As Americans head to the polls, several key personal finance issues are weighing heavily on voters’ minds and wallets.
This week, the Federal Reserve enacted its fourth consecutive year 0.75 percentage point interest rate hike to combat inflation, causing more losses in the stock market.
Meanwhile, recession fears are mounting, with 84% of Americans concerned about how a prolonged economic downturn may affect their finances, according to MassMutual. report released on Thursday.
More on Personal Finance:
What the Fed’s 0.75 percentage point rate hike means to you
Democrats warn that Social Security and Medicare are at stake
What ‘million dollar tax’ plans on the ballot in California and Massachusetts mean for top earners
“The economy in general has been very important and I think it’s really influencing the election,” said attorney Marc Gerson, a member of the tax department at the Miller & Chevalier law firm in Washington DC.
Some issues appear on state ballots, but federal policy depends on which party controls Congress. While the Republicans are the favorites to win the House, the Senate depends on a handful of competitive races.
Here are five of the most pressing issues this election season, and how Tuesday’s results can affect your wallet.
As Election Day approaches, Democrats tell voters that Social Security and Medicare may be at risk if the Republicans take control of Congress.
He also pointed out the potential risks to Social Security, based on the plans of certain Republicans, including Sens. Rick Scott of Florida and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin. But both legislators they have denied intentions to harm the program.
Scott has called for reauthorization of Social Security and Medicare every five years in Congress, while Johnson suggests reviewing the programs annually.
These lawmakers are targeting certain provisions that will expire after 2025, including individual tax breaks, a 20% tax deduction for the calls “passing businesswhere company profits flow to individual tax returns, and more.
“Ideally, they would like to see those provisions made permanent, but at a minimum, extended, and extended sooner rather than later to give taxpayers certainty,” said Gerson of Miller & Chevalier.
Even if Republicans take control of both chambers, they will not have the 60 votes needed in the Senate to circumvent the filibuster and Biden would not sign these measures into law, he said.
However, Republicans will still try to pass these “political messaging bills,” Gerson said. “It’s really setting an important part of the platform for the 2024 election.”
Voters will decide this month whether to make certain minimum wage increases in Nebraska, Nevada and Washington, DC
In Nebraska, the measure would increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2026, from the current $9.
Meanwhile, Nevada’s current hourly minimum wage would increase to $12 for all workers by 2024. The current minimum wage is either $9.50 per hour or $10.50 per hour, depending on whether a worker is offered health insurance.
The DC ballot measure, if it gets enough votes, would phase out tipped wages, allowing businesses to pay their workers less than the $16.10 minimum wage if their tips make up the difference.
ben zippereconomist at the Economic Policy Institute, said he wouldn’t be surprised if Nov. 8 is a victory for low-wage workers.
“Minimum wage increases are tremendously popular, and I’m not aware of a ballot measure that has failed in the last two decades,” Zipperer said.
Coming out of the pandemic, union support is at a record level. More than 70% of Americans approve of unions, a Gallup poll recently found.
The outcome of a ballot measure during the midterm elections could accelerate that growth: Illinois voters will decide whether or not to give workers the fundamental right to organize and bargain collectively.
If the provision becomes law, it “will demonstrate strong popular support for labor rights in a large and important state,” he said. Daniel Galvin, an associate professor at Northwestern University whose research areas include worker rights and labor policy. “It would also be a signal to the rest of the country that the right to collective bargaining must be seen as a fundamental right worthy of constitutional protection.”
Amid the nationwide wave of tax cuts, California and Massachusetts are voting on whether to enact a “millionaire tax” on top earners on Tuesday.
In California, Proposition 30 would add a 1.75% tax on annual income over $2 million, on top of the state’s top income tax rate of 13.3%, effective January 1. response and prevention.
The Fair Share Amendment in Massachusetts would create a 4% tax on annual income over $1 million, in addition to the flat 5% state income tax, also beginning in 2023, with plans to pay for public education, roads, bridges and public transport.
However, Jared Walczak, vice president of state projects for the Tax Foundation, said he doesn’t think the proposed multi-billion-dollar taxes are part of a broader statewide trend.
Since 2021, some 21 states have individual income taxes cutand only one state, New York and the District of Columbia, have raised taxes.