With Joe Biden projected to win presidential nomination, here is what his presidency would look like


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After the last few rounds of state primaries, each delegate vote cast further cements disappointment for the Bernie Bros and Joe Biden’s nomination. At this point, Biden has an almost 300-delegate lead on Bernie Sanders, and Biden is projected to win almost all of the upcoming high point state primaries by the same double-digit margins that he has carried the last few voting periods with. The primary election has become predictable, but how Biden’s reputation and platform will play out in the national election is still up in the air.

Biden’s policies have been labeled “center-left,” and they only seem moderate when compared to other democratic candidates, some of whom go as far left as labeling themselves socialist. In their historical context, Biden’s policies rank among the most progressive a presidential candidate has ever put forward. It was just two elections ago that the Affordable Care Act was criticized for being too progressive, and Biden calling for its expansion to all Americans is unprecedented, and now has massive support from the majority of Americans. Biden’s comparatively moderate platform has clearly been well received by most democrats, bringing record levels of turnout in just the primaries, and predictions expect him to play well with critical swing voters. Biden’s policy platform is almost as mixed and matched as his base coalition of blue-collar Democrats, African-Americans, suburban women, uneducated younger men, and almost everyone else over the age of 30. Much of this support for Biden comes from his connection to former president Barack Obama, which is interesting because Biden’s policies lean notably further left than Obama’s did.

Concerning the climate, Biden supports huge expansion in nuclear technology, which one Yale article in 2018 claimed is the best alternative energy to combat climate change. He additionally supports ending federal leases for fossil fuel drilling, and imposing a tax on carbon emissions from businesses.

When it comes to healthcare, Biden is opposed to a single-payer plan, and instead supports updating and expanding the Affordable Care Act. This means he would keep private healthcare options available for those who want to pay extra while also providing a government-funded healthcare option for those who can’t afford or dislike private insurance. He is also intent on linking American drug and medicine prices to prices overseas, which would effectively prevent pharmaceutical corporations from raising drug prices to astronomical highs and ensure prices stay reasonable. With abortion, he intends to remove all restrictions except those related to third trimester time limits. He does, however, make exceptions to this, saying late third trimester abortions should be allowed if they are necessary for the health of the woman involved. In support of this, Biden plans to resume and increase federal funding for Planned Parenthood and other such organizations which provide access to healthcare for women.

Biden does support keeping criminal penalties legal as punishment option for illegal immigration, but he also is an avid supporter of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which creates a path to citizenship for those brought to the country illegally as children.

Biden is probably most in line with the far-left wing of the democratic party on criminal justice. He supports the decriminalization of marijuana and ending all past convictions related to nonviolent marijuana possession or use. While Biden does support nation wide decriminalization, which would make possession a civil offense (punishment would be a fine, not jail time), he also thinks the question of total legalization should be left up to state governments. He supports abolishing capital punishment, cash bail, mandatory minimums, private prisons, and sentencing increases for drug users, hoping to improve conditions for prisoners, stop over-crowding, and remove systems which are often discriminatory on the basis of wealth and race.

Biden supports raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour nationwide, and has supported both paid family leave and paid sick leave, but only has tentative plans regarding paid leave. Biden plans to enforce a stricter capital gains tax, which would tax all Americans with an income of over one million dollars at a rate of 39.6% instead of the current rate of 20%. In addition to rolling back most of Trump’s corporate tax cuts, Biden intends to raise the corporate tax rate to 28%, and set a 15% minimum even when tax breaks are taken into account for corporations with net profits of over $100 million. He also plans to raise income tax rates for wealthy individuals to the same rate he would raise capital gains taxes, advocating for a policy which would raise top income bracket rates to 39.6%, and placing a minimum cap of 28% on top-bracket taxes once tax breaks are taken into account.

Educational reform is a core part of Biden’s policy platform. He is against for-profit charter schools, but a supporter of non-profit charters. He also plans to spend billions increasing teacher pay, and nearly tripling current Title I funding, which would provide better education for low-income students. Regarding college, Biden proposes making the first two years of public university free, while repairing and expanding funding for existing debt relief and financial aid programs. The Democratic frontrunner’s policies on firearms involve a voluntary buyback program, and expansive detailed background checks, which would involve the creation of a national registry of arms.

Biden’s platform encompasses more than the policies listed above, but these core issues make up the bulk of what most voters will care about. Going into the national election, especially during a national health crisis, nothing is certain. Biden’s relatively moderate policy platform and the wide base it has attracted give him as good a chance as anyone could hope for to beat Donald Trump in 2020, and even polls which take the electoral college into account show that Biden has a real shot at winning.