Oct 22, 2018

The biggest ideas in the 2020 liberal arms race

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Besides attracting a record number of candidates, the 2020 Democratic presidential race could spark the most interesting Democratic political ideas battle in a generation.

The big picture: With no Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton in the arena, a dozen or more hopefuls are already searching for ways to break through with a primary electorate that's increasingly looking left.

A sampling of the big ideas at play:

  • "Medicare for All": Sen. Bernie Sander of Vermont has a full-scale single-payer system would outlaw most private insurance benefits and cover everything, for everyone. It could cost about $32.6 trillion over 10 years — roughly what we're projected to spend under the status quo.
  • Reforming capitalism: Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has an "Accountable Capitalism Act" that would require big corporations to act in interests of more than just their shareholders, while another bill would ban members of Congress from owning individual stocks, and severely crack down on lobbying by former lawmakers.
  • Taxing carbon: Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is pushing a progressive carbon price policy in his state, so anything he pursues on the 2020 campaign trail would likely be similar.
  • Redistributing more money: Sen. Kamala Harris of California has a plan that would give up to $6,000 a year for married couples (3K for singles) making less than 100K a year, The Atlantic reports.It could cost $200 billion a year.
  • "Baby bonds": Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey is advancing a plan to give as much as $46K to people upon reaching adulthood, scaled by family income and paid by capital gains and estate tax increases. The money could be used for down payments, college tuition or retirement.
  • Guaranteed jobs: Booker, Harris, Sanders and Warren support various plans that provides a guaranteed job to anyone who wants one.
  • "Abolish ICE": Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York said in July that she wants to abolish the agency and end Trump's child separation policy.

The bottom line: Many of these programs will cost serious cash and control of the Senate.

  • But if even some of these ideas make it to a Democratic primary debate stage, the politics of incrementalism will be pushed to the sidelines.

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Tear gas is fired as police clash with protesters demonstrating against the death of George Floyd outside the 3rd Precinct Police Precinct in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Tuesday. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Minneapolis police used tear gas during clashes with protesters demanding justice Tuesday night for George Floyd, an African American who died in police custody, according to multiple news reports.

Driving the news: The FBI is investigating Floyd's death after video emerged of a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on his neck for several minutes, ignoring protests that he couldn't breathe. Hundreds of protesters attended the demonstration at the intersection where Floyd died, per the Guardian.

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Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced plans Tuesday to make wearing face coverings mandatory statewide for most people over the age of 10 when inside public places like retailers, on public transportation and government buildings. He announced the measure, effective Friday, as coronavirus case numbers increased to 39,342.

By the numbers: More than 98,900 people have died from COVID-19 and over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Over 384,900 Americans have recovered and more than 14.9 million tests have been conducted.

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

Japan is preparing a second coronavirus stimulus package worth $1.1 trillion, or about 40% of the country's gross domestic product, Reuters first reported Tuesday night.

Zoom in: The new measure will be funded by government bonds and will include "a raft of loan guarantees and private sector contributions," per Bloomberg.