- The Democratic presidential candidates have unveiled a series of tax plans that align with their political goals.
- Despite an ideological gulf, the moderate and progressive wings of the primary agree on hiking taxes on the very wealthy and corporations, and providing relief to the middle class.
- From the wealthy to Wall Street to Main Street, here’s how the 2020 Democrats would change how Americans are taxed.
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With a few days to go before the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucus, the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates have rolled out scores of tax proposals signaling their political goals.
Despite their wide ideological differences, there is a consensus among progressive and moderate candidates to ramp up taxes on the richest citizens and corporations to fund plans that would realign the nation’s economy and provide relief for the middle class.
Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are two progressives leading the pack with huge spending plans with price tags well into the tens of trillions of dollars, arguing it will accelerate economic growth.
Moderates such as former Vice President Joe Biden and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg are also proposing significant increases in federal spending, but are pursuing incremental changes on healthcare and education.
Still, the tax-and-spend approach of the field represents a departure from past elections.
“It’s a buckling of the trends we’ve seen for the past 20 years, where Democratic administrations have relied on refundable tax credits,” said Janet Holtzblatt, a senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center who analyzed the tax plans of the 2020 candidates, noting that credits put money back into the pockets of taxpayers.
Instead, leading Democratic candidates are veering toward a more activist form of governance with a stronger emphasis on redistributing wealth. And with the spending plans, she said, “you see it upfront.”
The size of their spending mirrors the ambition of each candidate to either adjust or remake the role of government — and their efforts to change American society with it.
From the wealthy to Wall Street to Main Street, here’s how the 2020 Democrats would change how Americans are taxed.