The 2020 Democratic candidates on economic policy
Money is always on a voter's mind
- After several Democratic 2020 presidential candidates have dropped, 19 candidates are currently left in the race.
- Many candidates share similar platforms on financial policy, like consumer over corporate interests.
- We’ll focus on the top nine fundraising candidates — Bernie Sanders’ campaign leads with $46,491,503.24 raised.
Although some Democratic candidates have dropped out of the 2020 presidential race (Kirsten Gillibrand, John Hickenlooper, Seth Moulton, and Eric Swalwell, for instance), there are still plenty vying for the Oval Office — 19, in fact!
We imagine voters could find sorting through 19 candidates’ political platforms a bit overwhelming. Being a finance site, we found it necessary to organize what we knew about the top fundraising Democratic candidates’ financial policies into a list. Money is always on a voter’s mind, no?
(And for those interested in where the Republicans stand — there are four candidates, including incumbent Donald Trump — we’ll get to you later! Stay tuned.)
Bernard ‘Bernie’ Sanders
The independent Vermont senator is giving this presidency thing another go, filing as a Democrat for the race. (Guess you can truly have it all!) His platform is similar to his 2016 presidential bid, which includes more Wall Street regulation and consumer over corporate interests. In particular, Bernie Sanders is rallying for a $15 minimum wage, tuition-free college, campaign finance reform, and Medicare for All. (Some political experts argue these platforms aren’t unique to Sanders anymore. He had to walk for the other Dems to run, right?)
Like most politicians, Sanders’ political trajectory hasn’t been without criticism. There’d been reports that the Senator had failed to address sexism from workers within his 2016 presidential campaign — pay disparity and sexual harassment in particular.
If there’s anyone that doesn’t put up with Wall Street, it’s Senator Warren. She’s been a vocal critic for years, even leading the design of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, says American Banker.
If you’re ever in a bad mood, it’s truly entertaining to watch videos of Warren roasting the then-Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf in a Senate Banking Committee hearing on the phony-accounts scandal. “You should resign,” Warren told the CEO. (DENG, Kween!)
Warren also has a strong financial background. She’s known as a bankruptcy expert and has written numerous books on finance.
The South Bend, Indiana mayor has gone from Pete Butti-WHO to one of the top Democratic presidential candidates. Clearly, his lack of federal political experience hasn’t negatively impacted his bid. (Does anyone need federal experience anymore? See: the current administration.)
Buttigieg is known for his intellect and public speaking, but not so much for being specific on policy. As far as some of his stances on finances, he supports a single-payer health care system and he’s defended Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (AOC), D-NY, proposal for a 70% effective marginal tax rate. He didn’t commit to a particular rate, however.
A former health care financier, John Delaney’s a moderate candidate that believes in capitalism, reads a report in Vox. He has a universal health care plan (perhaps he’s taken note of its popularity with voters?), but it’s limited in benefits and scope compared to some other Dems’ single-payer health care plans. Also of note, Delaney still has financial stake in the for-profit health care industry.
That’s all quite unlike the other Democrats on our list. Can you guess another thing that’s not like the others? Give up? The answer is: Delaney doesn’t want to cut military spending.
Perhaps one of the California senator’s most well-known accomplishments is the $25 billion settlement she snagged for homeowners hurt by foreclosures during the financial crisis. However, some critics thought Harris didn’t go far enough, and left some with “underwater mortgages and little actual financial relief,” reads a report in Vox.
Some finance-related policy proposals Harris has touted are closing the pay gap for professions like teachers, closing the pay gap between public defenders and prosecutors, closing the gender pay gap, and punishing companies that don’t comply with pay gap closures.
Although her record as a prosecutor has muddled her image as a progressive, Harris was the first senator to say she’d reject spending packages without DREAMers protections.
Joseph ‘Joe’ Biden Jr.
Former vice president Joe Biden says it was not Wall Street but ordinary middle-class Americans that built America, hinting at a consumer over corporate interest platform. Biden is also linked to the Dodd-Frank Act, signed into law under the Obama administration, which had a purpose of improving transparency and accountability among big banks.
Some of Biden’s past actions have left him up for criticism by fellow Democrats, however. For example, his links to the credit card industry, donations from credit card firm MBNA Corp., and the fact that son Hunter Biden also works for them.
Robert ‘Beto’ O’Rourke
Better known as Beto O’Rourke, he skyrocketed to national fame after challenging Senator Ted Cruz for his seat. O’Rourke ended up losing, but a lot of supporters on the left rallied behind him. (Ted Cruz is not exactly popular among the left … )
An interview with John Hardwood on CNBC reveals some of O’Rourke’s thoughts on economic policy: He says it’s hard for some to participate in the U.S. economy as some potential entrepreneurs might lack access to capital, or workers find themselves working two to three jobs to make ends meet. O’Rourke also clarified he didn’t ~ stan ~ AOC’s 70% tax rate proposal — he thinks it’s “too high.”
She’s the “senator next door” — or at least that’s what she calls herself. Representing the great state of Minnesota, Amy Klobuchar is serving her third term as senator, having easily won her past elections.
The woman is known for being an expert at retail politics and a KWEEN at fundraising (she once got an ex to donate $17,000 to her campaign). She’s all about consumer protection, like banning lead in toys, and has talked about investing in green jobs.
A moderate, Klobuchar’s been quiet about some issues close to other Dems’ hearts — Medicare for All, eliminating ICE, and tuition-free college. It’s been said that she’s a terrible boss, according to accounts from staffers.
Senator Cory Booker, D-NJ, was one of the first Democrats to announce his bid for the 2020 presidency. A former mayor of Newark, New Jersey, Booker is a well-liked politician known for his public speaking skills and progressive politics. His campaign isn’t as successful as other Dems’, however.
In terms of economics, Booker has worked on income inequality and jobs. He wrote a “baby bonds” bill to help give low-income children more economic opportunities, and also introduced a bill to start a three-year pilot job-guarantee program.
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