Sign up for our daily briefing
Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.
Catch up on the day's biggest business stories
Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter
Stay on top of the latest market trends
Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.
Sports news worthy of your time
Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.
Tech news worthy of your time
Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.
Get the inside stories
Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.
Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday
Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday
Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?
Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver
Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?
Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines
Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?
Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities
Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?
Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay
Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?
Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte
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.
- 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.):
- Gillibrand supports closing the gender pay gap and raising the minimum wage to $15.
- She wants to reverse Trump's tax plan, saying it only benefits the wealthy.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg:
- Buttigieg wants to implement a national affordable housing investment so fewer Americans feel "housing insecure."
- He wants to raise the national minimum wage to $15.
Former Gov. John Hickenlooper:
- Hickenlooper supports raising the minimum wage to $15.
- He wants to give small businesses and startups in rural areas tax credits to incentivize development.
- Hickenlooper created an apprentice program for high schoolers and launched a website to retrain displaced workers.
Mayor Bill de Blasio:
- De Blasio supports a $15 minimum wage.
- He's established a universal pre-K initiative in New York City, for which studies show leads to higher incomes.
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.
- 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.):
- He co-sponsored legislation that would've raised the minimum wage to $12 by 2020.
Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.):
- Swalwell wants to raise the cap on the Social Security payroll tax so the wealthy pay more into the program.
- He wants to raise the minimum age to $15 by 2024.
Mayor Wayne Messam:
- He increased minimum wage in the city of Miramar.