By Claire DaQuino
Although #SettleForBiden has become increasingly popular, the former Vice President’s policies show that when voting for Joe Biden, we are not settling, but in reality, voting for a president who believes in creating a more equitable, safe future for all citizens. But don’t just take my word for it. Read his plans and see for yourself.
First, Biden’s plan for Covid-19 includes enforcing a nationwide mask mandate to slow the spread of the pandemic. He will increase federal action for widespread testing, support fast-tracking the development of a safe and effective vaccine, and hopefully reopening schools amid the pandemic, when health officials agree this is safe to do.
Joe Biden will aid citizens who have lost their jobs during the pandemic and are currently struggling financially. He plans to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, which may not seem like much, but as some states, such as Georgia, have a minimum wage as low as $5.15 per hour, this will make a significant impact. Higher wages not only increase living conditions, but also stimulate the economy, as citizens have more money to spend. Next, Biden supports increasing the corporate tax rate, while getting rid of Trump’s tax cuts for the wealthy. However, he won’t raise taxes for anyone making under $400,000.
To expand on equity in the economy, Biden understands that the current economic crisis has hit Black and Brown communities especially hard, with Black unemployment at 15.4 percent, Latino unemployment at 14.5 percent, and businesses owned by Black, Latino, and Asian American people closing down at alarming rates. To combat this, and the countless other racial injustices that have taken place throughout United States history, Biden will strive for equity in management, training, and higher education opportunities connected to the jobs of the future by promoting diversity and accountability in leadership across key positions in all federal agencies and strengthening the federal reserve’s focus on racial economic gaps. In addition, the former Vice President will ensure his housing plan makes significant investments in homeownership and access to affordable housing for black, brown, and native families. Although these efforts may seem small, providing greater opportunity creates a strong basis for change.
Big ideas can produce extraordinary results, but sometimes a more realistic plan proves more attainable. Biden does not believe that the Green New Deal—100% renewable energy by 2030—is achievable, as this time span is too small. Thus, he will implement a long term plan for climate change, focusing on preserving the Amazon Rainforest, and increasing job opportunities. Capping oil wells, implementing sustainable, retooled agriculture, and building better insulated, more efficient structures, will not only slow climate change, but also create jobs. In addition, Biden believes global action requires American leadership. The United States only accounts for 15% of global carbon emissions, so to make a global difference, on day one he’ll recommit the United States to the Paris Agreement on climate change. Leading countries to focus on their domestic climate targets and integrating climate change into our own domestic and foreign policy, Biden will demonstrate the changes that can be made by listening to scientists and taking action.
Next, Biden plans to reform the prison system, starting by decriminalizing marijuana. The former Vice President will expunge all past convictions, so those with records due to marijuana will have a clean slate, and those currently in jail for marijuana will be freed. In addition, drug use will no longer be a criminal offense, and instead of jail time, rehab will be required.
Finally, Biden respects the opinion of the American people and thus believes in waiting until after the presidential election to appoint a supreme court justice. This decision will impact children, especially women, for years to come, and should not be rushed.
Now, vote knowing that you aren’t simply settling, as Biden’s bipartisan approach will unite the country, rather than deepening our intense divide. When voting for Biden, you are voting for an equitable, opportunistic future for yourself and your children. You are voting for equal opportunities and for a healthy Earth. You are voting for a compassionate president who will listen to science while keeping you informed. Use your voice, and make your vote count.