pay for tuition. The legislation also expanded grants for low-income families. To pay for the legislation Biden voted yes on shifting $11 billion from corporate tax loopholes to education.

Death Tax Exemption

While in the Senate Biden voted against raising the Death Tax Exemption from $1 million to $5 million. He felt the tax did not apply to most Americans, and only gave more money to wealthy heirs and heiresses such as the notorious Paris Hilton.

AMT Repeal

Senator Biden also voted against repealing the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). As we all know, the tax was originally meant to only target only the very wealthy, but is now being levied on thousands of middle class America due to inflation. However, Biden noticed that repealing it entirely would surely put us into deficit, decrease government revenue, and unbalance the budget even more. However, Biden has claimed that he would favor adjusting the ATM for inflation and the standard of living for 2008.

Balanced Budget

Sen. Biden is adamant about his fight for a balanced budget. He voted for the balanced budget amendment in 1997, and voted against making tax cuts a priority over national debt reduction in 2000. He also stated that interest rates should be lowered across the board, and that tax breaks on investment dividends should be repealed.

Hedge Funds

Biden has never been discrete about his dislike of hedge funds, and believes they are a main cause of the credit crunch in the United States. He also disliked equity funds and cites them as another cause of the country’s current financial crisis.

Foreign Aid

When the Georgia-Russia dispute first broke out, Biden immediately called for $1 billion in emergency aid. After meeting personally with Georgia’s president, he was adamant and convinced of his decision. In February of 2008, Biden also pushed for a massive increase of non-military financial aid to Pakistan.

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