By Natalie Sherman

Business reporter, New York


The social and financial devastation from the coronavirus pandemic helped win Joe Biden the White House – and his first months in workplace can be dedicated to tackling it.

While the nation stays sharply divided, Mr Biden’s occasion has management of the House and a slim majority within the Senate as nicely, giving him extra room than many anticipated to push his agenda.

1. Press for extra Covid-19 spending.

picture copyrightReuters

picture captionHunger and poverty within the US has spiked amid the pandemic

Since profitable the election in November, Mr Biden has put guarantees of further pandemic reduction entrance and centre of his plans.

Democrats are stated to be making ready a plan that would embody contemporary stimulus cheques for many households. Securing cash for state and native governments – funding that Republicans blocked whereas Donald Trump was in workplace – is one other high precedence.

There is little doubt that Republicans will battle the plans. But some Wall Street analysts, comparable to these at Goldman Sachs, are already pencilling in $750bn extra in reduction on the expectation that Mr Biden will get one thing via finally.

“That, at least, should be easier to do,” says Chris Low, chief economist at FHN Financial.

2. Call for elevating the minimal wage – and taxes.

picture copyrightGetty Images

picture captionTax cuts had been the Trump administration’s signature achievement

Mr Biden has stated he needs to greater than double America’s minimal wage to $15 an hour, a longstanding precedence of commerce unions and liberal advocacy teams.

He has additionally promised that he’ll push to lift taxes on the richest households and partially reverse tax cuts granted to corporations through the Trump administration, when high charges dropped from 35% to 21%.

Even with Democratic majorities, nonetheless, it is not clear that concept will turn into actuality anytime quickly, since getting such strikes via would probably require some Republican assist.

Wall Street analysts, a minimum of, are betting that increased taxes are off the desk for now.

But Jason Furman, a professor at Harvard Kennedy School and financial adviser underneath former President Barack Obama, stated he thinks some rises stay attainable.

“President Biden will only be able to get a fraction of what he’s called for, because he can’t do any more than what the most moderate Democratic senator wants,” he says. “I think he’ll get some tax increases on high-income households and corporations, but not a huge amount.”

3. Seek trillions in climate-friendly infrastructure spending.

picture copyrightGetty Images

picture captionInfrastructure wants are a difficulty that, in concept, unites Democrats and Republicans

During the marketing campaign, Mr Biden pledged to jumpstart the US economic system with huge investments in infrastructure, with an emphasis on climate-friendly gadgets like charging stations for electrical automobiles.

It’s an thought with loads of assist from enterprise teams and one which in concept might unite conservatives and liberals.

Prof Furman expects Mr Biden to push for a direct financial support package deal, pretty rapidly, after which a second, larger funding package deal with the tax hikes and funding for public transit, trains and different gadgets.

But getting Congress on board for sizable public works spending would possibly show simpler stated than achieved.

After all, Donald Trump touted infrastructure plans too – guarantees that turned a operating joke in Washington as they repeatedly did not progress. And many climate-friendly insurance policies stay controversial in Republican and enterprise circles.

“This opens up more scope but it’s still an exceedingly slim majority,” Prof Furman says. “You won’t be able to do everything.”

4. Order change on immigration and the atmosphere.

picture copyrightGetty Images

picture captionMr Biden has stated he’ll push the US to undertake more durable air pollution guidelines and extra electrical automobiles

Mr Biden will not must depend upon Congress for all the pieces – and he is prone to focus his government energy on points like immigration and the atmosphere, two areas the place the company world typically break up from the Trump administration.

He has promised to rapidly reverse Trump actions, together with by rejoining the Paris Climate Accord and ending journey bans from a number of Muslim-majority international locations

He’s additionally obtained energy to affect coverage through appointees, new guidelines governing points like air pollution, and Washington’s spending would possibly, which he has pledged to make use of to supercharge demand for electrical automobiles.

5. Do, nicely, one thing, on pupil debt.

picture copyrightReuters

picture captionMr Biden will face stress on points like pupil debt from the left in his occasion

It’s not clear how far Mr Biden will go with regards to utilizing his White House energy.

Democratic leaders like Senators Elizabeth Warren and Chuck Schumer have pushed him to signal government orders wiping out as much as $50,000 in pupil money owed owed to the federal authorities.

Mr Biden has to this point rebuffed calls to unilaterally cancel such money owed, sticking with the stance he took throughout his election marketing campaign, when he backed legislative proposals to forgive as much as $10,000 in federal pupil loans.

“The first couple of years the Biden administration is going to find itself spending a lot of time trying to establish what the correct policy position is because they are not in agreement,” says economist Pippa Malmgren, who served within the White House of former President George W Bush. “The left is divided, just not as sharply as the right is.”