Income Inequality in America

Inform

Income Inequality

Have we become a tale of two cities? The richest 10% of households now represents 70% of all U.S. wealth.    A booming economy means that people who have higher income and own capital are able to see continued higher returns on that. Subsequently their wealth increases. This is a much larger gain than middle or lower income earners. The gap between rich and poor is at its widest in five decades.

The top 1% alone holds more wealth than the middle class. They owned 29 percent—or over $25 trillion—of household wealth in 2016, while the middle class owned just $18 trillion.

This has not always been the case. Before 2010, the middle class owned more wealth than the top one percent. Since 1995, the share of wealth held by the middle class has steadily declined, while the top one percent’s share has steadily increased.

The Top Two Candidates Address Income Inequality &
The Economy

 

Bernie Sanders
has called for an “extreme wealth tax” on the highest-income Americans, along with a “national wealth registry.” He would raise taxes on businesses whose CEOs make
at least 50 times more than their median workers.

Bernie Sanders also supports:

  • breaking up big tech companies such as Facebook, Google and Amazon.
  • raising the federal corporate income tax by returning to the original 35%.
  •  more than 12 weeks of partial income for workers to care for newborn children or family members with serious illnesses outlined by the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act
  •  a commission that will study the possibility of reparations to descendants of slaves. This may take the form of cash or targeted improvements to racial equity in housing, employment and other areas
  •  raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour nationwide
  •  the idea that the federal government should guarantee a job to every American
  • the government cancelation of all existing student debt for everyone
  •  a national rent control cap
  • keeping the child tax credit increases from the Republican passed 2017 “Tax Cuts and Job Act”, but not the standard deduction.

Joe Biden
proposes higher taxes on the rich, especially those who derive most of their income from stock ownership and other investments.

Joe Biden also supports:

  • strengthening antitrust enforcement of the big tech companies such as Facebook, Google and Amazon
  • raising the federal corporate income tax to somewhere between 21% and 35%
  • raising the Federal minimum wage to $15/hour
  • the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act that would fund up to 12 weeks of partial income for workers to care for newborn children or family members with serious illnesses
  • a commission that will study the possibility of reparations to descendants of slaves. This may take the form of cash or targeted improvements to racial equity in housing, employment and other areas
  •  raising the federal  minimum wage to $15 an hour nationwide

Joe Biden does not support:

  • a “wealth tax” but supports adjusting taxes on capital gains
  • the government cancelation of existing student debt  He supports alleviating student debt in other ways.
  • the idea that the federal government should guarantee a job to every American. He proposes ways to support union workers and the middle class.
  • a national rent control cap

Joe Biden has not taken a stand on:

  • whether he would maintain both the standard deduction and child tax credit increases from the Republican passed 2017 “Tax Cuts and Job Act”.
  • an affordable housing plan

 

UPDATED MARCH 11: POLICIES OF PAST CANDIDATES

Elizabeth Warren
has proposed an “Ultra-Millionaire Tax” on the 75,000 richest families in the United States that she says would help pay for universal childcare and
student loan debt relief.

Elizabeth Warren also supports:

  • breaking up big tech companies such as Facebook, Google and Amazon
  • raising the federal corporate income tax by returning to the original 35%.
  •  the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act that would fund up to 12 weeks of partial income for workers to care for newborn children or family members with serious illnesses.
  • commission that will study the possibility of reparations to descendants of slaves. This may take the form of cash or targeted improvements to racial equity in housing, employment and other areas.
  • raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour nationwide.
  •  the government cancelation of existing student debt based on income.
  • and would  maintain the child tax credit increases from the Republican passed 2017 “Tax Cuts and Job Act”, but not the standard deduction

She is “open” to: 

  •  the idea that the federal government should guarantee a job to every American

Elizabeth Warren does not support:

Peter Buttigieg
proposes a capital gains tax on the top 1% of all earners,  and the elimination of Trump’s tax cuts for the wealthy.

Peter Buttigieg also supports:

  •  strengthening antitrust enforcement of the big tech companies such as Facebook, Google and Amazon
  • raising the federal corporate income tax by returning to the original 35%
  • the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act that would fund up to 12 weeks of partial income for workers to care for newborn children or family members with serious illnesses
  • a commission that will study the possibility of reparations to descendants of slaves. This may take the form of cash or targeted improvements to racial equity in housing, employment and other areas.
  • raising the federal  minimum wage to $15 an hour nationwide.
  • maintaining both the standard deduction and child tax credit increases from the Republican passed 2017 “Tax Cuts and Job Act”.

Peter Buttigieg does not support:

  • the idea that the federal government should guarantee a job to every American He has called for boosting the rural economy through development programs and partnerships, and supports the expansion of rural high-speed broadband.
  • the government cancelation of existing student debt. He supports alleviating student debt in other ways. 
  • a national rent control cap, but has other ideas for affordable housing.

 

Amy Klobucher
would raise capital gains and dividend tax rates for those in the top two income tax brackets. She would impose a 30% federal minimum tax for those with
incomes over $1 million.

Amy Klolbucher also supports:

  •  strengthening antitrust enforcement of the big tech companies such as Facebook, Google and Amazon
  • raising the federal corporate income tax to somewhere between 21% and 35%
  • the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act that would fund up to 12 weeks of partial income for workers to care for newborn children or family members with serious illnesses.
  •  a commission that will study the possibility of reparations to descendants of slaves. This may take the form of cash or targeted improvements to racial equity in housing, employment and other areas.
  •  raising the federal  minimum wage to $15 an hour nationwide.
  • maintaining both the standard deduction and child tax credit increases from the Republican passed 2017 “Tax Cuts and Job Act”.

Amy Klobucher does not support:

  • the government cancelation of existing student debt. She supports alleviating student debt in other ways.
  • the idea that the federal government should guarantee a job to every American. She does support investment in education and training for workers affected by automation.  She recently rolled out a  $1 trillion plan to upgrade and invest in America’s infrastructure, which she says will create thousands of good-paying jobs.
  • a “wealth tax”

She has not taken a stand  on:

 

Michael Bloomberg
calls for a dramatic increase in public investment, especially in areas that have seen economic decline. He has promised to increase spending on research and development by over $100 billion through agencies such as the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense in an effort to innovate manufacturing and agriculture. Bloomberg also supports the expansion of high speed internet to rural areas and calls for scaling up federal apprenticeship programs.

Michael Bloomberg also supports:

  •  raising the federal corporate income tax
  •  the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act that would fund up to 12 weeks of partial income for workers to care for newborn children or family members with serious illnesses
  •  raising the federal  minimum wage to $15 an hour nationwide
  •  the government cancelation of existing student debt based on income

Michael Bloomberg does not support:

  • the idea that the federal government should guarantee a job to every American
  • a “wealth tax” but supports adjusting taxes on capital gains

Michael Bloomberg has not taken a stand on:

  •  breaking up big tech companies such as Facebook, Google and Amazon
  •  supporting a commission that will study the possibility of reparations to descendants of slaves. This may take the form of cash or targeted improvements to racial equity in housing, employment and other areas.
  •  a national rent control cap
  • whether he would maintain the standard deduction and child tax credit increases from the Republican passed 2017 “Tax Cuts and Job Act”

 

Tom Steyer
supports a wealth tax for those making $32 M or more.

Tom Steyer also supports:

  • strengthening antitrust enforcement of the big tech companies such as Facebook, Google and Amazon
  • raising the federal corporate income tax by returning to the original 35%
  • more than 12 weeks of partial income for workers to care for newborn children or family members with serious illnesses outlined by the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act.
  •  a commission that will study the possibility of reparations to descendants of slaves. This may take the form of cash or targeted improvements to racial equity in housing, employment and other areas.
  • raising the federal  minimum wage to $15 an hour nationwide
  • maintaining the child tax credit increases from the Republican passed 2017 “Tax Cuts and Job Act”, but not the standard deduction

Tom Seyer does not support:

Kamala Harris
Supports a proposal called the LIFT the Middle Class Act, a piece of legislation aimed at addressing the rising cost of living by providing middle-class and working families with a significant tax credit. It would provide a refundable tax credit worth up to $6,000 for households. If passed, it would come on top of existing tax credits and public benefits for lower-income Americans.

Kamala Harris also supports :

  • Ms. Harris has also attempted to use the policy as a catchall description of her economic vision, reframing questions about the racial wealth gap and reparations, for instance, into a broader discussion of racial disparity.
  •  a federal investment in teacher pay, an almost universally supported idea among her Democratic colleagues.
  • more than 12 weeks of partial income for workers to care for newborn children or family members with serious illnesses outlined by the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act.
  • a commission that will study the possibility of reparations to descendants of slaves. This may take the form of cash or targeted improvements to racial equity in housing, employment and other areas.
  • raising the federal  minimum wage to $15 an hour nationwide
  •  the idea that the federal government should guarantee a job to every American
  • raising the federal corporate income tax by returning to the original 35%.

Kamala Harris does not support:

  • Rather than trying to appease the party’s left wing with policies that focus on large-scale wealth redistribution and structural change, Ms. Harris has staked her bet on an incrementalism more reminiscent of Mr. Obama or Mrs. Clinton.
  • But some progressives view it as not bold enough — calling it an expansion of the earned-income tax credit by another name — and say it will not lift up the neediest Americans.
  • the government cancelation of existing student debt. She supports alleviating student debt by refinancing high interest loans to a lower rate
  • a rent control cap.
  • a wealth tax. Instead she is pitching a lower-middle-class tax cut for households earning under $100,000 annuallyand single people making under $50,000 a year. Families would pocket $6,000 annually and individuals would receive $3,000 through Harris’ refundable tax credit plan

Kamala Harris is open to :

  • breaking up big tech companies such as Facebook, Google and Amazon

 

 

 

This candidate has withdrawn:

Andrew Yang
supports a universal basic income ($1,000 monthly) to all Americans.   It would require the government to make regular payments to all U.S. citizens, regardless of whether or not they’re working, no strings attached.  He argues that it will help Americans at risk of losing their jobs because of technological advances.

Andrew Yang also supports:

  • strengthening antitrust enforcement of the big tech companies such as Facebook, Google and Amazon
  • addressing the federal corporate income tax rate by adding a “value added” tax
  • more than 12 weeks of partial income for workers to care for newborn children or family members with serious illnesses outlined by the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act.
  • a commission that will study the possibility of reparations to descendants of slaves. This may take the form of cash or targeted improvements to racial equity in housing, employment and other areas.
  • maintaining both the standard deduction and child tax credit increases from the Republican passed 2017 “Tax Cuts and Job Act”.

Andrew Yang does not support:

  • the idea that the federal government should guarantee a job to every American
  • the government cancelation of existing student debt. He supports alleviating student debt in other ways.
  •  a national rent control cap, but has other plans for affordable housing
  • a “wealth tax”, but supports a “value-added tax”

.

The Status of The Democratic Primary

There are nine top-polling Democratic presidential contenders with less than a month to go until the Iowa caucuses. My initial post for the 2020 Race Where We Are, The Presidential Primaries, and The Future walks you through the Primary labyrinth that’s ahead. Six candidates qualified for the last debate, January 14. The upcoming debates will be February 7, 19 and 25.

Endorsements

Candidates receive endorsements from prominent party members, in addition to the editorial boards of local and major newspapers in an effort to secure the nomination.

Last evening ,the New York Times broke with tradition and endorsed two candidates: Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobucher.  It was the end of a lengthy transparent interview process publicized as The Choice.

Respond

Multiple sites have tried to coalesce the policy statements of the leading candidates, though some sites might require membership to read such: The Washington Post, The New York Times, Politico, and USA Today to name a few. The Washington Post goes as far as attempting to match your policy opinions with a candidate.

  • Attend rallies and public events. Each presidential candidate will list activities and dates under the “Events” link.
  • Volunteer and/or donate to your House Representative and Senate re-election campaigns  (future post will be dedicated to these races)
  • Find and join a local community activist group 
  • Volunteer to Get Out The Vote (Nov 19 post for list of organizations)
  • Join individuals, businesses, government organizations, nonprofits and community leaders who have a role to play in the 2020 Census.

 

Upcoming Post: Criminal Justice Reform

 

 

 

 

 

About Debra29

I am a retired public school teacher who believes that a strong democracy rests on the shoulders of its citizens. This blog was created as a central resource of civic engagement. Together, we can make a difference. Follow me on Twitter: Determined@2AlterTheCourse
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