The Democratic presidential contest is revving up the tax policy debate. The candidates are calling for higher taxes on corporations, capital gains, wealth, and much else. In the second round of debates, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said he wants to “tax the hell out of the wealthy,” and that is a common sentiment in his party these days.
The tax issue had faded after Republicans passed their Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in 2017. Most people did not notice they received a tax cut, and Republicans have been lousy salespersons for their reform.
Going forward, taxes will reclaim center stage, but rather than tax cuts, there could be endless battles over tax hikes. Today’s surfeit of soak-the-rich ideas from Democrats may be just a prelude to major thrusts at hiking middle-class taxes down the road.