Biden Makes Economic Argument for Federal Spending on Caregiving
Former Vice President Joe Biden, 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, speaks during a news conference in Wilmington, U.S. (Photographer: Ryan Collerd/Bloomberg)

Biden Makes Economic Argument for Federal Spending on Caregiving

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Joe Biden said Tuesday it is a moral and an economic necessity for the government to better support those who care for children and the elderly, as he announced a sweeping plan to address the country’s “caregiving crisis.”

As the third part of his agenda to rebuild the economy once the coronavirus has been defeated, Biden outlined a $775 billion program over 10 years that would add jobs and boost pay for caregivers, eliminate the waiting list for home and community care under Medicaid and provide preschool for all 3- and 4-year-olds.

“The bottom line is that a mobilized caregiving and early education workforce would save working families time and money, get their loved ones the care and early childhood education they need, and put more people to work,” Biden said during a speech in New Castle, Delaware.

Biden Makes Economic Argument for Federal Spending on Caregiving

The proposal would be financed by taxes on real-estate investors with incomes of more than $400,000 as well as increased tax compliance by high-income earners.

Neither Biden nor his advisers detailed the proposed tax changes, but a campaign official said they would target “like kind” exchanges, in which investors roll the proceeds of real estate sales into future purchases, shielding them from taxes on their profits. The official also said Biden wants to prevent investors and estates from using real estate losses to lower their income tax bills.

“The 1031 exchange allowance is a pretty small tax allowance,” Bloomberg Intelligence’s Andrew Silverman said, referring to the like-kind exchanges. Citing an analysis by Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation, he said companies “save about $3 billion a year on these kinds of exchanges. Individuals, on the other hand, save more than twice that, $7 billion a year.”

The bottom line for investors is that “taxes will increase for everyone,” Silverman said. “Even if the impact isn’t directly on the majority of investors, the hit will come indirectly.”

Kushner Cos., the real estate firm once run by Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner, has benefited from the strategy. In 2017, the company bought a New Jersey apartment complex with the proceeds from a Toledo, Ohio, property sale using a like-kind exchange, Bloomberg reported.

Biden’s plan was the third part of his four-part economic plan he is rolling out ahead of the Democratic National Convention next month. The others involved manufacturing and clean energy, and the fourth will address racial equity.

Biden has been trying to chip away at Trump’s support among voters on the economy, and polls show Trump’s longstanding advantage on that issue is beginning to erode.

The plan calls for direct grants to states under Medicaid to provide training and jobs for 150,000 community health workers, and training for 35,000 workers to combat the opioid crisis. It would also create a public health job corps of 100,000 people. Biden would also offer tax credits and federal funding for businesses to build child care facilities.

“When we usually talk about a jobs package, there is a big push for shovel-ready jobs,” Biden said. “But that’s what care jobs are. These workers are ready now. These jobs can be filled now. Allowing millions of people, primarily women, to get back to work now.”

Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and a top adviser, touted her father’s work on childcare initiatives.

“.@realDonaldTrump has done more to support America’s working families in 3 yrs than Biden has in + 4 decades,” she wrote on Twitter, pointing to the Trump administration expanding the child tax credit and securing paid leave for the federal workforce.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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