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The economic future may hold more deregulation, tax cuts and a focus on fossil fuels. Or there could be tax increases on the wealthiest Americans, intended for critical investments for the future.

James W. Hughes, University Professor and dean emeritus of Rutgers University’s Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, presents these different views about how the outcome of the presidential election will affect the U.S. economy and its recovery from the pandemic-induced recession in the latest episode of “What Happens Next: Election Edition” produced by Rutgers University-New Brunswick.

“If President Trump is reelected, we can expect him to continue policies such as cutting taxes, getting rid of regulations, promoting petroleum-based energy policies and stressing energy independence and energy exports,’’ Hughes said. “But it’s hard, in retrospect, to know to what extent the years of economic expansion that preceded the pandemic were fueled by the momentum that had built up before Trump took office.’’ 

The economy under Joe Biden would have a different focus, Hughes said.

“If Biden is elected, we should expect to see tax increases, whether for high-income individuals or businesses, with the philosophy that the government should reinvest this money to benefit the economy, such as in green energy and renewable energy, and in our infrastructure, which are areas that economic observers see as crucial for our future,” he said.

Hughes is a co-author of an ongoing series of Fast Track Research Notes, published by the Rutgers Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation (CAIT) on the pandemic’s economic fallout.

You can view the "What Happens Next" conversation with Hughes on Rutgers University-New Brunswick’s Facebook page. It is part of a series of interviews with Rutgers faculty on how the election will affect matters of national interest.