MONTGOMERY, Ala. — The 2017 Republican rewrite of the nation’s tax laws has found an unlikely constituency who just can’t stop talking about it: The 2020 Democratic candidates for president.
While tax plan itself cut hasn’t proven to be broadly popular with most Americans, it is among Democratic contenders. The $1.5 trillion dollar cost of the cuts represents an amount that, if the cuts were rolled back, could pay for plenty.
Last week, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., offered a new public education plan that he suggested would be funded by rolling back the “Trump tax cut” that he criticizes at nearly every event.
“We say to the top one percent, and large profitable corporations, that under a Sanders administration, you no longer are going to get huge tax breaks,” Sanders said during a campaign swing last week. “In fact you’re going to start paying your fair share of taxes.”
Sanders and his campaign have used similar language in explaining their funding ideas for student debt forgiveness, a federal jobs guarantee and his plan to “rebuild rural America.”
Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., has proposed funding two of her key policy proposals by repealing the tax law. The first initiative would inject $315 billion in federal funding into increasing in teacher pay over the next ten years, specifically by making alterations to the estate tax, the exemption for which was doubled in the 2017 rewrite.
Harris has also often touted her intent to sign legislation as president that would provide families making less than $100,000 a year a tax credit of up to $500 a month.
"When people ask me, 'How are you going to pay for it?' I tell you: I’m going to repeal that Trump trillion-dollar tax cut that benefited the top one percent and the biggest corporations in our country," Harris said in Detroit in early May.
Sen. Cory Booker’s, D-N.J., campaign likewise says he would repeal the changes in the estate tax to fund his “baby bonds” plan to give children seed savings accounts at birth – an effort to mitigate the wealth gap.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke also regularly refer to repealing portions of the tax cuts as a way to pay for different priorities.
“Let's roll back the worst of those Trump tax cuts,” O’Rourke told a Des Moines audience earlier this month. “The corporate rate just went from 35 down to 21. Even if we took it only up to 25 or 26%, we would generate hundreds of billions of dollars over the next 10 years that we can invest in people and communities.”