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Photo: Joshua Lott/ Scott Olson/Salwan Georges/The Washington Post/Getty Images

Democrats are toying with a number of ideas to address economic inequality in the U.S., with candidates such as Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) making it an integral part of their campaign messaging.

The big picture: Addressing economic inequality means different things to different candidates. There's a push to address tax cuts for the rich, affordable housing, minimum wage, income inequality, labor and unions.

  • There's a general consensus among Democrats to repeal President Trump's tax plan which some say disproportionately benefits the wealthy.
  • Most Democrats agree on raising the minimum living wage and closing the gender pay gap.
What they're saying:

Former Vice President Joe Biden:

  • He's characterized himself as "the" advocate for the middle class, with a strong focus on labor laws and tax codes.
  • He's attacked Trump's tax cuts saying they benefited the wealthy.
  • Biden recently said he wants to increase the national minimum wage to $15, but previously advocated for $12.

Andrew Yang:

  • Yang's key proposal is the Universal Basic Income plan which would give every American $1,000 with no strings attached.
  • He also wants to reduce student debt interest rates.

Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Tex.):

  • O'Rourke supports raising the minimum wage to $15.
  • He supports raising taxes on the wealthy and large corporations.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.):

  • Sanders advocates for higher quality universal child care and passing the Green New Deal for job creation.
  • He wants to lower student debt interest rates.
  • Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sanders introduced a bill to cap credit card interest at 15%.
  • He wants to eliminate incentives for companies to send jobs overseas, limit tax deductions for corporations and provide support for small businesses.
  • Sanders wants U.S. post offices to offer basic and affordable banking services to end discrimination against Americans.
  • Sanders co-sponsored legislation that would have raised the minimum wage to $15.

Sen. Elizabethe Warren (D-Mass.):

  • Warren wants to break up Big Tech companies she says monopolize industries and harm small business.
  • She wants workers to elect 40% of their company's board members.
  • Warren proposed a $640 billion student loan debt cancellation plan.
  • She is proposing a tax hike on households with incomes exceeding $50 million annually.
  • Her housing plan aims to cut down rent by 10% and create 1.5 million jobs because of construction needs.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.):

  • Booker proposed an expansion to income tax credit.
  • He has a job plan that will guarantee a minimum of $15/hour in 15 urban and rural areas over 3 years.
  • Booker has proposed baby bonds, giving newborns $1,000, totaling $2,000 annually for children in low-income households.
  • He wants to ban banks' overdraft fees, saying they disproportionately affect lower-income Americans.

Sen. Mike Gravel (D-Alaska):

  • He wants to establish the American National Fund that would increase taxes on the wealthy, real estate and IPOs to be redistributed to Americans 18 years and older.
  • Gravel wants to establish a $15 minimum wage, and eliminate the tipping minimum wage.
  • He wants to repeal the Taft-Harley Act, saying it prevents labor unions from having authority.
  • Gravel wants to establish a free credit registry.
  • To increase access to affordable housing, Gravel wants to enact a vacancy tax, increase tenant's rights and pass rent control legislation.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.):

  • She wants to reverse Trump's tax plan, saying it only benefits the wealthy and corporations.
  • Harris wants to raise the minimum wage to $15.
  • She wants to pass the Rent Relief Act, giving a tax credit to people who spend more than 30% of their incomes on rent and utilities.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.):

Mayor Pete Buttigieg:

Former Gov. John Hickenlooper:

Mayor Bill de Blasio:

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.):

  • He says the issue of economic inequality is more pressing than anything else, including health care and climate change.
  • Bennet proposed the American Family Act that would've increased the child tax credit to reduce child poverty.

Gov. Steve Bullock:

  • Bullock established the Equal Pay for Equal Work task force with the goal of making Montana the first state to close the gender pay gap.

Former HUD Secretary Julián Castro:

  • Under Castro, HUD provided $173 million in grants to develop affordable housing.
  • He advocates for a higher minimum wage.

Marianne Williamson:

  • Williamson wants to repeal Trump's tax plan saying it only benefits the wealthy.
  • She wants to reduce or forgive student loan debt.
  • Williamson supports closing the gender pay gap and increasing the minimum wage.
  • She proposes eliminating the income cap on payroll taxes, carried interest and ETF tax loopholes.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.):

  • She supports raising the minimum wage to $15.
  • Klobuchar proposed a bill to tax the wealthy to fund retirement plans for middle-income Americans.

Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.):

  • Delaney supports closing the gender pay gap.
  • He focused on how the future of artificial intelligence could affect job prospects, and called for a national plan.

Rep. Tusli Gabbard (D-Hawaii):

  • She's proposed legislation to close the gender pay gap and supports raising the minimum wage to $15.

Gov. Jay Inslee:

  • Inslee supports strong labor unions, and says their decline is tied to increasing economic inequality.
  • He believes combating climate change will create more jobs.

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio):

  • Ryan opposes further tax cuts, saying cuts are responsive for wage stagnation and increased health-care costs.

Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.):

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.):

Mayor Wayne Messam:

  • He increased minimum wage in the city of Miramar.

Go deeper: What you need to know about the 2020 presidential candidates, in under 500 words

Go deeper

Updated 50 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus cases hold steady at 65,000 per day — CDC declares racism "a serious public health threat" — WHO official: Brazil is dealing with "raging inferno" of a COVID outbreak
  2. Vaccines: America may be close to hitting a vaccine wall — Pfizer asks FDA to expand COVID vaccine authorization to adolescents — CDC says Johnson & Johnson vaccine supply will drop 80% next week.
  3. Economy: Treasury says over 156 million stimulus payments sent out since March — More government spending expected as IMF projects 6% global GDP growth.
  4. Politics: Supreme Court ends California's coronavirus restrictions on home religious meetings
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

Second senior Matt Gaetz aide resigns amid federal investigation

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) walking out of the Capitol in January 2021. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Devin Murphy, Rep. Matt Gaetz's legislative director, has stepped down amid a federal investigation into sex trafficking allegations against the Florida Republican congressman, the New York Times first reported and Axios has confirmed.

The latest: "It's been real," Murphy wrote in an email, obtained by Axios, to Republican legislative directors on Saturday morning, with the subject line: "Well...bye."

Rep. Dan Crenshaw says he'll be blind for a month after eye surgery

Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) in Washington, D.C., in December 2020. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) said in a statement Saturday he will be blind for roughly a month after getting surgery to reattach the retina in left eye.

Why it matters: Crenshaw, who lost his right eye and sustained severe damage to his left eye during his third deployment to Afghanistan in 2012, said he will be "pretty much off the grid for the next few weeks."

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