Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Joe Biden yesterday laid out the broad strokes of his economic policy platform, which seemingly is designed to not freak out centrists and not piss off progressives.

Why it matters: Biden has a better-than-even shot of becoming the next president, which means his tax plans could become everyone's tax bills.

Yes, but: Even if he wins in November, Biden wouldn't become president until six months from now. It's hard to see how economic prescriptions written in July 2020 — by any candidate — would be fully applicable in January 2021.

  • For context, imagine the irrelevance of most any policy specifics from six months ago, when we were all still at work and school.

What's new: Yesterday he proposed $400 billion in government procurement of U.S.-based goods and services over four years, plus another $300 billion in new spending on U.S.-based tech R&D (with a particular focus on geographies and founder demographics with less access to traditional venture capital).

  • Biden also talked a lot during his speech about how companies need to "end the era of shareholder capitalism," which seems to be a reiteration of last year's Business Roundtable pledge.

What's old: He reiterated several pre-pandemic ideas, such as repealing much of the 2018 tax cuts. This would include upping the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%, and reverting to prior top marginal rates for individuals.

  • Biden didn't specifically discuss carried interest or capital gains yesterday, but previously has said he'd like to eliminate the carried interest loophole and the preferential treatment for capital gains for high earners.
  • But, but, but: Both Presidents Obama and Trump campaigned on closing the carried interest loophole, yet it's still there. That said, the capital gains move would be a backdoor to impacting carried interest.

What's not in there: There's no wealth tax, Green New Deal, M&A moratoriums, or Medicare for All. There also aren't explicit pay-fors for the $700 billion in new spending, but such things are becoming increasingly passé.

🎧 Go deeper: The Axios Re:Cap podcast spoke with Biden campaign adviser Penny Pritzker, the former U.S. Commerce Secretary who also leads PSP Investments.

Go deeper

Aug 3, 2020 - Technology

What a President Biden would mean for tech

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

A Biden presidency would put the tech industry on stabler ground than it's had with President Trump. Although Biden is unlikely to rein in those Democrats who are itching to regulate the big platforms, he'll almost certainly have other, bigger priorities.

The big picture: Liberal Silicon Valley remains one of Democrats' most reliable sources for big-money donations. But a Biden win offers no guarantee that tech will be able to renew the cozy relationship it had with the Obama White House.

2 hours ago - World

Macron visits Beirut promising a "new political pact" for Lebanon

Macron visits the hard-hit Gemmayzeh neighborhood. Photo: AFP via Getty Images

French President Emmanuel Macron walked through the blast-damaged streets of Beirut on Thursday, swarmed by people chanting for the fall of Lebanon's government and pleading for international aid.

Why it matters: Lebanon is at a breaking point. Its economy was collapsing and its government hardly functioning — all before a massive explosion destroyed swathes of the capital city, including its vital port.

2 hours ago - Sports

The PGA Championship is golf's first major in over a year

Photo: Gary Kellner/PGA of America via Getty Images

The 2020 PGA Championship tees off Thursday at San Francisco's TPC Harding Park, which is hosting its first-ever major.

Why it matters: It's the first major in more than a year — and the first of seven majors in the next 12 months. Though there won't be any fans in attendance, the excitement is palpable.