Fiscal policy, especially the raising of taxes on higher incomes, has become the spearhead of the first Democratic candidates for the 2020 presidential election, and shows the rise of the party’s most left wing.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a rising young congresswoman within the party, and Senator Elizabeth Warren unveiled ambitious tax proposals this month that include aggressive tax hikes for the wealthiest, with the goal of tackling increasing income inequality and financing social programs.
Warren proposed something unprecedented in the US, a rate of wealth, which seeks to tax the assets of more than 50 million dollars with 2% per year, which would add an additional point for the fortunes of more than 1,000 millions of dollars.
“We can not afford to be alone with patches – a tax exemption here, a regulation there, our fight is for a big, structural change,” the senator said, launching her campaign to become Democratic candidate for the Presidency at the beginning of the month. 2020
“Millions and millions of American families are struggling to survive in a system that is rigged by the rich and powerful,” Warren, 69, said.
For its part, Ocasio-Cortez presented its so-called “Green New Deal”, which combines a welfare system based on public health, the fight against climate change as a priority and a rise in the marginal tax rate to 70%, from the current 37%, to the incomes of more than 10 million dollars.
In just one month in Congress, the Democratic legislator seems to have managed to revolutionize the party’s agenda with an injection of fresh ideas.
“There is an element where, of course, people will have to start paying their corresponding share in taxes, which means that as you climb the ladder (of income), you should contribute more,” explained Ocasio-Cortez, of 29 years.
Both legislators join the path opened in 2016 by Senator Bernie Sanders, who defines himself as a “socialist democrat”, and who managed to dispute until the last moment the candidacy of Hillary Clinton, representative of the moderate and liberal wing of the party.
Despite his defeat, Sanders managed to put on the public agenda a topic that seemed taboo in American society just a few years ago: that of universal health versus the current private insurance market system, with exceptions for adults and people of low resources.
The veteran senator has not yet confirmed whether he will fight for the Democratic nomination in 2020, but it is rumored that he will do so soon.
The push achieved by Sanders has led to other Democratic hopefuls, framed in the moderate wing, have already expressed their support for universal public health, as is the case of the Democratic Senator Kamala Harris, and their willingness to discuss the rise of taxes.
Despite the strong support in social networks and among the youngest, these approaches have aroused misgivings within liberal liberalism, especially among some of those who would be affected.
One of them was the co-founder of Microsoft and second richest man in the world according to Forbes, Bill Gates, who commented last week the proposal of Ocasio-Cortez, without citing the congresswoman by name.
“There are some politicians who are so extreme that I would say ‘No, that is going too far.’ That is to create disincentives and encourage tax evasion or taxation in other countries, we can be more progressive without threatening income generation,” Gates said. in an interview with the technology portal “The Verge”,
Also, the former mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, who is analyzing launching his Democratic candidacy for 2020, has marked distances.
At an event in New Hampshire, Bloomberg said he was “a little tired of hearing things that are castles in the air, that are never going to be approved and we can not afford it.”
The question is to what extent these proposals can attract voters in 2020 when Democrats will likely face the current president, Republican Donald Trump, who has made tax cuts and skepticism about climate change two of its political pillars .
“The ambitious Green New Deal reads more as guidelines for an ideal society than as a definite political proposal,” said Samantha Gross, a researcher at the Brookings think tank.
And as such, for Gross, has different interpretations depending on the political point of view, which shows its lack of definition.
“Some Democrats see it as proof of the climate commitment of potential candidates for 2020. Others on the left complain that it does not advocate a total elimination of the use of fossil fuels.On the right, meanwhile, is described as an example of the arrival of socialism, “he added.