The race for the White House does not cross Colorado this year, but the differences between the candidates on local issues are profound.
The economy and health care are just two of those issues that President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden have parted ways with. In addition, there is no doubt that the events of 2020, including racial unrest, the coronavirus pandemic and the recession, have made it clear how much political decisions at the national level are having an impact on Colorado.
The Colorado Sun has researched candidate platforms and asked presidential campaigns to answer more than a dozen questions about major Colorado issues. Neither campaign addressed all of the issues discussed below in their responses.
MORE: Find out where presidential candidates Donald Trump and Joe Biden stand on Colorado issues in our voter guide
On the response to coronaviruses
The coronavirus pandemic has shaped the campaign of more than one, and on this issue, the views of Trumps and Bidens are, predictably, divergent.
Echoing public health experts, a study from the University of Oxford found that the Trump administration had mutilated its response to the virus. The Trump administration has largely delegated and deflected states’ responsibility for obtaining medical supplies, while also outbidding states for some equipment. Her administration released a plan to distribute a coronavirus vaccine in September and said it would engage with state, tribal, territorial and local partners to facilitate distribution.
Biden has repeatedly criticized Trump for the way he has handled the virus and is arguing for a greater federal response. Its website says it would take responsibility for distributing medical supplies to states, and it offers to put in place a new federal infrastructure to manage the virus response and coordinate with states.
Trump mocked Biden for wearing a mask, and Biden called on every governor to enforce a mask.
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On the economy
Trump’s stance on providing economic aid to states in response to the pandemic changed throughout the fall as he called off stimulus negotiations with Congress before restarting them shortly and asking for a more aggressive economic response. On this issue, Biden believes the federal government should do more to provide economic aid to states and criticized Republicans in Congress for not adopting an aid package.
Biden supports additional stimulus checks, if needed, and says he would provide more money to states to protect essential workers from dismissal. He also suggested that Congress establish a cash reserve for the states.
Trump has repeatedly portrayed an optimistic version of the economic recovery and relied on the strength of the economy in some of his campaign messages. I had to shut down the biggest economy in our country’s history, he said during the first presidential debate. And by the way, now it’s under construction.
Trump and the Republicans in 2017 cut taxes for the vast majority of Americans in an effort to spur economic growth. It is difficult to say for sure what the impact of these cuts has been, even if they did not boost the economy to the extent Trump had announced.
But economic indicators suggest the road to normalcy could be long and difficult, and Republicans and Democrats have failed to agree on a stimulus package, even as the Federal Reserve Chairman pleaded with them to take measures.
Biden says his service as vice president during the recovery from the Great Recession qualifies him to lead the post-pandemic recovery. He linked the economic collapse to Trumps’ mismanagement of the coronavirus crisis.
His website says he would repeal some of Trump’s corporate tax cuts and impose common-sense tax reforms that would finally ensure that the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share. It would increase taxes for people who earn more than $ 400,000 a year.
On the environment
Candidates have remarkably different perspectives on energy and the environment – issues of particular importance to Coloradans. Trump has consistently promoted fossil fuels in his speeches and policies. He and his campaign attacked Bidens’ position on fracking. The former vice president said he would not ban fracking, but would like to phase it out as part of an aggressive effort to stave off the worst effects of climate change. On his campaign website, Biden says he opposes new drilling permits on public lands and waters, but his position statement does not relate to existing operations.
Fracking of public lands developed under the Trump administration, as the Home Office under his leadership weakened the rules that govern the practice. The administration repealed or reduced many Obama-era environmental regulations, including those aimed at reducing carbon pollution.
Conservationists applauded Bidens’ $ 2 trillion climate plan, which was more ambitious than the stance he defended in the primary. His plan aims to take the United States to net zero emissions by 2050, which would likely require stricter regulations than those implemented by Obama.
I know rising to the challenge would be a unique opportunity to breathe new life into our economy, strengthen our global leadership, protect our planet for future generations, Biden said when he unveiled his plan.
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On health care
Biden has resisted pressure to shift left over health care during primaries. He says he supports the creation of a Medicare-like public option that would allow people to purchase a government-run health care plan. He said he would lower the age of Medicare eligibility and focus on strengthening and protecting the Affordable Care Act.
Scaling up Bidens Medicare could have ramifications in Colorado, as it would allow states that have developed Medicare – like Colorado – to participate in a government-run no-premium public option, provided the states help. to cover part of the costs.
Republicans in Trump and the Senate attempted to repeal Obamacare, which now provides health care to more than 20 million Americans, at the start of the presidents’ tenure, but to no avail. Trump has not offered a plan outlining what he would replace Obamacare with, even if his administration challenges the legality of the laws in court.
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