Posted by 04 February 2019
The Democrats seeking the 2020 presidential nod are betting that the road to the White House is paved with high tax rates for the wealthy. At least, that is how they are designing their presidential campaigns.
With high-profile Democrats beginning to announce their candidacies or explore the option of running for president, there is competition to design a plan to tax the rich that will make a candidate stand out in the Democratic primaries.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren wants a “wealth tax” on households with a net worth over $50 million. Sen. Kamala Harris wants to target the rich for higher taxes to pay for a tax credit for households making less than $100,000 a year. Sen. Bernie Sanders would hike the estate tax and lower the number of people who are exempt from it. All three of these senators are running or expected to run for president.
This desire to impose high taxes on the rich is not limited to presidential aspirants. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has also said that she wants to see a 70% marginal tax rate on incomes over $10 million.
While each give differing justifications for their proposals, in general they support these taxes on the rich as a way to reduce the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few. They say that tax policy should break up this concentrated wealth and use the revenue to fund programs, especially services for the lower and middle classes.
Opponents counter that these proposals are simply class warfare. They say that hiking taxes in this way would discourage work and wealth creation, which would hurt the economy and kill jobs.
These tax plans are designed to appeal to the more liberal part of the Democratic coalition. It remains to be seen if they will have broader appeal as the Democratic primaries approach next year.
Do you think that the federal government should dramatically increase tax rates on wealthy Americans?