The Democratic Party in the United States is generally perceived as more socially liberal, left-wing and champions for the lower classes. With the Democratic primaries currently on-going (and led in polls by self-proclaimed Socialist-Democrat Bernie Sanders), let’s look at the economic plans proposed by the candidates, including those who have since dropped out of the race, that they hope will help prevent poverty.
Bernie Sanders is personified by his socialist leanings, with plans promising free education and healthcare, as well fighting to provide housing and jobs for all. By providing these services for free, Sanders appears to believe that this will make a significant impact against poverty in America.
In order to pay for all of these aims, Sanders has proposed a tax on the super wealthy (those who have a net worth of $32 million or more) which he has claimed will bring in $4.35 trillion in the next decade, as well as significantly minimizing the gap between the incredibly wealthy and the middle class. Sanders is the most left leaning of all the candidates, with the aim to make all opportunities equal for everyone.
Like Sanders, Warren’s plans to combat poverty in America is rooted in raising taxes for the very wealthy. One of her flagship proposals is the fight against corruption in Washington as well as taxing large corporations in order to raise money for her own plans for healthcare, housing and raising the minimum wage. Warren stands out from the field for her thorough grasp of economics and detailed policies.
Buttigieg is much more centrist than Warren and Sanders but his website still has a page dedicated to an economic plan to help the working and middle-classes get ahead in America (complete with its own footnotes). Like others on this list, Buttigieg is focusing on lowering the cost of education and housing and raising the minimum wage, however, he doesn’t appear to plan to raise taxes for the wealthy as much as Warren and Sanders. His health plan is also more conservative, balancing in the middle to try compromise between the left and right.
Bloomberg appears to focus more on rural communities than his competitors, emphasising the need to prioritise education and claiming that he will make more jobs for Americans in order to help people escape poverty. Bloomberg has been criticised for being out of touch with the majority of the American population, with his estimated net worth of $52 billion making him one of those that Sanders would tax heavily if elected.
The former Vice-President likes to mention that he was the one working with Obama to institute the Obamacare and other initiatives whilst he was in office. Like all Democrats, his goals focus on housing, education and minimum wage. However, Biden’s focus appears to be on boosting the middle-class, hoping that by encouraging their earnings the economy will improve as a whole, therefore helping those in poorer situations.
Klobuchar has similar aims to the other candidates, and, like Bloomberg, a focus on rural communities. She also aims for shared prosperity and preventing a monopoly on the economy. Like Buttigieg, Klobuchar stands more centrist but hopes that these plans will combat poverty.
By the 6th of June we will know which one of these candidates will be going head-to-head with Donald Trump for the presidency, but it’s only if they get elected that the real fight begins – to keep their promises and truly try and combat poverty in America.