Election 2020: New Policies Released

Photo: NBC News

Photo: NBC News

This week, several of the 2020 presidential candidates released new policies in their platforms as the first caucus of the election approaches.

Most notably, Senator Elizabeth Warren announced a plan to pay for her Medicare for All proposal. Warren was pressed by her opponents in the most recent primary debate to say whether her healthcare plan would raise taxes on low-income Americans. She refused to answer, saying only that her plan would not raise costs for the middle class. However, her new proposal outlines a tax plan that would heavily tax business and wealthy Americans, but not the middle class. The New York Times reports that Warren’s plan would “require employers to pay trillions of dollars, create a tax on financial transactions like stock trades, change how investment gains are taxed for the top 1 percent of households, and increase her signature wealth tax proposal for billionaires. She also proposed cutting $800 billion in military spending.” This plan is similar to that of Senator Bernie Sanders in that it would eliminate virtually all medical costs for individuals. However, Sanders’ Medicare for All plan does not include a set roadmap of how to pay for the healthcare. Instead, he outlines several options that would distribute the taxation differently among various tax brackets and businesses.

Another new plan this week is billionaire Tom Steyer’s plan for rural communities, which would work to modernize energy infrastructure, expand broadband, fight climate change, and improve health care. According to Steyer’s website, with the plan “Tom pledges to build a foundation of connectivity, invest in the challenges rural communities are facing, grow a just economy with good jobs, and collaborate to address the climate crisis.”

Additionally, Montana Governor Steve Bullock released two new plans this week. One is a women’s rights plan that aims to ensure equity in pay and health care, as well as support reproductive freedom and address domestic violence. In particular, the plan would codify Roe v. Wade into federal law, ensuring women’s access to abortions. The plan would also fully restore Title IX, fight for a national family leave policy, and repeal the Hyde Amendment, among other proposals.

Finally, Bullock proposed a policy plan for Americans with disabilities. The plan would work to end wage discrimination against employees with disabilities and create a National Office of Disability Coordination. Bullock’s website specifies that he would create the office using executive order, a presidential tool that has become more prevalent during the Obama and Trump administrations.

Bullock also made news this week by anonymously paying $100 through a video-sharing website to get former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci to record an endorsement of Bullock for president. The website allows users to buy personalized messages from certain public figures and celebrities; Bullock used it to get Scaramucci to say “"We support you, Steve B. I know you've got a tough race ahead of you. But you've done this before — you know how to win. Just keep putting one boot in front of the other and march ahead. I'm behind you 100%. See you at the finish line."

The candidates also spoke to Democrats at a dinner in Iowa this week, where they criticized President Trump, threw barbs at each other, and attempted to rally support before the Iowa caucus in just ninety-four days.