Americans are obsessed with the economy. Here are the tiny bits Trump and Biden said about Social Security and inflation.

    President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump disagreed over the economic issues, like inflation and Social Security, at the first presidential debate in Atlanta.

    Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

    Trump and Biden took the stage on June 27 for the first presidential debate of the year.While the economy is at the top of voters’ minds, the candidates hardly addressed it.They both blamed each other for inflation, and made some false or misleading claims. 

    The first presidential debate came and went, and voters gained little additional insight into each candidate’s economic visions.

    Over the past year, polls and surveys have continued to reflect a recurring theme: high prices are one of the biggest concerns for Americans. May’s Consumer Price Index, which measures inflation, rose 3.3% year over year, a slight decrease from April’s 3.4% reading — slowly getting closer to the Federal Reserve’s 2% target.

    But Americans aren’t feeling the relief. According to TransUnion’s latest Consumer Pulse survey, 84% of respondents said inflation was a top-three concern, a five percentage-point increase over the second quarter of 2023.

    Even so, the presidential debate Thursday night focused on a few economic issues but didn’t go far beyond that. Former President Donald Trump used the low consumer sentiment to blame President Joe Biden for inflation, saying that Biden inherited “the greatest economy in the history of our country.”

    Trump’s claim was false — prior administrations had better economic performance. Biden pushed back, saying that Trump is “the only one who thinks that.” But voters likely don’t need to know who is at fault; they want to know how the candidates will bring them financial relief.

    Here’s what Biden and Trump had to say about key economic issues during the first debate.

    The economy blame game

    When asked specifically how they would address inflation, Biden said he would lower housing prices, cap rents, lower drug costs, and address “corporate greed” — all elements consistent with the economic plan his administration previously outlined should he win a second term.

    Meanwhile, Trump did not offer any new insight into his own economic plan if he wins the election — but he did claim Biden is to blame for inflation and will continue to raise Americans’ taxes.

    “If I’m given another four years, I will be the best,” Trump said. “I think I’ll be the best. Nobody’s ever created an economy like us. Nobody ever cut taxes like us. He’s the only one that wants to raise your taxes by four times.”

    That’s not true — Biden has said he will not raise taxes on anyone making under $400,000 a year, and while he supports raising taxes on the wealthy and corporations, doing so would not increase taxes by four times.

    Voters also did not learn anything new regarding the two candidates’ stances on Social Security — a major issue for those entering or in retirement. When asked what Biden would do to ensure the strength of the program, he said he would “make the very wealthy begin to pay their fair share right now.”

    Trump, on the other hand, said Biden is going to “destroy Social Security” and did not offer any insight into how he might address the program. However, he previously criticized his own party for suggesting changes to Social Security; early last year, he said: “Cut waste, fraud and abuse everywhere that we can find it and there is plenty, there’s plenty of it,” he continued. “But do not cut the benefits our seniors worked for and paid for their entire lives. Save Social Security, don’t destroy it.”

    Ultimately, the major takeaway from the night was not the candidates’ economic stances, despite it being a top issue for voters. Rather, it was how both Biden and Trump performed — and the chorus of Democrats calling for Biden to step aside following his rambling and unclear responses.

    Read the original article on Business Insider


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