Billionaire philanthropist and presidential hopeful Tom SteyerTom SteyerBloomberg wages war on COVID-19, but will he abandon his war on coal? Overnight Energy: 600K clean energy jobs lost during pandemic, report finds | Democrats target diseases spread by wildlife | Energy Dept. to buy 1M barrels of oil Ocasio-Cortez, Schiff team up to boost youth voter turnout MORE challenged former New York City Mayor Michael BloombergMichael BloombergEngel scrambles to fend off primary challenge from left It’s as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process Liberals embrace super PACs they once shunned MORE to support a wealth tax before joining the crowded 2020 Democratic primary.
“Today, I’m challenging Michael Bloomberg to support a wealth tax or not run for president,” Steyer said in a statement. “In order to support progressive policies like universal health care and a Green New Deal, and address the wealth gap in our society, the Democratic nominee in 2020 must support asking the wealthy to pay more.”
“If Michael Bloomberg decides to support a wealth tax, I welcome him to this race,” he continued. “If not, it’s very clear that he should not be the Democratic nominee. We cannot afford to have a Democratic nominee in 2020 who does not support asking the wealthy to pay more to address the enormous inequality in our society.”
The statement comes as Bloomberg, a billionaire businessman, is expected to declare himself a candidate in the Alabama presidential primary ahead of the state’s filing deadline Friday.
The entrance of a second billionaire in the Democratic primary could fan the ongoing debate over how far Democrats should go in addressing income and wealth inequities as an increasingly activist base rails against the consolidation of wealth among the richest citizens.
Essentially every Democrat running for president has agreed that wealthier Americans should pay more in taxes, though they sharply differ on policy.
Progressive candidates like Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Joint Chiefs chairman says he regrets participating in Trump photo-op | GOP senators back Joint Chiefs chairman who voiced regret over Trump photo-op | Senate panel approves 0B defense policy bill Trump on collision course with Congress over bases with Confederate names MORE (D-Mass.) have unveiled several plans to rectify economic and racial inequities and fight for various social justice efforts that hinge on boosting taxes on wealthy individuals and corporations. Meanwhile, more centrist candidates have opted for more incremental changes.
Bloomberg has hinted that he may be against some of the more liberal policies, saying earlier this year that Warren’s wealth tax on those worth more than $50 million is “probably unconstitutional.”
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