by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The boldest ideas tackling inequality are coming from people other than Bernie Sanders and that may take the shine off of the Vermont senator’s aura as the leader of the progressive movement.
As Sanders ponders a possible bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, the fresh — some would say radical — ideas that defined his campaign in 2016 are now part of the Democratic mainstream.
Medicare for all, free college tuition, $15/hour minimum wage and the larger themes of economic justice and social equity are common talking points among 2020 Democratic hopefuls.
Meanwhile, other players on the field — both in and out of running for the nomination — are articulating specific plans that go beyond Sanders’ denunciation of billionaires and the 1 percent.
Newly minted progressive starr Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, grabbed headlines just after the start of the new year and set off a far-reaching debate with her proposal for a 70 percent marginal tax rate on income above $10 million to pay for fighting climate change.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, planted her flag on the left flank of the party when on Thursday she proposed a wealth tax on anyone with more than $50 million in assets, despite questions about the constitutionality of the federal government imposing a direct tax on property.