WASHINGTON — Setting up a general election contrast with President Donald Trump, Democrats are one-upping one another with proposals to impose new and higher taxes on millionaires, billionaires, their investments and their heirs.
The push to tax the rich any way they can is fast becoming a defining feature of the progressive landscape as the 2020 campaign gets under way.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., wants “ultra-millionaires” to pay a 2 percent annual tax on assets over $50 million. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who is weighing another presidential run, is calling for new estate tax rates as high as 77 percent on billion-dollar-plus inheritances. Both proposals came not long after Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., called for a 70 percent tax rate on income over $10 million.
Other plans were already floating around the Democratic primary field before last month and it’s likely more will follow. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., wants higher estate taxes to finance a “baby bond” for every child. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Sanders have teamed up on a bill to tax financial transactions, a concept Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., also says she supports.
“Taxing the rich has probably been the most popular Democratic policy as long as I’ve been looking at Democratic polling,” Jon Favreau, a former speechwriter for President Barack Obama, told NBC news.
While Democrats have long called for higher taxes on the well-off, activists and party leaders say a variety of overlapping political and economic trends have lent the issue more urgency and produced more far-reaching proposals.