2020 election

Where Democratic Presidential Candidates Stand on Major Issues

Alabama voters who choose a Democratic ballot for the March 3 party primaries will see a crowded slate of 14 presidential candidates, but nine of those have withdrawn from the race.

The remaining five active candidates are Joseph R. Biden, Michael R. Bloomberg, Tulsi Gabbard, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

The nine candidates who dropped out of the race for the Democratic nomination are Michael Bennet, Cory Booker, Julian Castro, John K. Delaney, Marianne Williamson and Andrew Yang, along with Tom Steyer, Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg, who withdrew from the race after disappointing results in Saturday’s primary in South Carolina.

According to a recent Gallup Poll, Democratic candidates selected the following topics as the top five issues in the party’s presidential primary: health care, climate change, gun policy, education and the distribution of wealth and income.

Here is a summary from campaign websites of how each candidate would address these issues:

Health Care


Biden, who was vice president when Congress adopted the Affordable Care Act, said he would expand and improve the measure to cover 97% of Americans. According to his campaign website, he would pay for expansion by terminating capital gains tax loopholes for the wealthy.

Among his goals is to create a public option such as Medicare for people whose private insurance providers are not offering affordable and quality coverage. This public option would have the power to negotiate prices with health providers. He also would increase the tax credit for premiums that middle class Americans pay for insurance, work to lower premiums and deductibles and expand coverage to low-income people in the 14 states that, like Alabama, did not expand Medicaid.

In addition, Biden said, he would stop surprise billing from out-of-network providers, improve training and pay for low-wage health workers, repeal an exception that lets drug companies avoid negotiating prices with Medicare, limit price increases to the amount of inflation for drugs, allow consumers to buy prescription drugs from other countries, improve the supply of generic drugs, expand access to contraceptives, protect abortion rights of women and expand access to mental health coverage.


Bloomberg said he would create a Medicare-like public option for health coverage administered by the federal government. He also would increase choices for insurance and reduce prices through competition.

Rather than scrapping the Affordable Health Care Act, Bloomberg would expand enrollment efforts and restrict plans that don’t meet the act’s standards. He would cap premiums at 8.5% of a person’s income.

Bloomberg’s agenda also includes creating a permanent re-insurance program that would help insurers with the largest claims. He said this would reduce premiums by 10%.

He would expand Medicare to cover dental, vision and hearing care. Bloomberg said he would cap health care prices and ban surprise medical bills from out-of-network carriers. He would cap drug prices and limit annual out-of-pocket medication costs to $2,000 per patient.


Health care is too expensive, too complicated and too frustrating, Buttigieg states on his campaign website. His primary attack on these problems would be what he calls Medicare For All Who Want It.

Every American would be able to opt in for universal coverage through an affordable and comprehensive plan.

Buttigieg said he would pay the $1.5 trillion cost over 10 years by rolling back President Trump’s corporate tax cuts and from savings the federal government would realize through negotiating prescription drug prices.

Buttigieg also would end surprise out-of-network billing, make premium subsidies more generous for low-wage workers and cap premiums at 8.5% of income for everyone. In addition, he would cap out-of-pocket expenses for seniors on Medicare, require nonprofit community hospitals to end predatory billing and make it easier to afford and find mental health care.


Gabbard said she would make health care her priority as president by supporting a single-payer system that would let people choose whether they have private insurance. She would combine this form of Medicare for all with incentives to make healthier lifestyle choices.

“Too many people in this country are getting sick without the care that they need,” she wrote on her Twitter feed. “As president, I will work to make sure all Americans have quality affordable health care incentivized to increase health and prevent and heal disease.”

She accused major prescription drug companies of price gouging and said the high cost is forcing people to choose between food and life-saving medications. Gabbard said the federal government should be able to negotiate drug prices for Medicare.


Sanders is known for his Medicare for All agenda to provide comprehensive health care free at the point of service. This would involve no networks, no premiums, no deductibles, no co-pays and no surprise billing.

This universal health plan would include dental, hearing, vision, home health, community-based long-term care, in-patient and out-patient services, mental health care, substance-abuse treatment, reproductive and maternity services and prescription drugs.


Sanders said he would cap prescription drug prices to stop the pharmaceutical industry from taking advantage of Americans.


Steyer supports a universal health care system, saying he wants a public option that competes with private insurance companies. He said every American pays more than $10,000 a year for health care, more than any other developed nation. He said predatory drug companies, insurance corporations and hospitals are squeezing every dollar possible from payers to bolster their profits.

“My Right to Health plan creates a public option that prioritizes your health and your care over corporate greed,” he said on his campaign website.

He said his plan would authorize the government to negotiate costs with medical groups and providers directly, just like Medicare does today. To eliminate surprise billing, he would cap emergency room expenses and ensure all care is in-network. He said he would benchmark prescription drug prices against international standards and cap the prices. His administration also would enact antitrust regulations and consumer protection laws related to health care corporations.


“Today, in 2019, in the United States of America, the wealthiest nation in the history of the world, inadequate health coverage is crushing the finances and ruining the lives of tens of millions of American families,” Warren stated on her campaign website.

She said no American should ever die or go bankrupt because of health care costs. She also said every American should be able to see the doctors they need and get their recommended treatments, without having to figure out who is in-network.

Warren said her Medicare for All plan would solve these problems by providing medical care, long-term care, audio, vision, dental and mental health benefits. She said the plan would cover every person in the U.S. without spending any more money overall than we spend now. Part of the strategy involves controlling costs and fighting corruption and unreasonable lobbying in the health industry.

Warren said she also would protect women’s reproductive rights and address maternal mortality, opioid addiction and the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases.

NASA’S Hyperwall is connected to the agency’s climate super computer. (Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture)

Climate Change


Biden supports the Green New Deal, a wide-ranging environmental policy that he said would combine efforts to improve the environment and the economy. He would use executive orders and legislative actions to achieve a 100% clean energy economy and net-zero emissions by 2050.

Biden said he would establish an enforcement mechanism that would ensure the nation meets certain environmental achievements by 2025. He would invest more resources in clean energy and innovations and provide incentives to rapidly reach clean energy goals across the economy.

Another concern for Biden is improving infrastructure where needed to withstand the impacts of climate change.

Biden said he would rally the rest of the world to improve the environment and would make climate change part of foreign policy and national security. He would punish polluters that harm predominantly black and low-income communities. He said he would pay for these measures by curtailing President Trump’s tax cuts for rich corporations.


Climate change is the greatest threat of our time, according to Bloomberg. He said he wants to restore the United States as an international leader against climate change. He would begin by rejoining the Paris Agreement on climate change. He said he wants to protect the world’s most vulnerable people from climate change.

Bloomberg led several environmental initiatives when he served as mayor of New York City and is the UN secretary general’s special envoy for climate change.

He said he would slash U.S. carbon emissions 50% by 2030 and push to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure with 100% clean energy technology.

Bloomberg said he would set clean energy standards and pollution limits for coal and gas plants. He would help communities harmed by coal pollution and assist them in transitioning to clean energy.

He said he would put more affordable electric cars on the road, with the goal of making sure all new vehicles are 100% pollution free by 2030.


“Climate catastrophe is on the horizon and history will judge us for how we rise to meet the challenge,” Buttigieg stated on his campaign website.

He embraces the Green New Deal package of climate change measures with the goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. He would enact a price on carbon emissions and distribute the revenue to Americans.

Buttigieg said he would quadruple federal funding for clean energy research and development in new technology. This $200 billion in spending over 10 years would create 3 million jobs, he said.

He said he would end subsidies for fossil fuel companies and close public lands to new fossil leases. Buttigieg said he would create regional resiliency hubs to help communities deal with risks from climate change. He would fund these hubs with $5 billion a year in federal grants.

Buttigieg also would create National Catastrophic Disaster Insurance to protect communities and individuals. He said he would lead the world in tackling climate change.


Gabbard said the federal government is putting the interest of the fossil fuel industry ahead of the planet. Her goal is to build a system of 100 percent renewable energy by taking billions of dollars in subsidies spent every year on fossil fuels and redirecting them to wind, solar and geothermal energy.

“Whether we like it or not, our fates as human beings in this world are tied together,” she wrote on her campaign website. “And the issues that we face — pollution of our air, our waters, oceans, the climate crisis that’s before us — these are all issues that require us to sit down, to talk and to work together. Whether it be with friends or with people who are adversaries or potential adversaries.”

She also said she wants the nation to take stronger measures to protect the water supply, and she supports a ban on fracking for oil and gas.


Klobuchar said she would immediately tackle climate change as part of her list of more than 100 actions she would take in her first 100 days in office.

“The climate crisis isn’t happening in 100 years — it’s happening now,” she stated on her campaign website.

She said on day one of her presidency she would rejoin the International Climate Change Agreement. Then, she would bring back and strengthen clean power rules and gas mileage standards that Trump eliminated.

She said she would push legislation that provides more investment in clean-energy jobs and infrastructure, promotes renewable energy and development in rural areas, and establishes a carbon pricing system that wouldn’t harm the economy.

She is a co-sponsor of the Green New Deal, which several other Democratic candidates support, and she said her agenda includes no subsidies for the fossil fuel industry.


Sanders supports the Green New Deal policies on climate change. He said he wants to transform the energy system to 100% renewable energy and create 20 million jobs to solve the climate crises.

He said he would ensure justice for communities facing climate change issue. He also promises to save Americans money by investing in weatherization projects, public transportation, modern infrastructure and high-speed broadband service.

Sanders said he is committed to reducing emissions throughout the world. He would provide $200 billion to green climate efforts, rejoin the Paris Agreement and reassert American leadership on climate change.

Sanders also said he wants to invest in conservation and public lands to restore the health of the soil, forests and prairies.


Steyer is offering his Justice-Centered Climate Plan as a way to provide clean air and water, protect workers in fossil fuel industries and help communities that have been treated as “environmental dumping grounds.”

He said he wants to eliminate fossil fuel along with asthma-causing and toxic air pollution to reach a 100% clean energy economy. He would triple federal spending for climate science, research development and clean technology.

Steyer would invest $250 billion over 10 years in community climate bonds and ask Congress to fund a Civilian Climate Corps, which he said would create 1 million jobs.

He would require that all new passenger cars and trucks achieve 100% clean energy by 2030 and impose the same requirement on heavy-duty and freight vehicles by 2035.


Warren said she would fight for a Green New Deal, which commits the U.S. to a 10-year plan to achieve net-zero emissions by transforming to an environmentally friendly economy.

Warren said she would restore Obama-era environmental protections for air and water. That includes reinstating a methane pollution rule to limit oil and gas projects from releasing harmful gases into the air. She would work to decarbonize the electric sector.

She also said she would offer a Blue New Deal to protect oceans and inland waterways. She would expand marine protected areas and work to restore vulnerable marine ecosystems, like Florida’s mangroves and the Great Lakes.

Warren said she would commit more than $1 trillion over 10 years to subsidize the transition to clean energy and pay for it by reversing the Trump tax cuts for wealthy individuals and corporations.

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Gun Policy


Biden’s record of addressing gun violence includes helping pass the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act and 10-year bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, which have expired. He worked with the Obama administration to narrow the gun show loophole on background checks and increase the number of records in the background check system.

He said he supports common-sense gun safety policies to fight gun violence and at the same time he respects the Second Amendment.

Biden said he wants to repeal a law that protects gun manufacturers from liability for the weapons they produce. He would ban the manufacture and sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. He said he would create a program to buy back existing assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

Biden said the government should restrict the number of firearms a person can buy to one a month. He supports universal background checks for all gun sales and said he would adequately fund the checks. He also would reinstate regulations to keep guns away from people with mental illness and those who have committed acts of domestic violence.

Biden said he would prohibit federal funds from being used to train teachers to fire guns.


Bloomberg said he would immediately declare gun violence a public health emergency to expedite funds and research for solutions.

He would require point-of-sale background checks for all gun sales and close the private-sale loophole that lets prohibited people buy guns from unlicensed sellers. He would require every gun buyer to get a permit before making a purchase.

Bloomberg said authorities should use sales records to identify crime guns and notify police when a person has been prohibited from owning a firearm. He would allow extreme risk screening before selling a gun so issuers would know when to deny permits to troubled people.

His agenda also includes requiring gun buyers to be a least 21, providing $100 million for local violence intervention, increase funding for Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, $100 million for gun violence research and a 48-hour waiting people for all gun purchases.


Buttigieg said he supports a comprehensive approach to gun violence that begins with expanding background checks for all gun sales, including sales by unlicensed dealers at gun shows.

He would establish a nationwide permit-to-purchase licensing system to be implemented on the state level. He would close the loophole that allows sellers to use their discretion if authorities do not complete a background check within three days. He would require owners to notify law enforcement of any lost or stolen guns.

Buttigieg said he would promote safe storage of weapons and would prohibit people convicted of domestic violence from buying guns and require them to surrender any firearms they own.

He would restore funding for gun violence research, repeal the law that shields gun manufacturers from civil liability and ban the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.


Gabbard said she upholds the constitutional right to bear arms, but she added the nation has a responsibility to keep its children and communities safe.

“The time for action is now,” she writes on her campaign website. “We cannot allow partisan policies to get in the way of taking meaningful action in areas where both parties agree and that have the support of most Americans across the country.”

These actions include banning devices that enable a shooter to fire semi-automatic weapons more rapidly and strengthening criminal background checks.


Klobuchar said policies to prevent gun violence are long overdue, so she supports a package of measures, which includes universal background checks and banning bump stocks, high-capacity magazines and assault weapons.

“Gun violence in America has cut short far too many lives, torn families apart and plagued communities across the country,” she said on her campaign website.

Among her plans are to require criminal background checks at gun shows, ban magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition, immediately raise the age to buy assault weapons to 21 and work to ban the sales altogether, provide grants to help law enforcement keep guns away from people who show signs of threatening behavior, give authorities more time to conduct background checks and prevent people who have abused a partner from buying a gun.

Klobuchar said she also wants to provide funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to research firearm safety and gun-violence prevention.


Sanders is ready to take on the National Rifle Association and its “corrupting effect on Washington,” according to his campaign website.

He said assault weapons, which he wants to ban, are designed and sold as tools of war, and there is no reason to sell them to civilians. He would also prohibit high-capacity magazines and implement a buy back program to remove assault weapons from the streets.

He said he wants to make buyers at gun shows subject to background checks and crack down on people who buy firearms for criminals. He would prevent domestic abusers from buying guns.


Steyer said he would declare gun violence a public health epidemic and dedicate time and resources to develop a solution. Part of this solution would be to establish the Office of Gun Violence Prevention to coordinate efforts of government such as the FBI, Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security.

Steyer’s agenda includes universal background checks for all firearms purchases, bans on large-capacity magazines and assault weapons, red-flag laws to prevent troubled people from buying guns and money for communities to reduce gun violence.

Also, Steyer said, he would classify white supremacists as domestic terrorists.

“It is time to tell the truth about guns in America and take action,” Steyer said on his campaign website. “Far too many Americans die each year from gun violence — and we can do something about it.”


While the majority of Americans, including gun owners, support sensible gun legislation, Warren said far right extremes in Congress block even the most basic proposals to make the nation safer. She said the gun industry and their partners in the National Rifle Association buy off these elements in Congress.

Warren said she would break up this influence by passing anti-corruption legislation that targets the outsized influence of gun lobbyists. Then, she would send Congress gun violence prevention legislation aimed at reducing gun deaths.

She would require background checks for all sales, including private purchases. She would raise the minimum purchase age to 18 to keep guns away from more teenagers. She said she would support more aggressive prosecution of gun traffickers across state lines. Warren said she would do more to keep military-styled assault weapons off the streets and ban high-capacity magazines.




Biden would provide two years of community college or other training without debt for workers who want to learn or improve skills. He also said he would create a new grant program to help community colleges improve student success.

He would expand Pell grants and other aid to help with expenses like child care, food and housing. He would invest $50 billion in workforce training and $8 billion to improve community college facilities.

Biden would double the maximum value of Pell grants for low- and middle-income students to reduce their debt. Students do not have to repay Pell grants. Biden said he also would simplify and increase the generosity of income-based repayment programs.

He would provide limited student debt forgiveness for public servants and create a new grant program for four-year colleges that serve large numbers of Pell-eligible students.

Biden said he wants to stop for-profit schools from taking advantage of students and would provide $18 billion in funding for historically black colleges and universities.


Bloomberg has not released a detailed education plan, but his campaign website addresses several of his accomplishments on the education front.

He said he took over a failed and dysfunctional school system in New York City and helped turn it into a national model of reform. He said he strengthened standards and created more quality school options, and his policies led to improvements in graduation rates. Bloomberg said teachers received a 43% raise during his tenure as mayor.

Bloomberg said he wants to increase the number of lower-income students enrolled in top colleges. He said his top priorities are to increase student achievement, college preparedness and career readiness.


“America’s education system takes vast disparities and makes them worse,” Buttigieg said on his campaign website.

He would begin reforms with $700 billion to provide affordable full-time child care and pre-K for all children to age 5. He said this plan would create 1 million child development jobs.

Buttigieg said he would triple funding for Title 1 schools, which have large concentrations of students from low-income families. He would launch a special education corps to prepare and retain teachers for these schools.

He said he would double the proportion of new black teachers and administrators in 10 years. He would expand mental health services for students and teachers and provide every child with after school access and summer learning opportunities.


Gabbard said she wants to establish a grant program to eliminate tuition and fees for all students at community colleges and two-year tribal colleges and universities, and for working- and middle-class students at four-year public institutions.

She also intends to provide debt forgiveness without requiring people to show an undue hardship.

“The cost of tuition keeps too many people from pursuing a college education,” she said. “We need to resolve student debt and guarantee college for all.”

She also attacked the former Trump University and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, calling them part of an administration that has put a higher premium on personal enrichment than on improving education.


Calling her education plan “Many Paths to Success,” Klobuchar said she wants to provide affordable learning that connects students to modern jobs.

She said many of the fastest-growing occupations require one- and two-year degrees. This is why she supports free tuition for community college degrees and technical certifications and the expansion of apprenticeship opportunities. She said the federal government could match $3 for every $1 that a state invests for students who meet certain qualifications and maintain acceptable academic grades.

She also would adapt high school curriculum to prepare more students to enter the workforce.

Klobuchar said the federal government should double the maximum Pell grant award to students and expand eligibility for families making up to $100,000 a year. Pell grants do not have to be repaid and can reduce the amount a student has to borrow. She also plans to help people who have student loan debt with ideas that include allowing them to refinance at lower interest rates and protecting them from unscrupulous lenders.


“We have failed a generation of young people because of rising college tuition and fees,” Sanders said on his campaign website.

His agenda includes guaranteed tuition and debt-free access to public colleges, universities and trade schools for all students.

Sanders said he would cancel all student loan debt for the 45 million Americans who owe about $1.6 trillion. He would invest $1.3 billion a year in private, nonprofit historically black universities.

He would end equity gaps in higher education attainment and expand Pell grants to cover non-tuition costs. He said he would triple funding for work study.

Sanders said he wants to combat racial discrimination and segregation in schools, end the profit motive for charter schools, provide equitable funding for public schools and rebuild school facilities.


Steyer’s education plan would provide free public education from pre-kindergarten through college, including workforce and technical training.

He said he would begin by working with teachers, parents and school officials to reinvigorate public schools and provide more funding to close achievement gaps. This spending would include money for school facilities, increased teacher pay and professional development, and equal access to educational opportunities.

“In America today, a child’s ZIP code and the color of their skin predict the quality of education they will receive,” Steyer said on his campaign website. “But the lottery of birth should never determine a child’s fate.”

He said every dollar invested in the education system drives future economic growth.


Warren calls student debt a crisis that is holding back the economy and hurting millions of American families. She has proposed steps to broadly cancel student loan debt, provide universal tuition-free public two- and four-year college and technical school, ban for-profit colleges from receiving federal aid, and help end racial disparities in college enrollment and resources.

“Our country’s experiment with debt-financed education went terribly wrong,” Warren said on her campaign website. “Instead of getting ahead, millions of student loan borrowers are barely treading water.”

The Department of Education already has the authority to wipe away loans, according to Warren.

In regard to K-12 education, Warren said her first move would be to replace Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos with someone who has been a public school teacher and believes in public education. She also would invest hundreds of billions of dollars in schools, funded by a 2-cent wealth tax on fortunes above $50 million.

Distribution of Wealth and Income


Biden said he is running for president to rebuild the middle class. He would begin by investing $1.3 trillion over 10 years in America’s infrastructure, in which he said one in five miles of highway are in poor condition, tens of millions of people lack broadband internet and school facilities are crumbling.

He said he wants to create good union jobs that help build the middle class and rebuild communities that have been left behind. This includes strengthening the ability of labor to organize and increasing collective bargaining.

Another part of Biden’s plan would reverse President Trump’s tax cuts for wealthy individuals and corporations. He said he would eliminate special tax breaks that reward special interest, and he would close the capital gains loophole for multi-millionaires.


Bloomberg said he wants to create generational wealth for blacks, drive economic empowerment and close economic gaps between whites and blacks.

He said his Greenwood Initiative would create 1 million new black homeowners and 100,000 new black-owned businesses. He would provide more down payment assistance, enforce fair lending laws to reduce foreclosures and increase the supply of affordable housing.

Bloomberg said his tax reforms would target the wealthiest people and corporations, and he would use the money to pay for health care, infrastructure, education, climate resilience and affordable housing. He said he would reverse the Trump administration’s tax cuts and he would tax capital gains at the same rate as income for taxpayers making more than $1 million.

He would pass a measure to curb tax avoidance and deferral and add a surtax on income of more than $5 million a year. Bloomberg also said he would increase the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%, apply pressure to countries that act as tax havens and provide more resources to the IRS.


Buttigieg’s economic agenda starts with lowering costs for housing, health care and child care.

“In my mom and dad’s generation, nine out of every 10 kids did better than their parents,” he said on his campaign website. “But for Americans of my generation, the opportunities are no better than a coin flip.”

Buttigieg said he would spend $430 billion to increase the amount of affordable housing, provide more housing vouchers and mobility counseling. He would push for another $700 billion for full-day child care with a focus on early learning.

He also said he would lower college costs so that 80% of families of public college students who earn up to $100,000 will not pay tuition.

He also is supporting a $15 federal minimum wage, paid sick leave, and 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave. Buttigieg said he would grow income by expanding the earned income tax credit and would require gender pay transparency.


Gabbard said the nation shouldn’t have rules that benefit the wealthy and exclude everyone else. She also said the banking industry has too much influence in national politics.

She said she wants to break up big banks and reinstate rules that prevent the banking industry from gambling, without consequences, with the savings and livelihoods of Americans.

“Today, the banks that were ‘too big to fail’ in 2008 are even bigger and more powerful,” she said.

She said millions of Americans have struggled since the last recession, but Wall Street hasn’t suffered because the government bailed out the banks.


Too many people are not sharing in America’s economic prosperity, according to Klobuchar, and she wants to ensure all people have a fair opportunity to thrive and prosper.

“Social safety nets are breaking down for new workers and it is hard to reach across the divide when a Fortune 500 CEO drags in 361 times the compensation of the average American worker,” she said during an economic forum at Dartmouth College.

Klobuchar said solving these problems will require quality and affordable child care, overhauling the nation’s housing policies, raising the minimum wage to $15, providing paid family leave, supporting small-business owners and helping people save for retirement. Klobuchar said her initiatives could reduce child poverty by half in 10 years.

Affordable child care goes beyond simply a personal matter, she said, and can influence wages, job growth and overall economics of communities and the nation.


Sanders’ agenda includes establishing a tax on the top 0.1% of U.S. households, which he said would apply only to people with more than $32 million in wealth.

He said his plan for wealth and income would raise an estimated $4.35 trillion over the next decade and cut the wealth of billionaires in half over 15 years. He said this would break up the concentration of wealth and power of what he calls “this small privileged class.” Sanders said he would prevent the wealthy from evading the tax by implementing strong enforcement policies.

He also would create stronger worker protections to prevent firings without just cause, strengthen unions and grow membership, and deny federal contracts to companies that pay poor wages while enriching their CEOs.

Sanders said he would end a housing crisis for the poor by spending $2.5 trillion for affordable housing units, end homelessness with housing aid and increase Social Security benefits.


Steyer said capitalism can offer freedom of choice, competition, innovation and sustained economic growth, but unchecked, it undermines democracy and hurts too many people. He said unchecked corporations and corruption are controlling the United States, but he will put Americans back in charge.

To achieve this goal, he would propose economic reform and a wealth tax. He would tax all income the same by ending capital gains tax giveaways and giving a 10 percent tax cut to 95 percent of Americans. By properly regulating corporations and setting fair rules, he said, people will thrive.

Steyer said other parts of his agenda — including affordable prescription medications, access to quality education and his climate plan — would help the middle class.

“Instead of the failed trickle-down theory of economics, we need a new Democratic narrative of how we prosper and thrive, together,” Steyer said. “As Democrats, we have to shake the Republican lie that economic growth must sacrifice economic justice.


Warren said she would tackle economic inequities by forcing the rich to pay their fair share. This includes corporate profits tax and an ultra-millionaire tax.

According to Warren, Amazon reported more than $10 billion in profits and paid zero federal corporate income taxes. Occidental petroleum reported $4.1 billion in profits and paid no federal corporate income taxes.

She proposes a Real Corporate Profits Tax applied to large companies, with no loopholes or exemptions.

Warren said in the 1980s, corporations forgot about their employees and focused solely on “maximizing shareholder value.” She wants to empower employees of large corporations to select no less than 40 percent of the board member, as is the case in Germany and other developed economies. She said this would ensure that companies consider the interests of workers.

Her plans also include creating more affordable housing, expanding Social Security and investing more money in rural communities that have been left behind by economic development.