By: Andrew Rosen, CFP®, CEP®

If you didn’t know, there’s an election coming up! (I know, groundbreaking news, right?) I don’t think I gained a thing after the debate the other night. These days, I find there’s a lot of “fake” news, as one party is trying to out-smear the other. Most of us are so caught up in it that we can’t see the forest through the trees. There’s still a lot of undecided voters out there and uncertainty on many angles of the election. This is why I thought a post on the actual policies being proposed by each party is warranted.

(On a side note, we’re actually hosting a fantastic virtual event on October 27th. It will be on how the election will influence the markets and the focus will come from our own CIO, Mike Horwath, and the VP of Global Relations at Natixis Investments, Susan Olson. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing both speak on these topics, and I highly suggest tuning in.)

Alright, so what should you know about the candidates?

The Incumbent, Donald Trump, & The Republican Party Policies:

Taxes – Basically, Trump got his big tax victory during his first term. It was lack luster when compared to what a lot of people were expecting, but his big win came from the corporate tax department. Trump, if reelected, is looking to forgo any real changes here. If anything, he’s attempting to make the tax breaks permanent.

Foreign Policy – Trump is looking to keep the hardline policies and prioritize America. He’d be looking to a Phase 2 of a China agreement, seeking implementation of a more bi-lateral trade agreement, and considering tariffs on the EU. There would likely be no additional sanctions for Russia, as well. In addition, the key fight is in the South China Sea. This is where Trump is making an aggressive play preventing China’s control over Taiwan. The reason is TSMC (or Taiwan Semi-Conductor company). Trump is trying to block China’s strangle hold on the tech information industry and TMSC is crucially important, since they produce a large majority of the chips used worldwide (and since the US doesn’t produce any of their own).

Infrastructure – The President is trying to get a $1 trillion dollar infrastructure bill passed to build roads, bridges, 5G, and rural broadband.

Healthcare – It’s no secret here that Trump wants to end ACA and try to fight for lower prescription drug prices. This is a big hot-button item of the upcoming election.

Immigration – Trump wants his wall and more strict immigration policies. He’s been running with this for years.

Energy & Climate Control – Again, this is a polarizing topic. Trump wants to expand drilling and continue rolling back Obama’s environmental regulations.

The Opponent, Joe Biden, & The Democrats Policies:

Taxes – Biden is definitely vying for higher taxes, especially on top earners. He’s looking to unwind Trump’s tax plan, as well as increase estate, capital gain, and dividend tax rates. If elected, there’s the likelihood of change, but I don’t think it will be as drastic as a lot of us fear.

Foreign Policy – Biden is certainly less aggressive and is looking to rollback a lot of tariffs. He’s likely to take a less “get in your face and threaten” approach, as this topic doesn’t seem to be a top priority. As for Russia, expect a full court press, heavy tariffs, and sanctions, along with an investigation into election fraud and rebuking Putin. You can also expect Biden to enter us into the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Infrastructure – Biden is looking to invest $10 trillion dollars on infrastructure. Everything from healthcare, education, and climate change seem to be on his infrastructure policy list.

Healthcare – Naturally, Biden is looking to protect what Obama put into place with the ACA. He wants to address prescription pricing as well, and even possibly will go further into healthcare for all.

Immigration – Don’t expect a wall built if Biden is elected. He’ll certainly be softer on immigration as a whole, and he wants to address race relations, which has certainly been a hot issue in this country. If elected, you can look for more police reform and housing as part of this topic.

Energy & Climate Control – You can look for Biden to put back Obama’s policies on regulating emissions, fossil fuels, and environmental protections. Additionally, you can expect us to reenter the Paris Climate Agreement and make a real push for clean and alternative energy. This is a big topic for many looking at this election.

Best of the rest

These are the biggest topics being talked and wondered about. Of course, it doesn’t cover everything (like the debate over the next Supreme court justice). Regardless of where you stand, they’ll have huge shoes to fill, when taking into account they’re from a wonderful woman such as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. It’s a massive loss for our country. (I just watched her movie with my daughters, which I highly recommend).

Big Swing States

My last comment is on what states to watch for in the election. Seemingly, the big potential swing states are Georgia, Florida, Arizona, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Maine, and Nebraska. There are others to keep a look out for as well, like Texas, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, New Hampshire (with the “live free or die” slogan that I love), and Nevada. That doesn’t mean your vote doesn’t count if not in one of those states, but those seem to be the biggest question marks indicated by the experts.

Additionally, lot of key house and senate seats are up for grabs. In a lot of aspects, this can be a bigger factor for change over who resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Reminder – Vote! Vote! Vote!

I love elections. They’re great representations of what makes this country the best in the world. It’s our right and freedom to vote, no matter what side you stand on. I promise our country will be OK, regardless of who gets elected. Remember, we’re doing an excellent seminar on 10/27 so register if you’d like to learn more.

Thanks as always and stay wealthy, healthy, and happy.

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