2020 Election

June 3, 2020  |  

Top 5 Presidential Candidates’ Tax & Investment Plans

Five major presidential candidates—Joe Biden, Michael Bloomberg, Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren—offered fiscal agendas many times the size of Hillary Clinton’s in 2016. This shows how far and fast the debate has shifted in a progressive direction even before the coronavirus pandemic crisis began. The Democrats’ tax-and-investment plans provide a framework for a major realignment of fiscal priorities.

Summary of Tax and Investment Plans

  • Over 10 years, their respective tax plans would raise the following from the rich and corporations: Biden, $4 trillion; Bloomberg, $5 trillion; Buttigieg, $7.6 trillion; and $10 trillion for Warren and $11 trillion for Sanders not counting Medicare for All revenue. In comparison, Hillary Clinton proposed tax increases of $1.4 trillion.
  • Investment plans range from $3.2 trillion over 10 years for Biden; $5 trillion for Bloomberg;
    $7.8 trillion for Buttigieg; and $10 trillion for Warren and $23 trillion for Sanders not
    counting Medicare for All. Clinton proposed $1.7 trillion in new public investments.

Some Tax Proposals Common to the Candidates’ Plans

  • Ending the tax discount enjoyed by certain investment income predominately received by rich people, so that wealth is taxed like work.
  • Raising the top tax rates charged on the nation’s highest incomes.
  • Raising the corporate tax rate from the current 21% to at least 28% (Biden and Bloomberg) or to 35% (Buttigieg, Sanders and Warren), the rate before the 2017 Trump-GOP tax law.
  • Establishing a financial transaction tax (except Biden) that would assess a very small sales
    tax on the trading of financial securities, typically 10 cents on a $100 trade.

Detailed tables are below along with links to sources for all the estimates.