Where 2020 Democrats stand on
economic inequality

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Do you support a tax on the assets held by the wealthiest Americans?

Yes

Yes

Pete Buttigieg

Mayor, South Bend, Ind.

“I strongly believe that the wealthy have an obligation to pay their fair, higher share. Raising taxes on the highest earning Americans is necessary to pay for the ambitious policy reforms that America needs, and this can be done without a return to the tax rates that were common a half century ago. I have discussed the need to substantially raise marginal tax rates on the highest earners. I have spoken about the need for a wealth tax and/or analogously high taxes on income from wealth — such as capital gains, dividends, and estate bequests — that raise large amounts of revenue by taxing capital gains and dividends of the wealthy, similar to how we tax their earned income.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg

Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator, Vermont

“To reduce the outrageous level of inequality that exists in America today and to rebuild the disappearing middle class, [Sanders] will tax the extreme wealth of the top 0.1 percent of U.S. households with a net worth of over $32 million which would raise an estimated $4.35 trillion over the next decade. The revenue would be used to fund [Sanders's] affordable housing plan, universal childcare and would help fund Medicare for All,” the Sanders campaign told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Bernie Sanders
Sanders

Tom Steyer

Billionaire activist

“Yes. Even before I was a candidate for president, I proposed a wealth tax,” Steyer told The Post. “My proposal would tax .01% on the top 1% of Americans, or about 175,000 families, who make more than $32 million. Under this proposal, they’ll pay a penny on every dollar above that level. No deductions, no exemptions, no loopholes. Over the next decade, those pennies could raise more than one trillion dollars for our schools, health care, retirement security, and more.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Tom Steyer
Steyer

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator, Massachusetts

“Yes. I introduced this back in January. My wealth tax is a 2-cent tax on every dollar of net worth above $50 million and 6 cents on each dollar of net worth above $1 billion,” Warren told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Elizabeth Warren
Warren

Marianne Williamson

Author

“Wealth in America is so concentrated, the “one-percenters” own 42 percent of the wealth, which is more than 90 percent of the people combined. This needs to change,” Williamson told The Post. “Currently an heir doesn’t pay any taxes until the inheritance reaches $22 million: I support restoring the estate tax on assets above $5.45 million per person, or about $11 million per couple. I would also enact a wealth tax of 2 percent on wealth over $50 million and 3 percent on wealth over $1 billion to help pay the bills.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Marianne Williamson
Williamson

No, but adjust taxes on capital gains

No, but adjust taxes on capital gains

Michael Bennet

U.S. senator, Colorado

“Yes. First, taxes on wealth income shouldn’t be lower than taxes on work income, so I’d charge the same rates on capital gains as on wages. Second, I’d close the trust fund loophole and other ways the rich escape taxation. Third, I’d expand estate taxes on large inheritances. Lastly, I’d increase the top tax rate for high-income taxpayers. Combined, this would make our tax code more fair and raise $2 trillion+ to support working families,” Bennet told The Post. His campaign confirmed that he supports adjusting taxes on income from wealth.

Candidate positions highlighted
Michael Bennet
Bennet

Joe Biden

Former vice president

“America was not built by Wall Street or CEOs — it was built by the middle class. Millionaires and billionaires should not be paying lower taxes than teachers or firefighters. That’s why I support proven policies that would raise billions by taxing the wealthiest Americans,” Biden told The Post. “These include closing the stepped-up basis loophole, raising the capital gains tax rate on millionaires, and reverting to the 2009 real estate tax rates and exemption levels. Combined, these policies would raise hundreds of billions in revenue so we can invest in health care, schools, climate, infrastructure and more.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Biden
Biden

Cory Booker

U.S. senator, New Jersey

“Making sure that the wealthy pay their fair share is an essential component to restoring economic justice to our tax code,” Booker told The Post. “We can start by implementing my plan to tax long-term capital gains and qualified dividends at the same rate as ordinary income through a “mark-to-market” framework, increasing individual tax rates, and raising rates and exemption levels for the estate tax.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Cory Booker
Booker

Julian Castro

Former mayor, San Antonio

“Today, I’m proposing an ‘Inherited Wealth’ tax that ensures folks who receive income in the form of inheritance pay a fair share of taxes, like the rest of us. Income from capital gains and income from labor should be treated the same way: as income. That’s why I’m advocating that we raise the capital gains rate to match the marginal income tax rate for the wealthy,” Castro's working families plan said. “In my plan, I’m also supporting a ‘Wealth Inequality’ tax through mark-to-market system for the richest one-tenth of 1 percent that would tax their capital gains annually. Wealth inequality is a fundamental challenge to our economy, and we must address it. Under my plan, 99 percent of Americans would see their taxes go down or stay the same.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Julian Castro
Castro

John Delaney

Former U.S. representative, Maryland

“While I believe the wealthiest Americans should pay more in taxes, I don’t believe a wealth tax is the best approach as it’s likely unconstitutional and would be impossible to implement,” Delaney told The Post. “The best way to make sure the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share is to increase capital gains tax rates and repeal the GOP tax cuts for high income earners, including reversing cuts made to the estate tax.”

Candidate positions highlighted
John Delaney
Delaney

Andrew Yang

Tech entrepreneur

Yang “doesn’t support a wealth tax. Many countries implemented a wealth tax and then repealed it because of serious implementation problems and shortfalls in the expected revenue generated,” his campaign told The Post. “Instead of repeating other countries’ mistakes, we should join the rest of the world’s advanced economies and implement a value-added tax. This type of tax has proven to be easier to implement and harder to avoid than a wealth tax.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Andrew Yang
Yang

Steve Bullock (Dropped out)

Governor, Montana

Bullock is no longer running for president. “We can and must do more to build a more progressive tax system that ensures all Americans pay their fair share. We can do that without pursuing a policy that many have pointed out is largely unenforceable,” Bullock told The Post. “As president, I’ll build a fair tax code by closing loopholes, raising corporate and capital gains tax rates, and restructuring tax brackets.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Steve Bullock
Bullock

Joe Sestak (Dropped out)

Former U.S. representative, Pennsylvania

Sestak is no longer running for president. Sestak does not support a tax on the assets held by the wealthiest Americans, he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Sestak
Sestak

Unclear/No response

Unclear/No response

Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. representative, Hawaii

Gabbard did not provide an answer to this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard

Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator, Minnesota

“It could work. I am open to it. But I want to give a reality check here to Elizabeth [Warren], because no one on this stage wants to protect billionaires. Not even the billionaire wants to protect billionaires,” Klobuchar said at the October Democratic debate. “We just have different approaches. Your idea is not the only idea.” Her campaign did not clarify her position by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar

Kamala D. Harris (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, California

Harris is no longer running for president. Harris did not provide an answer to this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Kamala Harris
Harris

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With the stock market at an all-time high, the debate about wealth accumulation and inequality has become a top issue in the 2020 campaign. The growing hostilities between the ascendant populist wing of the Democratic Party and the nation’s tech and financial elite have spilled repeatedly into public view over the course of the primary campaign, but they reached a crescendo with news that billionaire Michael Bloomberg, the former New York mayor, may enter the race.

The leaders of the populist surge, Sens. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (Vt.), have cast their plans to vastly increase taxes on the wealthy as necessary to fix several decades of widening inequality and make necessary investments in health care, child care spending and other government programs they say will help working-class Americans.

Where the candidates stand

Here’s where the candidates stand on economic policy, based on their statements, voting records and answers to a questionnaire that was sent to every campaign.

Question 2 of 15

Yes

Yes

Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. representative, Hawaii

“As people look to this automation revolution, they look to uncertainty. They don't know how this is going to affect their jobs and their everyday lives,” Gabbard said at the October Democratic debate. “And I agree with my friend Andrew Yang. I think universal basic income is a good idea to help provide that security so that people can have the freedom to make the kinds of choices that they want to see.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard

Marianne Williamson

Author

“Yes. $1,000 a month to all Americans age 18 and over. This will provide immediate cash relief to those who need it. It will give people a small but reliable stream of income. It will create a floor so no American needs to be hungry. It will also provide a big stimulus to the economy as people spend this money on food, clothes and other essentials,” Williamson told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Marianne Williamson
Williamson

Andrew Yang

Tech entrepreneur

The Freedom Dividend, a universal basic income of $1,000/mo, is a central pillar of [Yang's] campaign. As more jobs are lost to automation, we need to take big steps to ensure everyone can share in the gains of the 21st century,” his campaign told The Post. “Right now, 78 percent of American are living paycheck-to-paycheck, and 40 percent can’t afford an unexpected $400 bill. The Freedom Dividend will allow Americans to pick their heads up and plan for the future.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Andrew Yang
Yang

Open to it

Open to it

Julian Castro

Former mayor, San Antonio

“You know, I believe that we need to address communities that are being impacted by automation. I'm even willing to pilot something like UBI and to see how that would work,” Castro said at the October Democratic debate.

Oct. 15: “We should look for creative solutions to jobs lost to automation. I support piloting a Universal Basic Income program, but I don't think we should take away the entitlement programs that help keep working families afloat to do it. ”

Candidate positions highlighted
Julian Castro
Castro

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator, Massachusetts

“We absolutely must raise wages and strengthen the social safety net so that every American has basic financial security. Universal basic income and universal living wages are options to consider,” Warren told The Post. “To raise wages, I have pushed for a $15 minimum wage, stronger unions, and empowering American workers at big American corporations to elect no less than 40 percent of the company board members — giving workers a powerful voice in corporate decisions about wages and benefits.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Elizabeth Warren
Warren

No

No

Michael Bennet

U.S. senator, Colorado

“No. UBI is extremely expensive, providing $12,000+ per year to tens of millions who don’t need that support,” Bennet told The Post. “We need to support workers who are attempting to get employed or re-employed, or raise their skill level and wages. I also strongly support expanding the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit to help families afford to raise children, cut child poverty, and ensure that work pays a living wage.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Michael Bennet
Bennet

Joe Biden

Former vice president

“A job is about a lot more than a paycheck. It’s about your dignity, your self-respect, and your place in the community. Our children and grandchildren deserve the promise we've had: the skills to get ahead, the chance to earn a paycheck, and a steady job that rewards hard work. We must build a future that puts work first,” Biden told The Post. “Our workers and communities deserve a future with dignified jobs and economic opportunity, and we have a duty to build that future as we have when faced with transformative developments in our past.” A Biden campaign spokesperson said "down the line" Biden could be open to universal basic income, but "we are not there.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Biden
Biden

Cory Booker

U.S. senator, New Jersey

“No. I have put forward a number of proposals to provide economic security and opportunity to every American,” Booker told The Post. “My Rise Credit, for example, would massively expand the Earned Income Tax Credit to help more than 105 million working people receive a cost-of-living refund of up to $4,000. It would also expand the definition of work to include low-income caregivers and students because traditional wage earners aren’t the only Americans who are working hard to support their families.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Cory Booker
Booker

John Delaney

Former U.S. representative, Maryland

“No, but we do need to help low-income earners by increasing the minimum wage and doubling the Earned Income Tax Credit,” Delaney told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
John Delaney
Delaney

Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator, Minnesota

Klobuchar does not support a universal basic income for every American adult, she told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar

Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator, Vermont

Sanders “believes that all Americans are entitled to economic rights. These include the right to a decent job with good pay, affordable housing, quality health care, a clean environment, and a secure retirement,” he told The Post. “We will guarantee a good-paying job to all Americans through a federal job guarantee program to ensure everyone has a decent quality of life. Furthermore, [Sanders] strongly supports the BOOST Act, introduced by Rep. [Rashida] Tlaib to guarantee all Americans an income.” Sanders said he backed a jobs guarantee over universal income in an interview with The Hill.

Candidate positions highlighted
Bernie Sanders
Sanders

Tom Steyer

Billionaire activist

Steyer does not support a universal basic income, he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tom Steyer
Steyer

Steve Bullock (Dropped out)

Governor, Montana

Bullock is no longer running for president. “I don’t believe mailing a check to every American, regardless of income or employment status, is a serious solution to the challenges working families face,” Bullock told The Post. “I’m running to ensure every American has a fair shot at a better life.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Steve Bullock
Bullock

Joe Sestak (Dropped out)

Former U.S. representative, Pennsylvania

Sestak is no longer running for president. Sestak does not think the federal government should pay a universal basic income to every American adult.

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Sestak
Sestak

Unclear/No response

Unclear/No response

Pete Buttigieg

Mayor, South Bend, Ind.

“I support $2 trillion of public investments to raise incomes through an Earned Income Tax Cut expansion — which will increase incomes by an average of $1,000 per year 35 million American families — workforce training, and lifelong learning programs and to lower costs for health care, prescription drugs, college, child care, and housing,” Buttigieg told The Post. “I also support empowering workers through increased bargaining power, as I describe in my labor plan, “A New Rising Tide.”" Buttigieg said at a CNN town hall event in March that he's “not yet sure that we know that [UBI] is the right way to go. But I do think it's the sort of bold policy we should contemplate.” His campaign did not clarify his stance by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg

Kamala D. Harris (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, California

Harris is no longer running for president. Harris's “first priority as president will be to give working and middle class families an overdue income boost. Under her plan, she’ll reverse President Trump’s trillion-dollar tax cut for big corporations and the top 1% and use that money to give a tax credit of up to $6,000 to working families each year,” her campaign website said. Harris did not provide an answer to this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Kamala Harris
Harris

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Background Some candidates have embraced a “universal basic income,” the idea that every American should get a check from the federal government regardless of work status, in part to offset job losses from automation. The proposal has been the foundation the campaign of tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang, who proposes $1,000 per month for every American adult with no strings attached.

Question 3 of 15

More than 12 weeks

More than 12 weeks

Cory Booker

U.S. senator, New Jersey

“I support at least six months of gender-neutral paid family and medical leave that provides up to full wage replacement for the lowest-income workers,” Booker told The Post. Booker's plan for workers backed the FAMILY Act and said he "supports efforts to expand paid family and medical leave proposals to help more low-income workers start with higher wage replacement rates. [Booker] would also fight for workers to be able to earn paid sick time, building on the Healthy Families Act.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Cory Booker
Booker

Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator, Vermont

“The evidence is clear: doctors, the World Health Organization, parents around the world, and other experts recommend at least 6 months of paid leave. As President, [Sanders] will guarantee 6 months paid family leave. The U.S. must end the national disgrace of being the only major country in the world not to offer paid family leave. We must guarantee all workers paid family and medical leave, paid sick leave, and paid vacation,” Sanders told The Post. He co-sponsored the FAMILY Act, which would guarantee up to 12 weeks of paid family leave to American workers.

Candidate positions highlighted
Bernie Sanders
Sanders

Tom Steyer

Billionaire activist

“The U.S. is the only industrialized nation in the world that does not extend leave to its citizens for the birth of a child, long term care needs or death. I will advocate for paid family leave legislation that will allow a minimum of 6 months paid family leave for all workers,” Steyer told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tom Steyer
Steyer

Andrew Yang

Tech entrepreneur

“We are one of only two countries in the world that does not guarantee paid family leave. Too many Americans have to choose between taking care of their families or getting a paycheck,” Yang's campaign told The Post. “Whether you are welcoming a child into the family, taking care of a sick loved one, or having to take personal medical time off, [Yang] believes that every working American should be guaranteed a minimum of six months of paid family leave.” Yang has called for “at least 9 months of paid family leave, distributed between parents however they see fit; or 6 months of paid leave for a single parent.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Andrew Yang
Yang

Kamala D. Harris (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, California

Harris is no longer running for president. “As President, [Harris] will work with Congress to create a national paid leave program to provide all workers with up to six months of paid family and medical leave,“ her campaign website said. Harris previously co-sponsored the FAMILY Act, which would guarantee up to 12 weeks of paid family leave to American workers.

Candidate positions highlighted
Kamala Harris
Harris

12 weeks

12 weeks

Michael Bennet

U.S. senator, Colorado

“America is the only advanced economy without paid family and medical leave. That’s shameful. As president, I will fight to immediately pass the FAMILY Act to provide 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave. We should consider extending the length of paid leave based on the evidence, but at the very least we should start with 12 weeks,” Bennet told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Michael Bennet
Bennet

Joe Biden

Former vice president

“When I lost my first wife and baby daughter in a car accident, I became a single parent to my two young sons. I’ve taken care of an aging parent. I know how hard it is to raise a family, and what it’s like to take care of a sick family member. That’s why I was proud to fight for the Family and Medical Leave Act, landmark legislation that created important workplace protections and granted 12 weeks of leave to working families,” Biden told The Post. “But we need to go further — I believe the United States should guarantee 12 weeks of paid sick and family leave for workers. American workers deserve to know they can keep their families afloat if they have to take care of a sick family member.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Biden
Biden

Pete Buttigieg

Mayor, South Bend, Ind.

“As I discuss in my women’s policy, “Building Power,” I support providing 12 weeks of paid family leave for all workers by passing the FAMILY Act. I will also propose enhancements to the Act by ensuring that benefits for lower-income workers will be high enough, so they can afford to take leave, and no one will lose their job when they need time away to provide care,” Buttigieg told The Post. “Caregiving responsibilities for grandparents, grandchildren, siblings, and chosen family members will be included. My administration will also decouple medical leave benefits from family care and new child leave benefits to provide a longer total annual leave for workers who have both serious personal health issues and a family health issue or new child within the same year.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg

Julian Castro

Former mayor, San Antonio

Castro's working families plan pledged “at least 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave for every American per year. We should compensate workers at least 66 percent of their salary during that period with a greater degree of wage replacement for low income workers.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Julian Castro
Castro

Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. representative, Hawaii

Gabbard co-sponsored the FAMILY Act, which would guarantee up to 12 weeks of paid family leave to American workers.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard

Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator, Minnesota

Klobuchar supports mandated paid family leave, she told The Post. Her plan for workers calls for “up to 12 weeks of paid family leave and allowing workers to earn paid sick leave.” Klobuchar co-sponsored the FAMILY Act, which would guarantee up to 12 weeks of paid family leave to American workers.

Candidate positions highlighted
Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator, Massachusetts

“I am a co-sponsor of the FAMILY Act, which guarantees 12 weeks of paid leave. I also have a plan to require federal contractors to extend a $15 minimum wage and benefits — including paid family leave, fair scheduling and collective bargaining rights — to all employees,” Warren told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Elizabeth Warren
Warren

Marianne Williamson

Author

“I support the FAMILY Act with three months of paid leave when a worker becomes a new parent, a caregiver for another family member, or ill themselves,” Williamson told The Post. “Eventually I would like to see paid leave extended to six months.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Marianne Williamson
Williamson

Steve Bullock (Dropped out)

Governor, Montana

Bullock is no longer running for president. “Ensuring adequate paid leave could reduce infant mortality by as much as 10 percent while improving maternal health outcomes. As president, I will fight to ensure at least 12 weeks of paid leave so that every worker can care for their families,” Bullock told The Post. Bullock's campaign website expressed support for the FAMILY Act and for “creating a national family and medical leave program covering 50 percent of wages for 12 weeks.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Steve Bullock
Bullock

Joe Sestak (Dropped out)

Former U.S. representative, Pennsylvania

Sestak is no longer running for president. Sestak supports 12 weeks of paid family leave, he told The Post. “I will pass robust family and medical leave legislation, and do more to support people who work full-time at home caring for elderly or disabled loved ones,“ Sestak's women's rights plan said.

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Sestak
Sestak

Fewer than 12 weeks

Fewer than 12 weeks

John Delaney

Former U.S. representative, Maryland

“The federal government should provide every American worker with 8 weeks of paid caregiving leave, which can be paid for by a small payroll tax increase without adding to the deficit,” Delaney told The Post. His campaign website said the plan “allows eligible individuals to take up to eight weeks of leave each year, receiving 60 percent of their monthly wage.”

Candidate positions highlighted
John Delaney
Delaney

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Background The Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act — introduced by former candidate Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro (D-Conn.) — would create a fund to guarantee up to 12 weeks of partial income for workers to care for newborn children or family members with serious illnesses. Most 2020 candidates have backed the legislation, with some calling for a longer span of guaranteed paid leave. Republicans have proposed their own paid leave legislation that would allow workers to receive Social Security benefits early to offset time away from work.

Question 4 of 15

Yes

Yes

Supports cash payments

Marianne Williamson

Author

“Yes. The United States has to pay a debt that is owed to the descendants of slaves,” Williamson told The Post. “We should budget $500 billion, over 20 years, to be used at the discretion of a reparations council made up of black leaders from across the spectrum of American academic, cultural and political leaders, for education and economic renewal.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Marianne Williamson
Williamson

Study it

Study it

Supports a commission or other means of determining what form reparations could take

Michael Bennet

U.S. senator, Colorado

“I support legislation to study the effects of slavery, Jim Crow, redlining, mass incarceration and other racial injustices,” Bennet told The Post. “We must commit to being the generation that ends racial disparities in education, housing, health, income, wealth, criminal justice and opportunity. I’ve put forward plans to cut child poverty, close the affordable housing gap, integrate communities, make education an engine of opportunity and cover everyone with health insurance to help push toward this essential goal.” He co-sponsored a bill that would establish a commission to study reparations.

Candidate positions highlighted
Michael Bennet
Bennet

Joe Biden

Former vice president

“We must acknowledge that there can be no realization of the American dream without grappling with the original sin of slavery, and the centuries-long campaign of violence, fear, and trauma wrought upon black people in this country. As president, I will immediately take action to address the systemic racism that is persistent across our institutions today,” Biden told The Post. “That’s why I have developed education, climate change and health-care policies, among others, that will root out this systemic racism and ensure that all Americans have a fair shot at living the American dream. While my administration takes major actions to address systemic racism, it will also study how reparations may be part of those efforts and ensure the voices of descendants are central when gathering data and information.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Biden
Biden

Cory Booker

U.S. senator, New Jersey

“In the Senate, I have introduced the only reparations bill to ever be introduced in the post-Reconstruction era. My proposal would create a commission to study the ongoing effects of slavery and systemic discrimination and make recommendations on reparations proposals,” Booker told The Post. His campaign clarified that he supports reparations and hopes a commission can provide recommendations on what form they take.

Candidate positions highlighted
Cory Booker
Booker

Pete Buttigieg

Mayor, South Bend, Ind.

“I support creating a commission to study and consider reparations policies for Black Americans, but there are a number of things that we can undertake without waiting for the commission to complete its work,” Buttigieg told The Post. “My Douglass Plan, which is a complement to any potential reparations proposals, aims to provide the scale and scope necessary to pave the way for true nationwide restorative justice with policies that can be implemented right now. This comprehensive set of plans--including proposals on voting rights, education, economic empowerment, and the criminal legal system--is meant to intentionally dismantle racist structures and systems and represent an equally intentional and affirmative investment of unprecedented scale in the freedom and self-determination of Black Americans.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg

Julian Castro

Former mayor, San Antonio

Castro supports a commission for studying reparations, he said in March. "If, under the Constitution, we compensate people because we take their property, why wouldn’t you compensate people who actually were property," Castro said on CNN's "State of the Union."

Candidate positions highlighted
Julian Castro
Castro

John Delaney

Former U.S. representative, Maryland

“We need to take aggressive action to dismantle the systemic racism that exists today as the legacy of centuries of slavery and other forms of racial discrimination, but I’m not certain that cash reparations are the best solution,” Delaney told The Post. “I support Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee’s bill to create a commission to study and develop reparations proposals.”

Candidate positions highlighted
John Delaney
Delaney

Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. representative, Hawaii

Gabbard co-sponsored a bill that would establish a commission to study reparations.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard

Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator, Minnesota

Klobuchar backed the need to "invest in those communities" when asked about reparations on NBC's "Meet the Press." She co-sponsored a bill that would establish a commission to study reparations.

Candidate positions highlighted
Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar

Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator, Vermont

“For centuries, America’s economic rise relied on treating millions of black people as literal property. We have still not come to terms with the horrors of legalized slavery and its continuing impacts on our society,” Sanders told The Post. He “is proud to co-sponsor the H.R. 40 Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act to finally bring the truth about slavery and it's lasting impact into the open.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Bernie Sanders
Sanders

Tom Steyer

Billionaire activist

“Yes. A debt is owed to the descendants of formerly enslaved Africans - a debt we have yet to settle as a nation,” Steyer told The Post. “In order to start the process of healing, Americans need to understand that institutional racism has robbed generations of African-American families the ability to acquire and accumulate economic wealth. We are long overdue to have an honest conversation about how this has disadvantaged the black community and fueled inequality. There are still outstanding questions about what form a reparations program would take, who would benefit, and how it would be financed. I support creating a Slavery Reconciliation Commission to analyze the lasting effects of slavery and how to provide redress for the centuries of oppression, rape, torture, and murder inflicted upon generations of African-Americans. This work will be difficult, but necessary, and way overdue.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Tom Steyer
Steyer

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator, Massachusetts

“I strongly support legislation to create a commission of experts to provide recommendations to Congress on reparations, including on questions about what kind of reparations are appropriate and how best to provide them. America was built on the backs of slaves and we must acknowledge this history and confront it head-on,” Warren told The Post. She co-sponsored a bill that would establish a commission to study reparations.

Candidate positions highlighted
Elizabeth Warren
Warren

Andrew Yang

Tech entrepreneur

Yang “has publicly stated his support for HR40,” his campaign told The Post. “He believes that this country needs to take steps to repair the damage to the African American community due to centuries of subjugation and inhumanity, followed by still-ongoing racism and systemic problems that lead to lack of opportunity and advancement. We need to figure out how to even get started repairing that damage, and [Yang] believes HR40 is the best first step.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Andrew Yang
Yang

Kamala D. Harris (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, California

Harris is no longer running for president. Harris co-sponsored a bill that would establish a commission to study reparations.

Candidate positions highlighted
Kamala Harris
Harris

Joe Sestak (Dropped out)

Former U.S. representative, Pennsylvania

Sestak is no longer running for president. “I support efforts in Congress to establish a commission to examine this issue in detail,” Sestak told The Post. “I believe slavery continues to reverberate in our society in negative ways, and I do favor a proactive approach to creating a more just and equitable society, including a targeted plan with increased funding for improved infrastructure, schools, security, health care, roads and more.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Sestak
Sestak

No

No

Does not support cash payments

Steve Bullock (Dropped out)

Governor, Montana

Bullock is no longer running for president. “The promise of this nation has not been equally extended to all, due to historical wrongs like slavery, segregation, redlining and economic discrimination. If we’re going to right historical wrongs for current and future generations, we need real institutional change, not a one-time check,” Bullock told The Post. “My plan is a series of concrete and actionable policy initiatives that address the institutional obstacles that for generations have denied economic mobility to communities of color.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Steve Bullock
Bullock

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Background In January, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Tex.) introduced H.R. 40, which would create a commission to study the legacy of slavery and create proposals for reparations to African Americans. Democrats generally disagree about whether reparations should take the form of cash payments or targeted improvements to racial equity in housing, employment and other areas. An NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll from July found 62 percent of the public opposed paying reparations for slavery.

Question 5 of 15

Yes

Yes

Joe Biden

Former vice president

“It’s well past time to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour. This increase would include workers who aren’t currently earning the minimum wage, like the farmworkers who grow our food and domestic workers who care for our aging, sick, and for those with disabilities. As president, I will also support indexing the minimum wage to the median hourly wage so that low-wage workers’ wages keep up with those of middle-income workers,” Biden told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Biden
Biden

Cory Booker

U.S. senator, New Jersey

“Yes, I am an original co-sponsor of the Raise the Wage Act,” Booker told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Cory Booker
Booker

Pete Buttigieg

Mayor, South Bend, Ind.

“I support raising the minimum wage to $15 and indexing it to wage growth, which would benefit over 33 million workers, as I describe in my labor plan, “A New Rising Tide.” Increasing the minimum wage doesn’t just benefit workers making minimum wage--it also helps raise wages for workers making close to the minimum wage. I will push to pass the Raise the Wage Act and end the subminimum wage for workers with disabilities (as detailed in my “Dignity, Access, and Belonging” plan) and tipped minimum wage.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg

Julian Castro

Former mayor, San Antonio

“Raise the minimum wage to a living wage of at least $15 per hour for all workers, including tipped, farm, domestic, and disabled workers,” Castro's working families plan said. “For over a decade, we haven’t raised the minimum wage, which has been losing purchasing power every year. It would be worth over $19 an hour if we had kept pace with productivity growth.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Julian Castro
Castro

John Delaney

Former U.S. representative, Maryland

“Yes, with an appropriate phase-in period,” Delaney told The Post. His campaign website said his plan would increase the wage to $15 per hour, “including for tipped employees, and then index it to inflation.”

Candidate positions highlighted
John Delaney
Delaney

Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. representative, Hawaii

Gabbard co-sponsored the Raise the Wage Act, which would increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour. She did not vote when the bill was presented in the House in July.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard

Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator, Minnesota

Klobuchar supports raising the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour nationwide, she told The Post. In her plan for her first 100 days in office, Klobuchar says she would raise the minimum wage for federal contractors to $15 an hour, "in line with her goal of increasing the federal minimum wage" to that amount.

Candidate positions highlighted
Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar

Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator, Vermont

“Yes. The current federal minimum wage of $7.25 minimum wage is a starvation wage. Nobody can live on $7.25. You can’t live on $8. You can’t live on $10 an hour,” Sanders told The Post. Sanders “has been leading the fight to raise the minimum wage and as president, [he] will raise the minimum wage to a living wage of at least $15 an hour. A job must lift workers out of poverty, not keep them in it.” He introduced the Raise the Wage Act in 2019.

Candidate positions highlighted
Bernie Sanders
Sanders

Tom Steyer

Billionaire activist

Steyer supports a $15 minimum wage, he told The Post. “As a result of taking away the rights of working people and organized labor, people haven't had a raise — 90 percent of Americans — have not had a raise for 40 years,” he said at the October Democratic debate. “If you took the minimum wage from 1980 and just adjusted it for inflation, you get 11 bucks. It's $7.25. If you included the productivity gains of American workers, it would be over 20 bucks.” On his campaign website, Steyer said he would support a $15-per-hour hour minimum wage.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tom Steyer
Steyer

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator, Massachusetts

“I will fight to pass the Raise the Wage Act, which increases the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour for all workers - including tipped workers and workers with disabilities - and indexes the minimum wage to median wage growth,” Warren's wage plan said.

Candidate positions highlighted
Elizabeth Warren
Warren

Marianne Williamson

Author

“Yes. I want every American to have enough economic security to get a good education and pursue their dreams. Human creativity and productivity foster both peace and prosperity. We all win when we all win,” Williamson told The Post. Her campaign website called for a $15-per-hour minimum wage. “In areas where this is too large a jump to make immediately, the federal government should provide subsidies during a transitional period,” it said.

Candidate positions highlighted
Marianne Williamson
Williamson

Steve Bullock (Dropped out)

Governor, Montana

Bullock is no longer running for president. “I support a $15-an-hour federal minimum wage. We also need to increase the federal tipped minimum wage,” Bullock told The Post. “As a private citizen, I led a successful initiative to raise the minimum wage in Montana and index it to inflation. I’ll bring that same fight to Washington on behalf of working families.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Steve Bullock
Bullock

Kamala D. Harris (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, California

Harris is no longer running for president. “To raise wages, Kamala will fight to empower unions, make a $15 minimum wage the national floor, and create stricter penalties for companies that cheat their workers,” Harris's campaign website said.

Candidate positions highlighted
Kamala Harris
Harris

Joe Sestak (Dropped out)

Former U.S. representative, Pennsylvania

Sestak is no longer running for president. “Yes, at some point soon. I favor a minimum wage pegged to 50 percent of the average hourly wage — which is the point at which economists have proven a minimum wage does not lead to job losses,” Sestak told The Post. “At the moment, that would mean a roughly $14 minimum wage, but it would soon rise to $15 and above as wages rise.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Sestak
Sestak

Yes, except in low-cost areas

Yes, except in low-cost areas

Michael Bennet

U.S. senator, Colorado

“Yes, I support raising the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour,” Bennet told The Post. “I also believe we should phase in that increase and provide an exemption for low-cost communities — primarily rural areas — where $15 per hour may reduce employment opportunities. Those exemptions should be based on the best economic analysis available and should be updated as data comes in to show which levels of minimum wage are most beneficial to workers across the country.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Michael Bennet
Bennet

Prefers something else

Prefers something else

Andrew Yang

Tech entrepreneur

Yang “supports the spirit of raising the minimum wage, but this has the potential to incentivize employers to invest in automation,” his campaign told The Post. “By giving every American a Freedom Dividend of $1,000 a month, everyone gets a $6 an hour raise. Additionally, unlike a minimum wage, the Freedom Dividend rewards the work done by mothers, caregivers, volunteers, and others who would not benefit from a minimum wage increase.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Andrew Yang
Yang

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Background The federal minimum wage has remained at $7.25 an hour since 2009, although many states have higher minimums. House Democrats in July passed the Raise the Wage Act, which would phase it up to $15 by 2025, but the plan was a nonstarter for Senate Republicans who argue that added labor costs would encourage businesses to hire fewer workers. In 2016, Hillary Clinton called for a $12 federal minimum wage, but she encouraged local governments in high-cost areas to adopt higher base wages. The 2020 presidential candidates have almost uniformly embraced the “Fight for $15” movement, which has fueled union activists across the country.

Question 6 of 15

Yes

Yes

Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator, Vermont

“Yes. [Sanders] believes that in the wealthiest nation in the history of the world, every American who wants to work should have the right to a decent-paying job through a federal jobs guarantee program. There is an enormous amount of work that has to be done all the way from child care to health care to education to rebuilding our infrastructure to combating climate change to dealing with our growing elderly population,” he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Bernie Sanders
Sanders

Open to it

Open to it

Cory Booker

U.S. senator, New Jersey

“I have introduced the only bill to test the promise and potential of a federal jobs guarantee legislation in Congress — the Federal Jobs Guarantee Development Act. The bill would establish a three-year pilot program across 15 cities and rural communities to guarantee a job with a living wage and meaningful benefits to any person who wants one,” Booker told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Cory Booker
Booker

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator, Massachusetts

“I have supported Cory Booker’s legislation to establish a pilot program to provide grants for job guarantee programs,” Warren told The Post. “We need to create good American jobs and I have plans to do that.” She cited her green manufacturing plan, which she said "will create more than one million good jobs at home” and her clean energy plan, which would create “good union jobs, with prevailing wages determined through collective bargaining, for millions of skilled and experienced workers.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Elizabeth Warren
Warren

Kamala D. Harris (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, California

Harris is no longer running for president. Harris co-sponsored the Federal Jobs Guarantee Development Act, which would test a jobs guarantee in areas that have a high unemployment rate.

Candidate positions highlighted
Kamala Harris
Harris

No

No

Michael Bennet

U.S. senator, Colorado

“Every American worker should be able to get a job that pays a living wage with fair working conditions. But the government shouldn’t provide most of those jobs directly,” Bennet told The Post. “Instead, we can support worker training for good jobs and help employers afford to hire and invest in those workers. My plan invests $500 billion in proven, job-driven models to help the 70 percent of American workers who don’t have a four-year college degree get ahead.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Michael Bennet
Bennet

Joe Biden

Former vice president

“Our responsibility is to ensure that the 21st century economy provides quality, good-paying jobs to American workers,” Biden told The Post. “As automation continues to grow, it’s possible that down the line we may need to guarantee a job for every American, but we are not there. At this moment, we must ensure that our workers have the skills they need to succeed in the workforce and to support their families.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Biden
Biden

Pete Buttigieg

Mayor, South Bend, Ind.

“No, but the federal government should massively invest in climate and other infrastructure projects that will expand job opportunities for all Americans as well as dramatically expand paid national service opportunities,” Buttigieg told The Post. “Through my climate plan, “ Mobilizing America: Rising to the Climate Challenge,” we will create 3 million well-paying jobs with strong worker protections by building a net-zero emissions grid, transportation sector, and building sector.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg

John Delaney

Former U.S. representative, Maryland

“No, but the federal government should build infrastructure to create jobs,” Delaney told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
John Delaney
Delaney

Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. representative, Hawaii

“Really what we need to do is look at how we can best serve the interests of the American people. I do not believe a federal jobs guarantee is the way to do that,” Gabbard said at the October Democratic debate. “The value that someone feels in themselves and their own lives is not defined by the job that they have but is intrinsic to who we all are as Americans, whatever we choose to do with our lives, and we can't forget that.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard

Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator, Minnesota

Klobuchar does not think the federal government should guarantee a job to every American, she told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar

Tom Steyer

Billionaire activist

Steyer does not support a federal jobs guarantee, he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tom Steyer
Steyer

Marianne Williamson

Author

“We can create millions of jobs by addressing pressing needs, such as launching a Green New Deal, caring for children and the elderly, and repairing and replacing aging infrastructure like roads, bridges and water systems,” Williamson told The Post. “We need a massive mobilization to transition to a clean, green economy that will create jobs in producing clean energy, modernizing and expanding public transportation, and preparing communities to adapt to climate change.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Marianne Williamson
Williamson

Andrew Yang

Tech entrepreneur

Yang “doesn’t support a federal jobs guarantee. Most people don’t want to work for the government,” his campaign told The Post. “It creates issues of management, and it raises the question of what to do with people who aren’t good at the job assigned to them. A more direct way to address the problem is to invest in people and let them create the jobs doing the work that is needed in their communities.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Andrew Yang
Yang

Steve Bullock (Dropped out)

Governor, Montana

Bullock is no longer running for president. “Every American deserves a living wage and a fair shot at success, and I will fight to build an economy that creates opportunities for all,” Bullock told The Post. “My plan to improve economic opportunity includes increasing funding for apprenticeships, raising the minimum wage, and strengthening unions.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Steve Bullock
Bullock

Joe Sestak (Dropped out)

Former U.S. representative, Pennsylvania

Sestak is no longer running for president. “No, though if my infrastructure plan is approved, we will create hundreds of thousands of new jobs,” Sestak told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Sestak
Sestak

Unclear/No response

Unclear/No response

Julian Castro

Former mayor, San Antonio

Castro did not provide an answer to this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Julian Castro
Castro

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Background Under an employment guarantee, every American would be entitled to a job on a project throughout the United States aimed at addressing priorities such as infrastructure or the environment, or receive job training to be able to do so. Economists, including some Democrats, say there would be large logistical and practical challenges in ensuring millions of new federal jobs serve productive ends.

Question 7 of 15

Cancel all debt

Cancel all debt

Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator, Vermont

“We will cancel the entire $1.6 trillion in outstanding student debt for the 45 million borrowers who are weighed down by the crushing burden of student debt. President Trump provided a tax cut of more than $1 trillion to the top one percent and large corporations,” a campaign spokesperson told The Post. “[Sanders] believes that money would be better spent on freeing millions of hardworking people from the burden of student debt, boosting the economy by $1 trillion over the next ten years, and creating up to 1.5 million new jobs every year. By canceling student debt, we will save the average student loan borrower about $3,000 a year in student loan payments — and hundreds of thousands of Americans will have the financial resources they need to buy new homes, cars and start new businesses. In addition, this proposal would cut the racial wealth gap for young Americans by more than half — from 12:1 to 5:1.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Bernie Sanders
Sanders

Cancel based on income

Cancel based on income

Michael Bennet

U.S. senator, Colorado

“We should provide targeted relief for those for whom the debt is crushing, hindering basic life functioning,” Bennet told The Post. “We should not cancel all debt for high-income students and students with graduate degrees that will allow them to increase their earnings over their lifetime. Yes, we should limit student debt payments as a share of income for all student debt holders, to ensure that nobody is paying more than 8 percent of their income toward student debt. That would be a 20 percent decrease in payments based on income relative to the current system. For students who make these payments for 20 years, their debt should be forgiven. We should also forgive up to $40,000 in debt over four years for people engaged in public service, including teachers who teach in high-need schools.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Michael Bennet
Bennet

Cory Booker

U.S. senator, New Jersey

“Student loan debt is holding millions of Americans back from buying their first home, starting families, and starting new businesses,” Booker told The Post. “We should start by looking at means-tested debt forgiveness for those who work in public service professions like teaching. As President, I would also work to reduce the burden of student debt by allowing eligible student loan borrowers to refinance their federal loans, and allowing eligible student loan borrowers to refinance their private loans into the federal program.” Booker supports "forgiving and/or refinancing debt for low-income individuals and individuals who go into certain public services professions, among others," a campaign spokesperson told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Cory Booker
Booker

Julian Castro

Former mayor, San Antonio

“Until a borrower is earning at least 250% of the federal poverty line, their monthly loan payment will be capped at $0 with no interest accrual on unpaid interest for three years, exempting half of unpaid interest after three years,” Castro's education plan said. “This is not a deferred payment. The payment amount is $0. Once the borrower is earning above 250% of the federal poverty line, they will not pay more than 10% of their qualified income each month.” His plan also calls for “a new program of targeted loan forgiveness to forgive a proportion of loans for individuals who qualify for and receive means-tested federal assistance such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or Medicaid for any three years within a five year period.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Julian Castro
Castro

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator, Massachusetts

“I also have a plan to cancel student debt for more than 95% of those who carry it,“ Warren told The Post. “The plan offers no debt cancellation to people with household income above $250,000 (the top 5%). This was to ensure we offer broad debt cancellation while simultaneously increasing wealth for Black and Latinx families and reducing both the Black-White and Latinx-White wealth gaps.” Warren’s plan would eliminate up to $50,000 in student debt for borrowers with an annual household income of less than $100,000.

Candidate positions highlighted
Elizabeth Warren
Warren

Marianne Williamson

Author

“Yes. This generation of students cannot thrive if they are saddled with the chronic burden of college loan debt,” Williamson told The Post. “The majority of existing student debt should be cancelled, and others should be able to refinance to a lower level. We should also remove the restriction that prohibits people who declare bankruptcy to include student loans in the debt relief.” Her campaign site said, “We need to explore student loan forgiveness and options to remove red tape and lockouts, and reduce on-time payments from 10 years to 5 years. We need to reduce the interest rate for repayment of loans to a nominal, if not zero, percentage rate. We need to eliminate the origination fee on federal student loans, and eliminate the annual caps on federally subsidized loans.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Marianne Williamson
Williamson

Alleviate debt burdens in other ways

Alleviate debt burdens in other ways

Joe Biden

Former vice president

Biden supports canceling or adjusting payments based on income, his campaign told The Post. “Vice President Biden chaired the Middle Class Task Force and laid the groundwork for the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act to ensure college students can afford their student loans.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Biden
Biden

Pete Buttigieg

Mayor, South Bend, Ind.

“That would be great for us,” Buttigieg said in response to a question about Sanders's debt cancellation plan in the second Democratic debate. “And then the next day, there would be a student loan program and people would be out taking student loans wondering they weren't — why they weren't lucky enough in timing to get theirs wiped away completely, too.” Buttigieg told Vice that he supports improving existing programs, including the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program and the Teacher Loan Forgiveness program.

Candidate positions highlighted
Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg

John Delaney

Former U.S. representative, Maryland

“The federal government shouldn’t be making a profit on student loans. Delaney will reduce interest rates on federal student loans and set them equal to the interest rate on 10-year Treasury bonds,” Delaney's campaign website said.

Candidate positions highlighted
John Delaney
Delaney

Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. representative, Hawaii

Gabbard co-sponsored legislation that would incentivize businesses to help employees pay off their student loans.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard

Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator, Minnesota

Klobuchar “supports allowing borrowers to refinance student loans at lower rates, loan forgiveness for in-demand occupations, expanded Pell grants, and tuition-free one- and two-year community college degrees and technical certifications,” her campaign website said.

Candidate positions highlighted
Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar

Tom Steyer

Billionaire activist

“Our first priority for current student debt holders would be to help alleviate their burden by allowing these individuals to refinance their student loans and making good on our promise to forgive debt for public service through an expansion of the public servant student loan forgiveness program,” Steyer told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tom Steyer
Steyer

Andrew Yang

Tech entrepreneur

“Immediately reduce the student loan payments for millions of Americans by ensuring that the American government does not profit one cent from its educational loan servicing and that students get the same interest rates as the wealthiest bank,” Yang's campaign website said. He also pledged to “initiate a program that allows graduates to pay a percent of income instead of a fixed amount.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Andrew Yang
Yang

Steve Bullock (Dropped out)

Governor, Montana

Bullock is no longer running for president. “There’s a big difference in how the debt crisis impacts wealthy and lower-income Americans,” Bullock told The Post. “That’s why I don’t support blindly canceling debt regardless of job or income. Instead, student loans should be managed by the government at low interest rates that can be refinanced. We can forgive student loans for people who enter public service — like teaching. And we can make repayment plans tax-free and incentivize more workplaces to offer these benefits.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Steve Bullock
Bullock

Kamala D. Harris (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, California

Harris is no longer running for president. “Students shouldn’t fear decades of debt just because they want to pursue an education. But today in America, students graduate with so much debt, they often can’t take the job they want, start a business or a family, or even pay the bills,” Harris's campaign website said. “Kamala believes we need to act. As president, she’ll provide relief from crushing debt today, and ensure tomorrow’s students can attend college debt-free. That starts with immediately allowing current debt holders to refinance high-interest loans to lower rates, expanding Income Based Repayment (IBR) to ensure no student pays more than they can afford, and cracking down on for-profit colleges and lenders that defraud our students.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Kamala Harris
Harris

Joe Sestak (Dropped out)

Former U.S. representative, Pennsylvania

Sestak is no longer running for president. “No, the government should not cancel existing student debt, but we must reduce student debt and the cost of higher education by: 1) Making federal aid and loan payments to universities and colleges contingent on their keeping tuition increases pegged to inflation, or lower; 2) Restructuring federal student loans so the government does not make a profit, as it currently does because the interest rate is based on the 10-year Treasury bond (due to this, government will make $127 billion in profit this decade); 3) Increasing Pell grants; and 4) Implementing a national credit transfer system (since the average transfer student loses 43% of their credits, costing billions of dollars nationally),” Sestak told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Sestak
Sestak

Unclear/no response

Unclear/no response

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Background In years past, Democrats’ focus has been on future students and helping them afford college, but that does nothing for those who already have student debt. The new proposals seek to wipe out existing loans, a controversial notion given that many of those who owe large sums are people who attended graduate schools for law, medicine or business and went on to earn large salaries.

Question 8 of 15

Yes

Yes

Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. representative, Hawaii

Mar 12: “Absolute power corrupts absolutely. I agree with Senator Warren on the need to break up big tech companies like Facebook, Google, Amazon. Will be introducing similar legislation in U.S. House.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard

Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator, Vermont

“There are unacceptable levels of concentration of economic and political power in our economy today. In a [Sanders] administration, the FTC will break up corporations that have accumulated dominant market share and are able to wield their market power in anti-competitive ways including Facebook, Google, and Amazon and placing moratoriums on mergers in concentrated industries. We live in an era of unchecked corporate power. It’s time to take that power back for the people,” Sanders told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Bernie Sanders
Sanders

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator, Massachusetts

“Twenty-five years ago, Facebook, Google, and Amazon didn’t exist. Now they are among the most valuable and well-known companies in the world. It’s a great story — but also one that highlights why the government must break up monopolies and promote competitive markets,” Warren's plan for big tech companies said. “Today’s big tech companies have too much power — too much power over our economy, our society, and our democracy. They’ve bulldozed competition, used our private information for profit, and tilted the playing field against everyone else. And in the process, they have hurt small businesses and stifled innovation.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Elizabeth Warren
Warren

Marianne Williamson

Author

“Yes. These companies have abused their power as massive corporations to invade our privacy and stifle competition and innovation,” Williamson told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Marianne Williamson
Williamson

Open to it — Strengthen antitrust enforcement

Open to it — Strengthen antitrust enforcement

Michael Bennet

U.S. senator, Colorado

“Big tech companies have amassed significant power and deserve close scrutiny. We should use all existing authorities — including DOJ, FTC, and State AG antitrust investigations — to combat anti-competitive behavior, but we should also update antitrust standards to effectively address the competition concerns raised by large Internet platforms,” Bennet told The Post. “When breaking companies up will address anti-competitive conduct, we should be prepared to do so. But that judgment should be fact-based and not taken lightly.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Michael Bennet
Bennet

Joe Biden

Former vice president

“We haven’t spent enough time focusing on antitrust measures, and it’s no secret that we need to take a hard look at how we can rein in some of the abuses of power from the world’s biggest corporations, whether it be big tech, insurance companies, or the agriculture industry,” Biden told The Post. “These companies’ actions have significant consequences on our society — from our economic prosperity to our health and well-being to the integrity of our elections to the well-being of our children — and I will take forceful action to hold them accountable.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Biden
Biden

Cory Booker

U.S. senator, New Jersey

“Unchecked corporate concentration is undoubtedly a crisis that’s touching everything from tech to our food system,” Booker told The Post. “We must strengthen our antitrust enforcement, take aggressive action in cases where corporate concentration is hurting consumers, entrepreneurs and small businesses, communities and our democracy, including by reviewing the effects of past mergers and unwinding those causing anticompetitive harm.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Cory Booker
Booker

Pete Buttigieg

Mayor, South Bend, Ind.

“As President, I will hold online platforms accountable, demand comprehensive privacy protections, set standards of accountability and transparency for online political ads, elevate ongoing antitrust enforcement reviews, and ensure we keep market power in check for the benefit of consumers,” Buttigieg told The Post. “I support the ongoing antitrust probes of online platforms by the Justice Department, FTC, and state attorneys general. As outlined in my rural economy plan, my administration will double antitrust enforcement budgets, so the Justice Department can prioritize the scrutiny of large online platforms like Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon. We will reduce the reporting thresholds to shed light on this anticompetitive behavior, require the Justice Department to conduct post-merger reviews on a regular basis, and launch investigations on recent mergers with all options considered as remedies for anticompetitive behavior, including breaking up companies.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg

Julian Castro

Former mayor, San Antonio

“I think that we're on the right track in terms of updating how we look at monopolistic practices and setting ... rules for the road that match the challenges that we face today,” Castro said at the October Democratic debate. “We need to take a stronger stance when it comes to cracking down on monopolistic trade practices, and that's what I would do as president.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Julian Castro
Castro

John Delaney

Former U.S. representative, Maryland

“I think it’s wrong for politicians to target specific companies,” Delaney told The Post. “I support modernizing antitrust laws to address market concentration, block horizontal and vertical mergers that harm competition, and clarify that the government has the ability to unwind previous mergers.”

Candidate positions highlighted
John Delaney
Delaney

Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator, Minnesota

Klobuchar hasn't said she would break up big tech companies, but her first 100 days plan pledged to “undertake aggressive retrospective review of mergers.” It said she “will direct her Attorney General to have DOJ’s Antitrust Division undertake aggressive retrospective reviews of mergers. She will introduce legislation to increase funding for antitrust enforcement efforts by adjusting merger filing fees and she will change the legal standards to promote competition and prevent consolidation.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar

Tom Steyer

Billionaire activist

“Our government must deal with monopolies by enforcing our antitrust laws,” Steyer told The Post. “It doesn’t because the politicians have been bought by those monopolistic corporations to keep from being regulated. We either need to break up some of these Big Tech companies or regulate them, so they don’t continue to stifle innovation and competition, and harm the American consumer.” At the October Democratic debate, Steyer said, “I agree with Senator Warren that, in fact, monopolies have to be dealt with. They either have to be broken up or regulated, and that's part of it.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Tom Steyer
Steyer

Andrew Yang

Tech entrepreneur

Yang “believes that some companies need to break up or divest certain parts of themselves, but breaking them up won’t solve the problems that these giant tech companies are creating. 20th century assumptions are breaking down — companies are not raising prices but instead invading our privacy and selling our data,” his campaign told The Post. “Additionally, these companies are impacting our health, as can be seen by the negative impact of social media and smartphones on our children.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Andrew Yang
Yang

Steve Bullock (Dropped out)

Governor, Montana

Bullock is no longer running for president. “Amazon controls nearly half of Internet sales, yet pays zero in federal taxes. Google controls nearly 40 percent of online ads, yet more than half of their workers are independent contractors or temporary workers. There is too much power in too few hands with too little oversight,” Bullock told The Post. “As president, I’ll focus enforcement on expanding competition, protecting privacy and modernizing our antitrust laws to ensure that innovative companies of all sizes have an opportunity to develop and compete.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Steve Bullock
Bullock

Kamala D. Harris (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, California

Harris is no longer running for president. “My first priority is going to be that we ensure that privacy is something that is intact,” Harris told the New York Times.

Candidate positions highlighted
Kamala Harris
Harris

Joe Sestak (Dropped out)

Former U.S. representative, Pennsylvania

Sestak is no longer running for president. “If necessary, yes. Antitrust laws must be applied equally to new industries,” Sestak told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Sestak
Sestak

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Background Members of both parties have expressed concerns about the consolidation of power among companies in Silicon Valley, which they say have grown too big and powerful and are squashing competition. (Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is the owner of The Washington Post.) Candidates have also proposed breaking up companies in the agricultural sector.

Question 9 of 15

Yes, return to 35%

Yes, return to 35%

Pete Buttigieg

Mayor, South Bend, Ind.

“I have proposed returning the federal corporate income tax rate to 35%,” Buttigieg told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg

Julian Castro

Former mayor, San Antonio

“The American people were promised tax reform, but instead President Trump and the Republican Party enriched their donors, big corporations and the very wealthy. Twenty-eight percent of all the benefits went to just the top 1 percent. The Trump tax scam is a failed promise that we will repeal in my first 100 days,” Castro's working families plan said.

Candidate positions highlighted
Julian Castro
Castro

Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator, Vermont

Sanders's “administration will end the corporate greed that’s destroying the social fabric of our nation. We’ll raise $3 trillion over 10 years by repealing the disastrous corporate tax breaks enacted under Trump, closing corporate tax loopholes and demanding that corporations pay their fair share of taxes. We’ll restore the corporate tax rate to 35 percent from 21 percent, ensure corporations pay 35 percent by eliminating all corporate tax breaks and loopholes, and crack down on offshore tax haven scams,” Sanders told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Bernie Sanders
Sanders

Tom Steyer

Billionaire activist

“It should be at least 35%,” Steyer told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tom Steyer
Steyer

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator, Massachusetts

“I support repealing Trump tax cuts for the wealthy and giant corporations,” Warren told The Post. “I have also proposed a Real Corporate Profits Tax and a new country-by-country global minimum tax of 35 percent.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Elizabeth Warren
Warren

Marianne Williamson

Author

“Yes. The tax burden has shifted from corporations and the very wealthy to middle-income individuals. The statutory corporate tax rate has been reduced from over 50 percent in the 1950s to 35 percent in 2016, down to 21 percent with the 2017 tax bill. Some corporations make huge profits but pay little or no federal tax, like Amazon, which in 2018 made over $10 billion in profit but paid no federal tax,” Williamson told The Post. “Almost all the money the corporations made in the 2017 tax windfall went NOT to hire people or raise workers wages but to stock buybacks enriching shareholders. We should repeal the 2017 tax bonanza for wealthy corporations which would restore the corporate rate to 35 percent, and strengthen both the rules and the IRS so that corporations pay their fair share.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Marianne Williamson
Williamson

Kamala D. Harris (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, California

June 27: “For far too long, the rules have been written for big corporations and the 1%. It’s time we change that. On Day One I will repeal the Trump tax scam and give working families the largest tax cut in a generation. #DemDebate”

Candidate positions highlighted
Kamala Harris
Harris

Yes, somewhere between 21% and 35%

Yes, somewhere between 21% and 35%

Michael Bennet

U.S. senator, Colorado

“I support raising the federal corporate income tax rate to 28 percent as part of a broader restructuring of the American tax system that will ensure the wealthy and well-connected pay their fair share of taxes,” Bennet told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Michael Bennet
Bennet

Joe Biden

Former vice president

“We need a fundamental reworking of our tax code to ensure that we reward work over wealth. Hard-working Americans should not be paying the same taxes as the wealthiest individuals and corporations. That’s why I support raising the federal corporate income tax rate above its current level from 21 percent to 28 percent,” Biden told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Biden
Biden

John Delaney

Former U.S. representative, Maryland

“I support increasing the corporate tax rate to 27 percent,” Delaney told The Post. Hisplan for infrastructure is funded "by raising the corporate tax rate to 27 percent and increasing the federal gas tax to account for inflation since the last increase and indexing it for inflation going forward."

Candidate positions highlighted
John Delaney
Delaney

Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator, Minnesota

Klobuchar supports raising the corporate tax rate, she told The Post. Her campaign clarified that her proposal is raising the rate to 25% to pay for infrastructure and 28% for other purposes, including deficit reduction.

Candidate positions highlighted
Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar

Steve Bullock (Dropped out)

Governor, Montana

Bullock is no longer running for president. “Yes. I have proposed reversing most of the disastrous Trump tax cuts. A top rate of 31 percent will keep us competitive and fund a $975 billion infrastructure plan that invests in transportation, fights climate change, brings broadband to every county in America, and improves drinking water quality for all,” Bullock told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Steve Bullock
Bullock

Joe Sestak (Dropped out)

Former U.S. representative, Pennsylvania

Sestak is no longer running for president. “I support at least cutting the Trump tax cuts in half for corporations,” Sestak told The Post. “I recognize that lower corporate taxes encourage job creation (though so many of our corporations used the new tax law as an excuse for stock buy-backs rather than to create new jobs), but I firmly believe that corporations must pay their fair share.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Sestak
Sestak

Yes, rate unclear

Yes, rate unclear

Cory Booker

U.S. senator, New Jersey

“I support increasing the corporate rate above its current rate and putting in place new provisions to ensure everyone, including the wealthiest and largest corporations, [pays] their fair share,” Booker told The Post. He pledged to repeal the Trump-era tax cuts "for the wealthiest families and largest corporations," but did not provide other details. Booker's campaign website said he “would repeal [Republican] tax cuts, and work to swiftly restructure our tax code to restore justice and support broadly shared economic prosperity.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Cory Booker
Booker

Something else

Something else

Andrew Yang

Tech entrepreneur

“Corporations have an easy time avoiding the federal corporate income tax. We’re seeing trillion-dollar tech companies pay nothing in federal taxes,” his campaign told The Post. Yang “would implement [a value-added tax] to ensure that these corporations pay their fair share.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Andrew Yang
Yang

Unclear/No response

Unclear/No response

Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. representative, Hawaii

Gabbard did not provide an answer to this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard

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Background Democrats have criticized the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, an overhaul of the U.S. tax code that Republicans passed in 2017, as a giveaway to large corporations and the wealthy. That law lowered the U.S. corporate income tax rate from 35 to 21 percent, which Republicans argued would stimulate the economy and boost U.S. competitiveness. Candidates suggest reverting to the old rate to fund various proposals, including infrastructure improvements and changes to the health care system.

Question 10 of 15

Yes

Yes

Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator, Vermont

“Landlords should not be able to simply raise rents to any level they want, any time they want,” Sanders told The Post. He “will establish a national rent-control standard, capping annual rent increases throughout the country at no more than one and a half times the rate of inflation or 3 percent whichever is higher. Additionally, we need to allow cities and states to go even further to protect tenants from the skyrocketing price of housing.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Bernie Sanders
Sanders

No, do something else

No, do something else

Michael Bennet

U.S. senator, Colorado

“No. National rent control is more of a misguided slogan than a policy, and it would result in fewer affordable homes being built or preserved,” Bennet told The Post. “We need comprehensive reform to federal housing programs to build or preserve 7 million additional affordable units for low-income renters, help first-time homebuyers make a down payment, and ensure every American can afford a stable place to live in a neighborhood with good jobs and good schools.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Michael Bennet
Bennet

Joe Biden

Former vice president

“I believe in a comprehensive national policy to make housing more accessible and more affordable for every American,” Biden told The Post. “My plan for housing will address the affordable-housing shortage in cities and towns across the country and pursue strategies to make homeownership an achievable dream for all middle-class families.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Biden
Biden

Cory Booker

U.S. senator, New Jersey

“My housing plan includes a renters credit that would cap rental costs at 30 percent of income for working and middle-class Americans by refunding to renters the difference between 30 percent of income and the median area market rent,” Booker told The Post. “This would put more money in the pockets of 57 million Americans with the typical benefit for a family of about $4,800 per year.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Cory Booker
Booker

Pete Buttigieg

Mayor, South Bend, Ind.

“As a Mayor, I know that affordable housing is a crisis issue for many people in cities and towns across America — and I also know that the right solutions come from the local level,” Buttigieg told The Post. “Rent control is one of many tools that local jurisdictions can use to promote access to affordable housing. I will support cities in developing affordable housing strategies, including locally-tailored rent control, that work for their residents and are appropriate for their unique housing markets. I will also take steps to deter states from pre-empting local action on rent control or other tenant protections.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg

John Delaney

Former U.S. representative, Maryland

“No. We need more new construction to address the shortage of affordable housing units, and a national rent-control policy would discourage that,” Delaney told The Post. “I also believe rent control is a local issue. I have proposed a massive increase in federal affordable housing funding.”

Candidate positions highlighted
John Delaney
Delaney

Tom Steyer

Billionaire activist

“Housing is at the center of inequality in our country because it determines so much of your life. Where you live determines the air you breathe. It determines where your kids go to school. There's too little affordable housing, simply put. There are a number of situations that offer opportunities for local communities to create more affordable housing, like underutilized commercial properties, infill developments, more mixed-use buildings — which would make it easier to convert surplus state-owned property to affordable housing — tighten the rules on housing speculators, as well as strengthen tenants rights, protections, and rent control. I will work with state and local governments to build more housing and support rent and down payment assistance to help families find and stay in a home.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Tom Steyer
Steyer

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator, Massachusetts

“I have made taking on the country’s housing crisis a priority,” Warren told The Post. “I strongly support efforts to adopt rent-control standards. My housing legislation has a competitive grant program that offers grant money to cities that adopt rent control and other tenant protections as a way to encourage those efforts. I also strongly oppose state laws that preempt local efforts to impose rent control. More than 30 states have passed laws that explicitly prohibit cities from adopting rent control. These state laws effectively permit Wall Street to decide what’s best for cities and towns instead of the residents of those places choosing for themselves. It’s wrong, and as president, I will do whatever I can to stop and reverse these industry-backed efforts to take power away from cities and towns.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Elizabeth Warren
Warren

Marianne Williamson

Author

Williamson does not support a national rent-control cap, she told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Marianne Williamson
Williamson

Andrew Yang

Tech entrepreneur

Yang “acknowledges that rent costs are rising rapidly and current zoning ordinances restrict affordable-housing development,” his campaign told The Post. “The government must work to reform zoning ordinances and expand affordable housing to fight the housing crisis. Additionally, the government should work to make home ownership a realistic goal for American families, through both directly investing in our people and also supporting them in their financing options.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Andrew Yang
Yang

Steve Bullock (Dropped out)

Governor, Montana

Bullock is no longer running for president. “No. I believe we should allow a tax credit for renters to reduce the pressure on residents of communities where there is limited affordable housing stock — a problem not only in major cities but also in rural communities,” Bullock told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Steve Bullock
Bullock

Joe Sestak (Dropped out)

Former U.S. representative, Pennsylvania

Sestak is no longer running for president. “No, but I will have increased support for affordable-housing programs and a new low-interest loan program to help with down payments for first-time home buyers,” Sestak told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Sestak
Sestak

Unclear/No response

Unclear/No response

Julian Castro

Former mayor, San Antonio

Castro did not provide an answer to this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Julian Castro
Castro

Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. representative, Hawaii

Gabbard did not provide an answer to this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard

Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator, Minnesota

Klobuchar did not provide an answer to this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar

Kamala D. Harris (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, California

Harris is no longer running for president. Harris released a plan to address racial differences in homeownership, including “$100 billion to provide down-payment and closing-cost assistance to four million homebuyers who rent or live in historically red-lined communities.” She did not provide an answer to this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Kamala Harris
Harris

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Background Housing advocates have pushed to nationalize rent control, which limits the rate at which property owners can increase rent. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) rolled out a national rent control proposal in September. Opponents caution that keeping prices artificially low will discourage investment in new housing, particularly low-income housing.

Question 11 of 15

Yes, committed to doing so

Yes, committed to doing so

Michael Bennet

U.S. senator, Colorado

“Yes. As progressives, we should show how we can meet our fiscal obligations, instead of making empty promises of free things with no reasonable financing,” Bennet told The Post. “Republicans have run America into a fiscal ditch with unpaid tax cuts, wars in the Middle East and other reckless policies. We shouldn’t help them degrade the American people’s sense of what their government can do by putting forward policies that cannot be sustainably financed, like Medicare-for-all, when there are better alternatives like my Medicare-X public option that don’t add to our debt.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Michael Bennet
Bennet

Joe Biden

Former vice president

“Yes, I will tackle our debt-to-GDP ratio while still making bold investments in our workers, children and communities. And the super-wealthy and corporations will pay their fair share to make it possible. Submitting a responsible budget is important for any administration,” Biden told The Post. “As president, I will work with Congress to ensure we are addressing our national debt in a fair and effective way. The first step is reversing President Trump’s tax cuts for the super-wealthy and corporations, which already put us nearly $2 trillion in the hole without delivering any appreciable economic benefits. I will also eliminate special tax breaks that reward special interests, close the capital gains loophole for millionaires, and pare back on ineffective tax expenditures for the wealthiest Americans.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Biden
Biden

John Delaney

Former U.S. representative, Maryland

“Yes. I will limit annual budget deficits to approximately 2 percent of GDP, which will be lower than our annual rate of GDP growth,” Delaney told The Post. “Ensuring that our economy grows more than the annual deficit will mean the debt-to-GDP ratio declines over time.”

Candidate positions highlighted
John Delaney
Delaney

Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator, Minnesota

Klobuchar committed to stabilizing or lowering the debt-to-GDP ratio during her first term.

Candidate positions highlighted
Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar

Tom Steyer

Billionaire activist

“Servicing our debt is a drain on our economy,” Steyer told The Post. “We’re going to need to pay down our national debt, but that isn’t going to happen overnight. After decades of fiscal mismanagement that has allowed corporations to boost their profits and stock prices at the expense of workers’ rights, our health, and our environment, we are going to have to put our economy back in a position to successfully realize long-term economic growth.” Steyer committed to stabilizing or lowering the debt-to-GDP ratio during his first term.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tom Steyer
Steyer

Did not commit to doing so

Did not commit to doing so

Cory Booker

U.S. senator, New Jersey

“The Trump tax cuts added nearly $2 trillion to our national debt, overwhelmingly benefiting the wealthiest individuals and corporations, while proposing cuts to everything from health care to education programs. We can’t cut programs that help working families and expect our national debt-to-GDP ratio to decrease,” Booker told The Post. “I would invest in infrastructure, education, economic innovation and our workforce — all investments that will help ensure broadly shared prosperity and are less costly in the long run.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Cory Booker
Booker

Pete Buttigieg

Mayor, South Bend, Ind.

“My plans include more revenue increases than spending increases, and I believe managing the debt should be a high priority — especially given the explosion in deficits under President Trump,” Buttigieg told The Post. “However, the government must retain the option to fight a recession with all the available tools, including increased spending when necessary to support the economy.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg

Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator, Vermont

“At a time of massive wealth income inequality, we need austerity for the top 1 percent and the billionaire class, not the working class,” Sanders told The Post. “[Sanders] believes that the wealthiest Americans and most profitable corporations must pay their fair share of taxes so that we can enact Medicare-for-all, a Green New Deal, expand Social Security, guarantee jobs and housing as economic rights, and create an economy that works for the many, not the few.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Bernie Sanders
Sanders

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator, Massachusetts

“I have proposed several new measures to increase federal tax revenue, including a two-cent wealth tax on fortunes above $50 million and a Real Corporate Profits Tax on very large and profitable American corporations,” Warren told The Post. “But we have urgent problems, like the growing cost of housing, child care, health care and education, that require real federal investments. Addressing these issues and cracking down on corruption in Washington will be my top priorities.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Elizabeth Warren
Warren

Marianne Williamson

Author

“Our debt is high in large part because we are fighting several wars, yet giving massive tax cuts to corporations and wealthy individuals, as well as giving subsidies to corporations who don’t need it like the oil industry. Trickle down is a failed economic theory. It has led to the top 1 percent owning more wealth than the bottom 90 percent of Americans,” Williamson told The Post. “I would repeal the 2017 tax cut for the wealthy and subsidies for Big Oil, and redirect the funds to address the climate crisis and to rebuild our aging infrastructure such as roads, bridges, public transit and water systems. This would create millions of jobs, and put money in the hands of working people who will spend it and stimulate the economy. I would also enact a wealth tax of 2 percent on wealth over $50 million and 3 percent on wealth over $1 billion which would help reduce the debt.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Marianne Williamson
Williamson

Andrew Yang

Tech entrepreneur

Yang “sees the national debt as both a revenue and an expense problem,” his campaign told The Post. “On the revenue side, he would implement a VAT to better capture the economic gains of new technologies. On the expense side, [Yang] would look for opportunities to control spending where appropriate. For example, the United States spends $750 billion on our defense budget; we can refocus that money to fight the conflicts of this century instead of the past one.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Andrew Yang
Yang

Steve Bullock (Dropped out)

Governor, Montana

Bullock is no longer running for president. “President Trump has exploded our debt and deficits, pushing the debt above $23 trillion and pushing the debt-to-GDP ratio to over 100 percent,” Bullock told The Post. “It will take an entire decade or more to undo the damage Trump has done, but I am committed to working to reduce our deficits and getting our fiscal house in order.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Steve Bullock
Bullock

Joe Sestak (Dropped out)

Former U.S. representative, Pennsylvania

Sestak is no longer running for president. “All of my proposals are paid for. I believe for our long-term stability and prosperity we must lower the debt-to-GDP ratio, though I recognize that there are times when increased government spending is necessary and appropriate,” Sestak told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Sestak
Sestak

Unclear/No response

Unclear/No response

Julian Castro

Former mayor, San Antonio

Castro did not provide an answer to this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Julian Castro
Castro

Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. representative, Hawaii

Gabbard did not provide an answer to this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard

Kamala D. Harris (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, California

Harris is no longer running for president. Harris did not provide an answer to this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Kamala Harris
Harris

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Background In 2010, the Obama administration created the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform — otherwise known as the Simson-Bowles commission — to look for ways to slow the growth of government debt. But the 2017 GOP tax law dealt a significant blow to government revenue, and efforts to rein in budget deficits have fallen away. Candidates have proposed new spending for health care and climate change that come with price tags in the trillions of dollars, which some experts suggest will require raising taxes on the middle class to stay deficit-neutral.

The U.S. budget deficit has more than doubled since 2015

Fiscal-year deficit (The federal fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30).

$984

billion

$1.5

trillion

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act becomes law

$1

trillion

$500

billion

0

2007

2009

2019

Bush

Obama

Trump

Sources: Treasury Department, Office of Management and Budget

The U.S. budget deficit has more than doubled since 2015

Fiscal-year deficit (The federal fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30).

$984

billion

$1.5

trillion

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act becomes law

$1

trillion

$500

billion

0

2007

2009

2019

Bush

Obama

Trump

Sources: Treasury Department, Office of Management and Budget

The U.S. budget deficit has more than doubled since 2015

Fiscal-year deficit (The federal fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30).

$984

billion

$1.5

trillion

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act becomes law

$1

trillion

$500

billion

0

2007

2009

2019

Bush

Obama

Trump

Sources: Treasury Department, Office of Management and Budget

Question 12 of 15

Yes

Yes

Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator, Vermont

“The Fed must become a more democratic institution that represents the needs of ordinary Americans and small businesses, not Wall Street billionaires,” Sanders told The Post. He “disagreed with the Fed’s decision to increase rates from 2015-2018. Raising rates should be done as a last resort, not to fight phantom inflation. We also need to cap credit card interest rates at no more than 15 percent and give Americans the opportunity to receive affordable banking services at the post office.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Bernie Sanders
Sanders

No

No

Marianne Williamson

Author

“The interest rate is fine for now. The Federal Reserve has already lowered the rate twice this year, and is at a relatively low level,” Williamson told The Post. “The Fed needs to retain the ability to lower the rate as a tool to soften the next recession when it comes, so it’s best to hold steady for now.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Marianne Williamson
Williamson

Joe Sestak (Dropped out)

Former U.S. representative, Pennsylvania

Sestak is no longer running for president. The Federal Reserve’s interest rate is not too high, Sestak told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Sestak
Sestak

The Fed should operate independent of politics

The Fed should operate independent of politics

Michael Bennet

U.S. senator, Colorado

“Despite Donald Trump’s attempts to politicize the Federal Reserve, decisions about interest rates should be made independent of politics, so I won’t weigh in on interest rate levels,” Bennet told The Post. “More broadly, the Fed has often fallen short of its full employment mandate, which has harmed workers, especially those trying to make ends meet. As president, my Federal Reserve Board appointees will prioritize the employment mandate and consider every tool available to achieve that mandate.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Michael Bennet
Bennet

Joe Biden

Former vice president

“Donald Trump’s attempts to manipulate the interest rates set by the Federal Reserve — an independent institution — is an abuse of power. No president — or even a candidate for president — should be tweeting or commenting on an institution that requires independence to fulfill its duties,” Biden told The Post. “As president, I will rebuild the middle class and create an inclusive economy where everybody comes along — regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or disability. And I believe we can achieve this goal without compromising the critical independence of institutions, like the Federal Reserve.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Biden
Biden

Cory Booker

U.S. senator, New Jersey

Booker believes the Fed should operate independently, a campaign spokesman told The Post. “Historically, the Federal Reserve has raised interest rates when the economy has reached full employment — periods with low unemployment where wage growth outpaces inflation. Our economy isn’t there yet,” Booker told The Post. “Despite low unemployment, wage growth is recovering slowly after years of low growth that left many families struggling to make ends meet, while inflation remains low.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Cory Booker
Booker

Pete Buttigieg

Mayor, South Bend, Ind.

“Presidents should not comment directly on Federal Reserve policy, and I will prioritize the independence of the Fed,” Buttigieg told The Post. “The Federal Reserve’s dual mandate is important, and it should be focused on its role of supporting the goals of full employment and stable prices.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg

John Delaney

Former U.S. representative, Maryland

“I support the Federal Reserve’s traditional independence, and believe that monetary policy should be made by experts and not influenced by political considerations,” Delaney told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
John Delaney
Delaney

Tom Steyer

Billionaire activist

“No, the interest rate is not too high, but as President, I would honor the dual mandate of the Federal Reserve and independence in setting interest rates to meet its goals and maintain a healthy economy,” Steyer told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tom Steyer
Steyer

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator, Massachusetts

“The Fed’s mandate is to balance long-term price stability with full employment. I respect the Fed’s independence in setting interest rates to achieve these two goals,” Warren told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Elizabeth Warren
Warren

Andrew Yang

Tech entrepreneur

“The Federal Reserve is intended to be an apolitical independent body. As president, [Yang] would work to preserve its independence and limit it from political influence so it can effectively conduct monetary policy to promote employment, stabilize prices, and moderate long-term interest rates,” his campaign told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Andrew Yang
Yang

Steve Bullock (Dropped out)

Governor, Montana

Bullock is no longer running for president. “Unlike the dangerous precedent set by Trump, as President I will allow the Fed to set interest rates without political influence,” Bullock told The Post. “The fact that Trump is inserting himself into monetary policy for his own political gain is alarming behavior that cannot become normalized.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Steve Bullock
Bullock

Unclear/No response

Unclear/No response

Julian Castro

Former mayor, San Antonio

Castro did not provide an answer to this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Julian Castro
Castro

Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. representative, Hawaii

Gabbard did not provide an answer to this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard

Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator, Minnesota

Klobuchar did not provide an answer to this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar

Kamala D. Harris (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, California

Harris is no longer running for president. Harris did not provide an answer to this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Kamala Harris
Harris

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Background Presidents nominate top Federal Reserve officials, but the country’s central bank is designed to operate independently so its decisions are not criticized as political. But Trump has publicly pressured the Fed to lower interest rates to encourage economic growth. Chairman Jerome Powell resisted those calls in November, saying he saw “no reason” to further cut interest rates.

Question 13 of 15

Yes, maintain both

Yes, maintain both

Pete Buttigieg

Mayor, South Bend, Ind.

Buttigieg “would maintain both,” his campaign told The Post. “He has previously proposed repealing components of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that affect only the top 2% and corporations.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg

John Delaney

Former U.S. representative, Maryland

Delaney supports maintaining the standard deduction and child tax credit increases from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
John Delaney
Delaney

Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator, Minnesota

Klobuchar supports maintaining the standard deduction and child tax credit increases from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, she told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar

Marianne Williamson

Author

“Yes. Of the 2017 tax cuts, I want to repeal the benefits to the wealthiest Americans and corporations. However, the policies that benefit regular working Americans, such as the child tax credit increase, should stay in place to help those who need it,” Williamson told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Marianne Williamson
Williamson

Andrew Yang

Tech entrepreneur

Yang supports maintaining the standard deduction and child tax credit increases from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, he told The Post. He “absolutely supports policies that help Americans feel less economic stress — most of us are living paycheck to paycheck, and 40 percent of us can’t afford an unexpected $400 bill,” his campaign told The Post. “While these tax credits and deductions are a great help, [Yang] would go further by implementing a Freedom Dividend, a universal basic income of $1,000 a month to every American 18 and older.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Andrew Yang
Yang

Steve Bullock (Dropped out)

Governor, Montana

Bullock is no longer running for president. Bullock supports maintaining the standard deduction and child tax credit increases from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, he told The Post

Candidate positions highlighted
Steve Bullock
Bullock

Joe Sestak (Dropped out)

Former U.S. representative, Pennsylvania

Sestak is no longer running for president. Sestak supports maintaining the standard deduction and child tax credit increases from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Sestak
Sestak

Maintain the child tax credit

Maintain the child tax credit

Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator, Vermont

“When [Sanders] is in the White House, we will pass real tax reform that benefits the middle-class and working-class families without giving tax breaks to the top 1 percent and profitable corporations. We will also expand the child tax credit and make it fully refundable.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Bernie Sanders
Sanders

Tom Steyer

Billionaire activist

“I support the EITC as a tool for helping working Americans lift themselves out of poverty. I will support low and middle income families by allowing the full $2,000 child tax credit to be received as a refund and phasing in the credit more quickly,” Steyer told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tom Steyer
Steyer

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator, Massachusetts

“I support repealing the Trump tax cuts for the wealthy and giant corporations,” Warren told The Post. “It is shameful that we have millions of kids in America growing up in abject poverty. I support the Child Tax Credit — along with the Earned Income Tax Credit — to lift millions of families out of poverty.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Elizabeth Warren
Warren

Reverse both

Reverse both

Michael Bennet

U.S. senator, Colorado

“No, I would replace them with tax cuts that help middle-class and low-income families,” Bennet told The Post. “The Republican legislation denied the full Child Tax Credit to 27 million kids. Meanwhile, it provided the full credit to households making $400,000 per year. My American Family Act expands the Child Tax Credit to up to $300 per month ($3,600 per year) per child. This proposal would help the middle class and cut child poverty by nearly 40 percent.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Michael Bennet
Bennet

Unclear/No response

Unclear/No response

Joe Biden

Former vice president

“We need to reward work, not wealth. I will repeal Trump’s tax cuts for the super-wealthy and corporations,” Biden told The Post. He would not support anything that would taxes on the middle class, a campaign spokesperson said.

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Biden
Biden

Cory Booker

U.S. senator, New Jersey

“I support rolling back the regressive Trump tax cuts and making sweeping investments in low- and middle-income families, including through with my Rise Credit, a massive expansion and reimagining of the Earned Income Tax credit, and a universal child allowance that would authorize monthly payments of $300 for families with younger children and $250 for families with older children up to age 18,” Booker told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Cory Booker
Booker

Julian Castro

Former mayor, San Antonio

Castro did not provide an answer to this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Julian Castro
Castro

Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. representative, Hawaii

Gabbard did not provide an answer to this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard

Kamala D. Harris (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, California

Harris is no longer running for president. Harris did not provide an answer to this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Kamala Harris
Harris

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Background While Democrats strongly opposed the 2017 Republican-passed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, it did contain some changes that generally lowered taxes for the middle class, including doubling the standard deduction and increasing the child tax credit. Some candidates plan to maintain these changes, with others promising to toss them in favor of their own tax plans.

Question 14 of 15

No

No

Some said that it did not meet their standards and that they would not pursue it

Cory Booker

U.S. senator, New Jersey

“I voted against fast-track authority and opposed the TPP because it put large corporations before workers, and would have led to the further decline of U.S. manufacturing. I will only support a trade deal that, at its core, is focused on advancing the American worker and working families — creating jobs, lifting wages and boosting environmental standards,” Booker told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Cory Booker
Booker

Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. representative, Hawaii

“No. We need a new framework for trade and investment agreements that prioritizes the interests of America's working families, consumers and the environment rather than the interests of multinational corporations,” Gabbard told The Post. “We cannot and will not give up our sovereignty to corporations who want to outsource U.S. manufacturing to increase their profits, with no regard for the impact on working people, our economy and our environment.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard

Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator, Vermont

“No. I helped lead the effort against the disastrous Trans-Pacific Partnership unfettered trade agreement. The TPP follows in the footsteps of other unfettered free trade agreements like NAFTA, CAFTA and the Permanent Normalized Trade Agreement with China (PNTR). These treaties have forced American workers to compete against desperate and low-wage labor around the world. The result has been massive job losses in the United States and the shutting down of tens of thousands of factories,” Sanders told The Post. “We need to fundamentally rewrite our trade policies to benefit American workers, not just the CEOs of large, multinational corporations. Rejoining the TPP would be a betrayal of American workers, and a step in the wrong direction.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Bernie Sanders
Sanders

Tom Steyer

Billionaire activist

Steyer would not pursue joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tom Steyer
Steyer

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator, Massachusetts

“I strongly opposed TPP because I thought it was a bad deal for American workers. As president, I will pursue trade deals that set strong standards and prioritize working families here at home, rather than pad the bottom lines of giant multinational corporations with no particular loyalty to America or its people,” Warren told The Post. “Our relationships in Asia are essential for U.S. national security and prosperity. But our partnerships will be strong only if our economic relationships also advance the prosperity of the American people.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Elizabeth Warren
Warren

Marianne Williamson

Author

“No. The original agreement did not have strong enough protections for the environment and workers,” Williamson told The Post. “I have concerns of loss of U.S. sovereignty by having an international tribunal decide conflicts over trade issues.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Marianne Williamson
Williamson

Kamala D. Harris (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, California

Harris is no longer running for president. “As I’ve long said, I will oppose any trade deal that doesn't look out for the best interests of American workers and raise environmental standards, and unfortunately the TPP didn’t pass either test,” Harris told the Council on Foreign Relations. In the third Democratic debate, Harris said, “my trade policy, under a Harris administration, is always going to be about saying, we need to export American products, not American jobs. And to do that, we have to have a meaningful trade policy. I am not a protectionist Democrat. Look, we need to sell our stuff. And that means we need to sell it to people overseas. That means we need trade policies that allow that to happen.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Kamala Harris
Harris

Open to joining, if adjusted

Open to joining, if adjusted

Others wanted to see improvements before moving forward

Michael Bennet

U.S. senator, Colorado

Bennet “objected to TPP moving forward without a plan for addressing the very real economic pain that American families are feeling from globalization and the changing economy. However, he also doesn't think we should cede to China writing the rules for trade in the Asia-Pacific region as President Trump has done,” a Bennet spokesperson told The Post. Bennet “believes we should be doing the tough work of building coalitions to set standards on our terms and to counter China's unfair trade practices.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Michael Bennet
Bennet

Joe Biden

Former vice president

“When it comes to trade, either we're going to write the rules of the road for the world or China is — and not in a way that advances our values,” Biden told The Post. “TPP wasn’t perfect but the idea behind it was a good one: to unite countries around high standards for workers, the environment, intellectual property, and transparency, and use our collective weight to curb China’s excesses. Going forward, my focus will be on rallying our friends in both Asia and Europe in setting the rules of the road for the 21st century and joining us to get tough on China and its trade and technology abuses. ... I would not sign any new trade deal until we have made major investments in our workers and infrastructure. Nor would I sign a deal that does not include representatives for labor and the environment at the negotiating table, and strong protections for our workers.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Biden
Biden

Andrew Yang

Tech entrepreneur

“I would reenter the TPP in conjunction with policies to ensure the benefits are widely shared, like a VAT, border-adjustment tax, and the Freedom Dividend, a universal basic income of $1,000/month for all American adults,” Yang told the Council on Foreign Relations.

Candidate positions highlighted
Andrew Yang
Yang

Steve Bullock (Dropped out)

Governor, Montana

Bullock is no longer running for president. “It’s wrong to enter into trade agreements that don’t require high labor standards, leverage improved environmental conservation and aren’t accompanied by significant efforts for American workers who are adversely impacted by trade,” Bullock told The Post. “By those standards — I wouldn’t have entered the TPP as it was written. Before rejoining, I would seek enforceable environmental and labor standards, and wouldn’t present TPP absent a clear analysis on the impact to workers, and proposals to mitigate that impact.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Steve Bullock
Bullock

Joe Sestak (Dropped out)

Former U.S. representative, Pennsylvania

Sestak is no longer running for president. “Yes, provided new safeguards are put in place regarding intellectual property, environmental standards and corporate influence,” Sestak told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Sestak
Sestak

Yes

Yes

John Delaney

Former U.S. representative, Maryland

“I would seek to reenter the TPP on Day One of my administration,” Delaney told the Council on Foreign Relations.

Candidate positions highlighted
John Delaney
Delaney

Unclear/No response

Unclear/No response

Pete Buttigieg

Mayor, South Bend, Ind.

CPTPP “currently lacks critical provisions on labor, environment and the digital economy, and does not align closely enough with the needs and interests of American workers,” Buttigieg told The Post. “But America also should not surrender the world’s fastest-growing markets in Asia to other countries. We can move forward only if we restore trust with Americans, including those left behind by trade deal after trade deal, despite being promised that a rising tide would lift all boats.” The campaign did not clarify his position before publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg

Julian Castro

Former mayor, San Antonio

“I believe that the American worker should always come first,” Castro told New York Magazine. “I also don’t think that we should summarily say no to striking trade agreements if they make sense for workers and for American business.” He did not answer this question by publication.

Candidate positions highlighted
Julian Castro
Castro

Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator, Minnesota

Klobuchar did not answer this question by publication. She voted against fast-track authority for President Barack Obama to negotiate trade deals in 2015.

Candidate positions highlighted
Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar

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Background President Barack Obama negotiated a new trade pact between 12 North American and Asian Pacific countries in the final years of his tenure, arguing that the accord would increase U.S. exports and create an economic alliance to contain China’s expansion. But the deal faced a difficult path in Congress, with many progressives arguing that it would hurt American workers and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton opposing it during her 2016 campaign. President Trump withdrew the United States from the plan, and the remaining 11 signatories moved forward without U.S. participation, signing the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership in March 2018.

Question 15 of 15

Yes

Yes, supports

Joe Biden

Former vice president

Biden supports a price on carbon, a campaign spokesman told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Biden
Biden

Cory Booker

U.S. senator, New Jersey

“[F]ossil fuel producers would immediately begin to pay a carbon fee on fossil fuel sources at the coal mine, natural gas wellhead and oil refinery,” Booker's climate plan said. “The carbon fee would rapidly increase and be complemented by a 100% clean energy standard for electricity generation by 2030, ensuring all electricity is emissions-free and that all communities are free of the health costs and environmental pollution from this sector. Industrial sources of emissions would become subject to the fee in 2030, in order to allow time for technology development. By paying the true societal cost of production — not just for capital and labor but also the impact on communities and our environment — people and businesses will more quickly shift to zero emission sources of energy and less carbon-intensive goods and services. Under [Booker's] plan, substantial revenue raised through the carbon fee will be returned directly to households in the form of a monthly dividend check.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Cory Booker
Booker

Pete Buttigieg

Mayor, South Bend, Ind.

Buttigieg supports a price on carbon, he told The Post. “And I know you’re not supposed to use the T word when you’re in politics, but we might as well call this what it is. There is a harm being done, and in the same way that we have taxed cigarettes, we're going to have to tax carbon,” Buttigieg told a CNN climate town hall. “Now, the difference with my plan is that I propose that we rebate all of the revenue we collect right back out to the American people on a progressive basis, so that low- and middle-income Americans are made more than whole. ”

Candidate positions highlighted
Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg

Julian Castro

Former mayor, San Antonio

Castro supports setting a price on carbon, he told The Post. “By 2030, we will replace all electricity generated by coal to zero-emission sources. I support a new 'carbon pollution fee' on up-stream, large-scale polluters for greenhouse gas emissions and investing that revenue in renewable energy, environmental justice, and climate resilience,” Castro's climate plan said.

Candidate positions highlighted
Julian Castro
Castro

John Delaney

Former U.S. representative, Maryland

“The largest component of Delaney’s climate plan that will have the biggest impact is his Carbon Fee and Dividend proposal,” his campaign website said. “While in Congress, Delaney introduced the first bipartisan Carbon Fee and Dividend bill in over 10 years. The proposal starts the fee at $15 per metric ton of CO2 equivalent and increases the cost by $10 each year. Implementing a carbon fee, where the revenue is returned to the American people, is the best method for providing the market incentives to reduce our emissions.”

Candidate positions highlighted
John Delaney
Delaney

Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator, Minnesota

Asked about paying for her plan at a CNN climate town hall, Klobuchar said, “You can do it with simply a carbon tax, or you can do it with a combination with the renewable electricity standard. I’d want to see who we have in Congress and how far we can move. So that alone will bring in trillions of dollars. And some of that can be used, of course to help communities that are going to be affected by this, and by the transition and make sure people have jobs coming out of this.” She supports a federal carbon-pricing mechanism, her campaign told The Post. Her climate plan called for, “adopting a carbon pricing program that does not have a regressive impact on Americans.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar

Tom Steyer

Billionaire activist

“I support putting a price on carbon. A price, however, will not in itself offer a complete solution to the climate crisis. Any carbon price must be part of a comprehensive plan to decarbonize as quickly and equitably as possible,” Steyer told The Post. He funded an effort to pass cap and trade in Oregon in 2018.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tom Steyer
Steyer

Marianne Williamson

Author

“I feel a federal carbon tax is important and is only one tool that we will need to address this imminent threat to our communities, country and environment,” Williamson told the New York Times.

Candidate positions highlighted
Marianne Williamson
Williamson

Andrew Yang

Tech entrepreneur

“We need to have a carbon tax because we need to have polluters internalize the cost of their pollution,” Yang told a CNN climate town hall. “And so you start at $40 a ton and then you ramp up to $100 a ton to give them time to adjust. But these companies only operate on the bottom line. You can’t say do the right thing and then have all the executives get paid for making tons of money at the expense of the earth.” On Yang’s campaign site he pledged to “institute a tax on emissions that will fund health care initiatives and research for respiratory diseases that are a direct result of these emissions.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Andrew Yang
Yang

Steve Bullock (Dropped out)

Governor, Montana

Bullock is no longer running for president. “Yes. We need to address climate change with transformative solutions — from rejoining the Paris Agreement and restoring global climate leadership, to significantly expanding renewable energy, improving energy and fuel efficiency, investing in carbon capture, increasing royalties on oil and gas drilling, and a carbon tax shouldn’t be off the table if it contains safeguards to ensure lower-income communities are not disproportionately affected,” Bullock told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Steve Bullock
Bullock

Kamala D. Harris (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, California

Harris is no longer running for president. “A climate pollution fee can play an important role as one of several interrelated policies to reduce emissions and hold polluters accountable,” Harris's climate plan said. “As Governor Inslee noted, a price on pollution is not a silver bullet, but by placing a progressively increasing fee as far upstream as possible, we can drive down pollution while raising government revenues that can be used to address the harms of greenhouse gas emissions. However, history shows us that reliance on market mechanisms alone can often leave communities behind. That’s why [Harris] will involve frontline communities in the fee development process, and would ensure that the fee revenues are invested back into those communities to improve environmental conditions and local economic development.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Kamala Harris
Harris

Joe Sestak (Dropped out)

Former U.S. representative, Pennsylvania

Sestak is no longer running for president. “Yes, I support a carbon fee and dividend approach, with proceeds primarily going back to citizens, but with some going to research and development of clean energy and other climate stabilizing technologies — particularly removing CO2 from the atmosphere,” Sestak told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Sestak
Sestak

Open to it

Open to it

Michael Bennet

U.S. senator, Colorado

“There are a variety of tools we can use to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. I think we should include the country in making that decision, rather than making it from Washington,” Bennet told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Michael Bennet
Bennet

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator, Massachusetts

Warren is open to setting a price on carbon, her campaign told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Elizabeth Warren
Warren

No

No, opposes

Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. representative, Hawaii

“Ultimately I don't think that the carbon tax is the right way to get us there. Instead of passing the costs on to those who can least afford it, I will end corporate welfare to fossil fuel and nuclear power companies,” Gabbard told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard

Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator, Vermont

Sanders's campaign told The Post in May 2019 that he was open to a carbon tax, but said in November that he is opposed to it. “While [Sanders] has, in the past, introduced federal carbon pricing legislation in the Senate, the IPCC report makes clear that our window for action is closing,” a campaign spokesman said in May. “So, if we are to solve the issue of climate change, a price on carbon must be part of a larger strategy and it must be formulated in a way that actually transitions our economy away from fossil fuels and protects low-income families and communities of color.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Bernie Sanders
Sanders

Unclear/No response

Unclear/No response

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Background Through a price on carbon, polluters would pay for the carbon emissions released into the air. Policies to price carbon include direct taxes on emissions and cap-and-trade markets, where polluters purchase credits for emissions. Many economists view this strategy as a cost-effective way for countries to reduce emissions, although it would increase energy prices for consumers, with poorer households being disproportionately affected. Only about 15 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions faced a carbon price in 2017, according to a study by the World Bank.

Kevin Schaul, Michael Scherer, Heather Long and Jeff Stein contributed to this report.

How candidate positions were compiled

The Washington Post sent a detailed questionnaire to every Democratic presidential campaign asking whether it supports various changes to U.S. economic policy. Candidates with similar stances were organized into groups using a combination of those answers, legislative records, action taken in an executive role, and other public comments, such as policy discussion on campaign websites, social media posts, interviews, town hall meetings and other news reports and surveys. See something we missed? Let us know.

We expect candidates to develop more detailed policy positions throughout the campaign, and this page will update as we learn more about their plans. We also will note if candidates change their position on an issue.

At initial publication, this page included major candidates who had announced a run for president before November and excluded any who had left the race. Former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick announced a run just before publication. The Post is working to obtain his answers to these questions.

Curious about where candidates stand on another policy? Fill out this suggestion form.

Recent changes on this page

Dec. 3 Harris dropped out of presidential race.

Dec. 2 Bullock dropped out of presidential race.

Dec. 1 Sestak dropped out of presidential race.

Nov. 20 Klobuchar's campaign clarified her corporate tax rate proposal.

Nov. 20 Steyer's campaign provided his answers to the survey. New information reflected here includes stances on universal basic income, length of paid family leave, a federal jobs guarantee, Federal Reserve interest rates, approach to national debt and a national rent control cap.

Nov. 18 Added Buttigieg's position on maintaining the standard deduction and the child tax credit increases from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Nov. 16 Clarified Buttigieg's support for a wealth tax, per a campaign spokesperson. Adjusted Sanders's position on a carbon tax, from 'Open to it' to 'No' following a change from his campaign.

Nov. 16 Adjusted Bennet's posiiton on a wealth tax after confirmation from his campaign.

Nov. 16 Page published.

Kevin Uhrmacher

Kevin Uhrmacher is a graphics editor for politics at The Washington Post. His work includes mapping trends in election results, analyzing data about President Trump’s political appointees and explaining the impact of congressional policies. He joined The Post in 2014 as a news designer.

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