When President Donald Trump falsely labeled President-elect Joe Biden a socialist, Hispanic voters panicked their way to the polls.
Trump stripped Biden of nearly 200,000 votes in South Florida this election because of Hispanics’ fears he might become a communist leader.
Trump classified Biden a socialist last summer and Cuban Americans understood that meant Biden would become a communist like Fidel Castro, the late leader of Cuba.
Trump made his biggest gains among Hispanic communities, especially among Cubans and Venezuelans, who share a history of communism in their native countries.
“Biden’s ideas sound just like Castro’s,” said Cuban American Joel Lazo, a Republican. “Fidel promised economic equality for all. What is that? Communism. Now Biden is promising the same.”
Lazo, like many Hispanics in South Florida, associate communism with socialism.
Biden is a moderate Democrat and denied being a socialist or having plans to implement socialist ideas.
“It’s inaccurate to believe Biden is a Communist,” said Camille Chiriboga, former communications intern for Republican Sen. Marco Rubio and political science major at the University of Florida. “It’s also inaccurate to call him a socialist. He has historically stayed loyal to the center of matters in Democratic politics.”
Many Hispanic voters in South Florida worried about Biden’s 2020 tax plan, which will raise taxes on individuals who earn more than $400,000 a year.
“Raising taxes on the rich is taking money from hard-working people and giving it to the poor,” said Gladys Garcia, Cuban American independent voter. “That’s why I voted for Trump. He understands that if some people want to work harder than others, they should earn more.”
The tax plan is a strategy to boost the economy and allow for government resources to flow to lower-class individuals by raising taxes on the wealthy and on corporations. Tax rates would increase so that those below the $400,000 a year mark would not see a rise in their taxes.
“Fewer than 1% of the population make an income greater than $400,000 and it’s only a 12.6% tax on these individuals.” said Chiriboga, “Taxation is completely fair.”
Historically, the U.S. tax system has been progressive. This means high-income earners pay higher taxes than lower-income earners.
“Biden’s tax plan would raise $2.5 trillion in the next 10 years,” said Chriboga, which would be invested in ‘small businesses, student-debt forgiveness, the housing market, renewable energy tax credits and other economic boosters that will ensure economic growth.’”