In his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, Pete Buttigieg may be positioning himself as a moderate alternative to Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, but he still calls for more taxes and government spending than Joe Biden does or than Hillary Clinton did in 2016, The Wall Street Journal’s Jacob M. Schlesinger and John McCormick write.
Buttigieg, they say, has proposed $6.9 trillion in new spending and nearly $7.2 trillion in tax increases, far less than Warren or Sanders, but double what Biden has proposed and triple what Clinton did:
“Like most other candidates in the race, the Buttigieg platform espouses a far more-activist government than Mr. Obama and Bill and Hillary Clinton ever proposed. The main 2020 agendas share in common plans to roll back much of President Trump’s signature 2017 tax cuts for business and the affluent, expand the earned-income tax credit for low- and middle-income workers and spend trillions of dollars on green infrastructure to make American industry carbon neutral by midcentury. They all focus more on redistributing wealth than expanding economic growth, and they try to show how they would pay for their plans without increasing government debt.”
The bottom line: Buttigieg faces plenty of pushback from the left, including questions about just how progressive he would be and how genuine — or focus-group tested — his policy proposals are. But his proposals may be an indication of how the top of the Democratic party has shifted since Clinton was the party’s standard-bearer.
Read more at The Wall Street Journal (subscription required).