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Biden and the Economy

It's not that the vice president actually has much to do on the economy, but, with his elder-statesman persona, maybe Joe Biden will be a bigger player on the policy front, a la Dick Cheney. In any case, the Wall Street Journal takes a look at what Biden means for the economy:


Not a fan of hedge funds: In a Democratic primary debate on This Week last year, Biden blamed hedge funds and private-equity funds for the credit crunch: "We need more transparency, particularly with regard to hedge funds and private equity funds. They are the ones that are causing this thing to go under. And there's no transparency, no accountability. We don't know how deep this problem is."

A stable capital-gains tax
: Biden voted no to cutting the capital-gains tax rate in 2005 and 2006. Obama favors imposing an income-tax regime on investment profits from private-equity firms and hedge funds that are currently taxed as capital gains. In 2003, the capital-gains tax rate was cut to 15%. Biden believes raising taxes on dividends will raise $195 billion a year....

No tax breaks for anyone earning more than $1 million: Sorry, Wall Street. Those deal makers who are still employed will surely pay higher taxes in an Obama-Biden administration. Biden has said he supports the elimination of tax cuts for anyone earning more than $1 million a year; he expects that to raise $85 billion a year for the government.

Toeing Obama's line on Nafta: In a debate broadcast on National Public Radio in December, Biden said, "the thing I'm most unsure about, is how you rationalize competition and trade policy. I think that's the single most difficult challenge that I will have as president." More recently, Biden has supported Obama's view that the North American Free Trade Agreement-which governs $810 billion in trade-should be renegotiated along more favorable lines for the U.S.