(Bloomberg) Democratic presidential hopefuls are talking a big game about taxing the rich to pay for social programs.
Some ideas they’ve proposed so far—such as Senator Bernie Sanders’s plan to expand the estate tax, Senator Elizabeth Warren’s idea to impose an annual wealth tax on millionaires, or Senator Kamala Harris’s intention to repeal the Republican tax cuts—would raise some new tax revenue that Democrats would need to expand the social safety net. But Democrats will need trillions more to pay for key portions of some of the favored policy promises, including universal health care or free college tuition.
There are dozens of options of how to do that that haven’t yet been seriously discussed this cycle. Some potential revenue makers—such as increasing taxes on banks and hedge fund managers—are likely to be popular with many Democratic voters. But other proposals, such as introducing a carbon tax or eliminating a popular tax break for homeowners are likely to be less so, and could force a conversation in the party about what people might be willing to pay for a progressive agenda.
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