It’s time to get political.
At least, sort of. We aren’t a political consulting firm; we’re a tax preparation service!
Because we’re a tax prep service, we understand that taxes are a consistent issue for all taxpayers—and voters.
For that reason, taxes are about as controversial as nearly anything else you can imagine. But whether you’re a Democrat, Republican, Independent, or someone else, we imagine you agree with the idea that it’s better to be informed about tax policy than to stay uniformed and in the dark.
So, let’s talk about the democratic presidential primary debates.
Why not? There were twenty candidates spread out over two nights, and that doesn’t leave a ton of time for getting to know the nitty-gritty details of each and every candidate’s positions on each and every issue.
We’re here with a rundown of the full twenty candidates and their positions on tax policy.
Here, we’ll be talking about the first night’s candidates. Ten total candidates, from former governors to current senators and plenty more, took the stage—and we’re here to share their perspectives on taxes.
There aren’t just twenty candidates running, but there are twenty candidates who made the stage based on polling and donations—so we’ll focus our attention there.
Before we get into the details, let’s cover a common similarity. Many of the candidates running in the democratic primary have targeted the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, largely focusing on business taxes and the wealthy.
Now, let’s dive into the details!
U.S. Senator from Massachusetts
Among other things, Warren is known for her progressive tax policy, including a 2 percent annual tax on Americans with more than $50 million in assets and a 3 percent tax on taxpayers with net worths of over $1 billion.
U.S. Senator from Minnesota
In Klobuchar’s announcement speech, she outlined her tax plan, explaining, “We should close those tax loopholes designed by and for the wealthy and bring down our debt and make it easier for workers to afford childcare, housing, and education.”
Her work on the Removing Incentives for Outsourcing Act can provide insight into what she means here. This act intended to close a tax loophole allowing U.S. companies to minimize their tax obligation by moving jobs overseas.
Fmr. HUD Secretary, Fmr. Mayor of San Antonio, TX
Castro has said he wants companies to pay “their fair share” and supports raising the corporate tax rate. His time as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development may have lent itself to his stance on taxes.
U.S. Senator from New Jersey
In Congress, Booker proposed a bill to create savings accounts for American children. To do this, he proposes increasing the capital gains and estate taxes, both of which impact the wealthiest of taxpayers.
New York City Mayor
On Wednesday, de Blasio laid out his plans for tax policy, which definitely fall on the more progressive end of the policy scale: “Yes, we are supposed to be for a 70 percent tax rate on the wealthy.”
Fmr. U.S. Representative from Texas
One of the most unique policies O’Rourke has announced is a “war tax,” which would tax families whenever the U.S. goes to war and direct money to benefit veterans. Families making less than $25,000 would pay $25 annually while households making over $200,000 would pay $1,000.
Fmr. U.S. Representative from Maryland
Delaney is one of a few candidates who has expressly opposed the Republican tax cuts of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. He supports increasing estate taxes and the marginal tax rate; he opposes various other taxes.
U.S. Representative from Ohio
Tim Ryan hasn’t said too much about tax policy since he announced his candidacy, but as a U.S. Representative, he’s made statements that provide insight. For example, he’s expressed interest in moving tax liability from corporations to their owners, eliminating special interest tax breaks for corporations themselves. He’s also suggested tax reform should include a $1 trillion expansion of the earned income tax credit.
Governor of Washington
Inslee is squarely focused on climate issues, but we can get a sense of his tax policy from his time as Governor of Washington. For example, last year his budget included a raise in business taxes, a tax on capital gains, and alterations to real estate excise taxes.
U.S. Representative from Hawaii
Like Delaney, Gabbard has also denounced Republican tax cuts and the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which detractors criticize as primarily benefiting the wealthy.
Your best shot at avoiding the shock of new taxes you weren’t expecting is by staying informed now—long before politicians are potentially elected and what they say becomes the law of the land.
Whether you support any of the democratic candidates who took the stage or not, we hope you’ve found this summary useful. Be sure to hang around for part two!