Presidential Comparison 2020

Who Will You Choose?

NFIB does not endorse presidential candidates; however, we do analyze their positions very carefully for the purpose of educating our members. Below you’ll find a head-to-head comparison of the positions expressed by President Donald Trump and Former Vice President Joseph Biden on issues that are important to small business. To learn more about NFIB’s involvement in other key elections, visit NFIB.com/Elections

Policy: Taxes – Passthrough Business Tax Rates / Individual Tax Rates
President Trump
  • Proposes permanently extending the current individual tax rates and income thresholds. As such, the top tax rate would remain at 37%.1
  • The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) lowered individual tax rates and income thresholds through 2025.
  • Proposes unspecified additional tax cuts to boost take-home pay.2

Former Vice President Biden
  • Proposes increasing the top individual tax rate from 37% to 39.6% for Americans with taxable income above $400,000.3
  • Proposes limiting deductions for individuals with taxable income above $400,000 and capping the value of itemized deductions at 28%.4
  • Proposes expanded child tax credit, child and dependent care tax credit, health insurance premium tax credit, and first-time homebuyer tax credit.5

Policy: Taxes – Small Business Deduction (Section 199A)
President Trump
  • Proposes making the Small Business Deduction permanent.6
  • The TCJA created the Small Business Deduction (new Section 199A) – a deduction up to 20% for passthrough businesses organized as S corporations, LLCs, sole proprietorships, and partnerships.7

Former Vice President Biden
  • Proposes phasing out the Small Business Deduction for passthrough business owners with taxable income above $400,000.8

Policy: Taxes – Estate Tax
President Trump
  • Proposes making the current estate tax exemption threshold permanent.9
  • The TCJA doubled the estate tax exemption threshold from $5 million to $11.58 million for 2020. It is scheduled to revert to $5 million after 2025.10

Former Vice President Biden
  • Proposes reverting the estate tax exemption threshold and estate tax rate to 2009 thresholds, when the exemption threshold was $3.5 million and the rate was 45%.11
  • Supports eliminating the current step-up in basis on inherited assets.12

Policy: Taxes – Payroll Tax
President Trump
  • Proposes forgiving recent Social Security payroll tax deferral.15
  • Issued Executive Order postponing employees’ share of Social Security taxes (6.2%) from September 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020.16

Former Vice President Biden
  • Supports instituting a 12.4% Social Security payroll tax on taxable income above $400,000, split between employers and employees.17

Policy: Taxes – Other Business Credits / Relief
President Trump
  • Proposes unspecified “Made in America” tax credits.18
  • Proposes capital gains tax relief by expanding Opportunity Zones for individuals and businesses that invest in distressed census tract communities. 19

Former Vice President Biden
  • Proposes creating a “Manufacturing Communities Tax Credit” to promote revitalizing, renovating, and modernizing existing – or recently closed – facilities, if they meet strict labor standards.20

Policy: COVID-19 Recovery – Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
President Trump
  • Proposes allowing for second round of PPP funding for businesses that have demonstrated lost revenue due to COVID-19 lockdowns.21

Former Vice President Biden
  • Proposes setting aside $60 billion of PPP funding for small lenders and requiring half of all new funds go to businesses with 50 employees or fewer.22
  • Proposes allowing more generous loan amounts to cover qualified expenses for the duration of the crisis.23

Policy:COVID-19 – Regulations
President Trump
  • Issued Executive Order directing federal agencies to identify and temporarily rescind, modify, or permanently repeal any rules that inhibit the recovery of America’s economy following the initial disruptions COVID-19 caused.24

Former Vice President Biden
  • Proposes setting and enforcing strict OSHA Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) and increased penalties for violations. Proposed ETS would include social distancing, improved ventilation, adequate personal protective equipment, targeted sanitation procedures, as well as training, notification, and communication requirements for handling COVID-19 cases at work.25

Policy: Health Insurance
President Trump
  • Proposes unspecified regulatory actions to give Americans more choice, lower costs, and better care and to ensure that Americans with pre-existing conditions can obtain the insurance of their choice at affordable rates.27
  • Implemented regulations expanding certain health insurance options – short-term plans, association health plans (AHPs), and individual coverage health reimbursement arrangements (ICHRAs)27. Appealing legal challenge to AHP regulation.28
  • Repealed Affordable Care Act (ACA) individual mandate penalty, health insurance tax, Cadillac tax on employer-sponsored health insurance, and medical device tax.29,30,31

Former Vice President Biden
  • Proposes to protect and build upon the ACA by creating a public health insurance option to negotiate lower prices from hospitals and other healthcare providers, similar to Medicare.32
  • Proposes expanding premium tax credits in the health insurance exchange marketplaces by removing 400% federal poverty level income cap for eligibility and lowering the maximum cost of premiums from 9.86% of household income to 8.5% of household income. Supports tying premium tax credits to more generous “gold” plans instead of current “silver” plans for lower deductibles and out-of-pocket costs.32

Policy: Other Healthcare Proposals
President Trump
  • Challenging constitutionality of ACA as a result of the elimination of individual mandate penalty.33
  • Proposes taking administrative action to prevent patients from receiving “surprise medical bills,” if Congress does not pass legislation by December 31, 2020.34
  • Proposes implementing regulations allowing for importation of more affordable prescription drugs from other countries.35,36
  • Proposes implementing regulations requiring hospitals to provide price transparency of common health services beginning January 1, 2021.37,38

Former Vice President Biden
  • Proposes barring “surprise medical billing” by prohibiting healthcare providers from charging out-of-network rates when patients do not have control over the provider (ex. hospitals).39
  • Proposes requiring Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices and allowing for importation of more affordable prescription drugs from other countries.39

Policy: Employment Law – Federal Minimum Wage
President Trump
  • Opposed the Raise the Wage Act, which would have raised the minimum wage to $15.00 per hour, indexed it to the median hourly wage, and eliminated the “tipped wage.”40

Former Vice President Biden
  • Proposes increasing the federal minimum wage to at least $15.00 per hour, indexing it to the median hourly wage, and eliminating the “tipped wage.”41,42

Policy: Employment Law – Labor Union Issues
President Trump
  • Opposed the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, which would ban state “right to work” laws, allow secondary boycotts of businesses in the supply chain, and eliminate the right to the secret ballot in union elections through “card check.”43

Former Vice President Biden
  • Supports the PRO Act, which would ban state “right to work laws”, allow secondary boycotts of businesses in the supply chain, and eliminate the right to a secret ballot in union elections through “card check.”44

Policy: Employment Law – Joint Employer / Franchise / Independent Contractor Issues
President Trump
  • Implemented a new Joint Employer standard in line with the traditional, direct control definition of joint employment.
  • Opposed the PRO Act, which contained California’s stricter ABC test for employment that would significantly restrict the rights of independent contractors, and the ability of employers to utilize independent contractors. 45

Former Vice President Biden
  • Proposes reinstating the Obama Administration’s Joint Employer standard, which changed the traditional definition of joint employment to indirect control. Proposes holding employers liable for the conduct of subcontractors.46
  • Proposes implementing California’s stricter ABC test for determining independent contractors.47
  • Proposes enacting legislation that would make worker misclassification a substantive violation of labor law. 48

Policy: Employment Law – Paid Leave
President Trump
  • Enacted legislation instituting paid family and medical leave for all federal employees and has rhetorically supported paid family leave for all workers.49
  • Enacted temporary paid family and medical leave and paid sick leave for workers impacted by COVID-19 through December 31, 2020. Provided payroll tax credits to offset cost of providing leave.50

Former Vice President Biden
  • Proposes mandating a national paid family and medical leave program that would provide up to twelve weeks of leave for all workers to care for serious health conditions, including pregnancy.
  • Proposes mandating a national paid sick leave program that would provide seven days of leave for routine personal and family health needs, and an additional 14 days during pandemics (pandemic paid sick leave would be offset by tax credits).51

Policy: Small Business Federal Contracting
President Trump
  • Proposes consolidating duplicative programs that support small business federal contracting into the SBA’s Office of Government Contracting and Business Development, creating a “one-stop shop” within SBA for all federal contracting eligibility criteria, application processes, reporting, and certifications for both the participating small businesses and the agencies seeking to meet their contracting requirements.52

Former Vice President Biden
  • Proposes expanding federal contracting opportunities through Small Business Administration’s 8(a) business development program for certified “small disadvantaged businesses.”53
  • Proposes a small business contracting strategy that includes formula-based awards, widespread outreach and counseling to small business owners, and transparent monitoring of contract awards.54

1https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/spec_fy21.pdf (Page 276)

2https://www.donaldjtrump.com/media/trump-campaign-announces-president-trumps-2nd-term-agenda-fighting-for-you

3https://joebiden.com/two-tax-policies/

4https://taxfoundation.org/joe-biden-tax-plan-2020/

5https://joebiden.com/two-tax-policies/

6https://www.congress.gov/115/plaws/publ97/PLAW-115publ97.pdf

7https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/saphr6760hr6757hr6756_hr20180926.pdf

8https://budgetmodel.wharton.upenn.edu/issues/2020/3/10/the-biden-tax-plan-updated

9https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/spec_fy21.pdf (Page 276)

10https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/saphr6760hr6757hr6756_hr20180926.pdf

11https://www.taxpolicycenter.org/sites/default/files/publication/160472/an_updated_analysis_of_former_vice_president_bidens_tax_proposals_1.pdf (revert to 2009 exemption and rate)

12https://budgetmodel.wharton.upenn.edu/issues/2020/9/14/biden-2020-analysis (to eliminate stepped-up basis)

13https://promiseskept.com/achievement/overview/economy-and-jobs/

14https://joebiden.com/two-tax-policies/

15https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-trump-press-briefing-080920/

16https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/memorandum-deferring-payroll-tax-obligations-light-ongoing-covid-19-disaster/

17https://budgetmodel.wharton.upenn.edu/issues/2020/3/10/the-biden-tax-plan-updated

18https://www.donaldjtrump.com/media/trump-campaign-announces-president-trumps-2nd-term-agenda-fighting-for-you

19https://taxfoundation.org/president-trump-tax-plan-2020/

20https://joebiden.com/made-in-america/

21https://thehill.com/policy/finance/507830-mnuchin-hardest-hit-businesses-should-be-able-to-get-second-ppp-payment

22https://joebiden.com/made-in-america/

23https://joebiden.com/smallbusinesses/

24https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/executive-order-regulatory-relief-support-economic-recovery/

25https://joebiden.com/reopening/

26https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/executive-order-america-first-healthcare-plan/

27https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/presidential-executive-order-promoting-healthcare-choice-competition-across-united-states/

28https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/ebsa/ebsa20190429

29https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/executive-order-america-first-healthcare-plan/

30https://www.congress.gov/115/plaws/publ97/PLAW-115publ97.pdf

31https://www.congress.gov/116/plaws/publ94/PLAW-116publ94.pdf

32https://joebiden.com/healthcare/

33https://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/briefs/2020/06/29/19-840bsunitedstates.pdf

34https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/executive-order-america-first-healthcare-plan/

35https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/executive-order-increasing-drug-importation-lower-prices-american-patients/

36https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-takes-actions-help-lower-us-prescription-drug-prices

37https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/executive-order-improving-price-quality-transparency-american-healthcare-put-patients-first/

38https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=HHS_FRDOC_0001-0745

39https://joebiden.com/healthcare/

40https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/SAP_HR-582.pdf

41https://joebiden.com/build-back-better/

42https://joebiden.com/empowerworkers/#

43https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/SAP_HR-2474.pdf

44https://joebiden.com/made-in-america/

45https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/SAP_HR-2474.pdf

46https://joebiden.com/empowerworkers/#

47https://joebiden.com/empowerworkers/#

48https://joebiden.com/empowerworkers/#

49https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1208221277917515777?s=20

50https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/osec/osec20200628

51https://joebiden.com/covid-plan/

52https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Government-Reform-and-Reorg-Plan.pdf

53https://joebiden.com/main-street/

54https://joebiden.com/made-in-america/

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