Former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign is reportedly weighing a new tax on Wall Street as his 2020 rivals jockeying for the Democratic nomination push for a slew of levies on the richest Americans.
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Biden’s advisers are considering a plan that could tax financial transactions, like the sale of stocks and bonds, according to The Washington Post, citing individuals familiar with the discussions.
If Biden moves forward with the proposal, it would mark a significant leftward shift in his campaign and the embracement of ideas frequently touted by his two biggest rivals, Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.
Both Warren and Sanders, who unveiled his proposal earlier this week, have released sweeping plans to tax the wealth of the richest Americans, while also advocating for significant taxes on corporations, Wall Street and estates.
Biden’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but an aide told the Post that the campaign is working on a tax policy proposal.
Biden “has and will continue to put forward details regarding how he will finance his biggest plans, because the stakes are too high not to be straightforward with the American people about how much they will cost and who will pay for them,” Andrew Bates, a campaign spokesman, said in a statement.
Tax experts said the fact that Biden is considering this new tax is evidence that he’s trying to keep polling to the left to not lose support with progressives -- and could be more worried about his frontrunner status than he appears, as Warren climbs up the polls.
“I think that would complicate his relationship with other Democratic voters as well,” Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer for Independent Advisor Alliance, told FOX Business. “He’s definitely trying to pick a new populist approach to pick up some new voters.”
In trying to pick up those new voters, however, Biden risks alienating more moderate Democrats, as well as donors on Wall Street, Zaccarelli warned. That’s because a tax on Wall Street extends to almost every American who, either through a pension, 401(k) or other type of indirect equity ownership is going to pay those taxes.
“Those costs ultimately are borne by retirees and other savers,” he said. “It will hit everyone, despite the fact that it will obviously disproportionately hit people who are more active in the stock market ... It’s not something that will only be borne by the wealthiest Americans.”