The 2018 midterm elections are finally here, so it’s time to start learning about the issues that matter to you most. Fortunately, financial experts from around the web have recently weighed in with their take on the five key personal finance issues this midterm election season — and what they mean for your wallet. So before you get out there and vote, check out these helpful insights on everything from tax returns to retirement funds and student loans to learn which candidate will be best for your wallet come November 6th!
- Democrats point to dangers to Medicare and Social Security
Democrats are warning voters as election day draws near that if Republicans regain control of Congress, Social Security and Medicare may be in jeopardy.
In a speech delivered on Tuesday in Hallandale Beach, Florida, President Joe Biden warned that “they’re coming for your Social Security and Medicare in a major way.”
Medicare modifications were implemented under the Inflation Reduction Act to lower retirees’ medication expenditures. Republicans could try to put a stop to these improvements, Biden suggested.
Additionally, he highlighted potential threats to Social Security based on Republican senators Rick Scott of Florida and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin’s policies. But neither politician has acknowledged having bad motives for the programme.
Johnson supports reviewing Social Security and Medicare every year, but Scott has advocated for reauthorizing the programmes every five years in Congress.
- Republicans advocate for more tax cuts
Republicans are urging to prolong significant portions of President Donald Trump’s landmark 2017 tax bill before of the November elections.
These politicians are focusing on a number of measures that will no longer be in effect after 2025, such as tax advantages for individuals, a 20% tax deduction for so-called “pass-through corporations,” in which business profits are reported on individual tax returns, and more.
According to Gerson at Miller & Chevalier, “they would like those provisions, ideally, to be made permanent, but at a minimum, to be prolonged—and to be extended sooner rather than later to offer taxpayers stability.”
Republicans won’t have the required 60 votes in the Senate to end the filibuster, even if they take over both houses, and Biden wouldn’t sign these laws into effect, he claimed.
Republicans will yet attempt to approve these “political message laws,” according to Gerson. “It truly sets a significant piece of the programme for the elections in 2024.”
- Upcoming increases to the minimum wage
This month, voters in Nebraska, Nevada, and Washington, D.C. will decide whether to raise the minimum wage in specified jurisdictions.
The legislation would increase Nebraska’s minimum wage from its current $9 per hour to $15 per hour by 2026.
In contrast, by 2024, the current hourly minimum wage in Nevada would increase to $12 for all employees. The current minimum wage is $9.50 per hour or $10.50 per hour, depending on whether health insurance is provided to employees.
Provided it receives enough votes, the D.C. ballot initiative would gradually phase out the tipped wage, which permits employers to pay their employees less than the $16.10 minimum wage if their tips make up the difference.
Economic Policy Institute economist Ben Zipperer said he wouldn’t be shocked if low-wage workers won on November 8.
In the last 20 years, Zipperer added, “I’m not aware of a ballot initiative being voted on that has failed” since minimum wage rises are so widely supported.
- A potential major victory for unions
After the epidemic, support for unions is at an all-time high. According to a recent Gallup poll, more than 70% of Americans support labour unions.
Voters in Illinois will determine whether or not to provide employees the fundamental right to organise and engage in collective bargaining, and the result of that ballot question during the midterm elections might hasten that expansion.
According to Daniel Galvin, an associate professor at Northwestern University whose research focuses on workers’ rights and labour politics, if the clause is passed into law, “it will reflect significant majority support for labour rights in a huge, important state.” It would also send a message to the rest of the nation that the right to engage in collective bargaining should be recognised as a basic freedom deserving of protection under the constitution.
- Millionaire tax in Massachusetts and California
Tuesday’s election in California and Massachusetts will decide whether to impose a “millionaire tax” on high earnings amid the countrywide frenzy of tax cuts.
In California, Proposition 30 would increase the highest income tax rate from the current 13.3% to 1.75% on income above $2 million per year starting on January 1. Programs for electric car development as well as wildfire response and mitigation are funded by the plan.
Starting in 2023, the Fair Share Amendment in Massachusetts would add a 4% surcharge to the state’s 5% flat income tax on incomes over $1 million, with the money raised going toward funding public education, roads, bridges, and public transit.
The proposed millionaire taxes, according to Jared Walczak, vice president of state programmes at the Tax Foundation, do not appear to be a part of a larger state-level trend.
About 21 states have reduced their individual income taxes since 2021, while only New York and the District of Columbia have increased their levies.