Presidential Candidate Michael Bennet Proposes Tax Plan to Support Communities of Color

Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bennet claimed his tax proposals are “the most significant anti-poverty measures” since Medicaid. Bennet said his measures will help resolve the issue of income inequality for communities of color. In an interview with Essence, the US Senator from Colorado promoted his tax bill, called the Family Act, which would increase the child tax credit and includes a pay out to families on a monthly basis rather than an annual basis. “The Trump tax bill was exactly the opposite of that. Since 2001 we’ve cut taxes in this country by $5 trillion, almost all the benefit is going to the wealthiest people in America, which has just made income inequality worse,” Bennet said. He continued: “My proposals would do the exact opposite of that and it would be particularly important for families of color in this country who have not had a real tax cut and not had the chance to be able to spend on housing, healthcare, and early childhood education the way they should be able to.”

Trends in an April report from the Institute for Policy Studies revealed that the racial wealth divide will continue to widen. The report proposed 10 “bold” solutions to the deeply entrenched racial wealth divide, which is larger today than it was almost 40 years ago.

While the proposal did not include a tax credit for families, it did include baby bonds and a significant increase in taxes on the ultra-wealthy. Baby bonds, which are designed to close the racial wealth gap by giving $1000 annually to all newborns and $2000 annually to newborns in low income households, has been supported by Bennet’s fellow Democratic presidential candidate, Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) while Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) proposed a plan to help narrow the racial wealth gap for women of color by mandating that all companies that accept federal contracts meet pay and diversity qualifications.

But Bennet is not just championing an updated tax bill. The Democratic candidate has also tackled healthcare in rural communities in a wide-ranging plan released on July 26.

The plan would address the opioid crisis, maternal mortality, and senior care, according to Politico.

“Rural communities face greater challenges as it is, where clinics are closing, the number of providers is decreasing, and there are higher rates of chronic disease — and these problems have only been exacerbated by the Trump administration’s attacks on our healthcare system,” the White House hopeful said in a statement.

Bennet’s proposal calls for a Medicare-X public insurance option, which he claimed is the “quickest and most effective way to achieve universal coverage and bring down costs.” The plan would require the federal government to negotiate lower drug prices under Medicare and Medicare-X, crack down on surprise medical bills, and increase price transparency for patients. In an op-ed for CNN, Bennet wrote about the lack of healthcare coverage for millions of Americans. “Today, 28 million Americans have no health insurance. Forty percent of Americans say they don’t have the money to cover a $400 emergency,” he wrote. “In the most affluent country in history, this is a disgrace.”

“It is a moral imperative that we reach universal healthcare in America,” Bennet wrote for CNN. “As president, I would build on the Affordable Care Act to cover everyone, rather than doing away with our current system. My Medicare-X plan gives every family the choice to buy an affordable public option or keep the plan they have today.”

According to Bennet’s campaign website, the rural health proposal would automatically enroll the 7.5 million Americans who qualify for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). It would also address the shortage of rural health providers and increase investments in virtual care. Unlike several of his fellow Democratic presidential candidates, Bennet does not support Medicare for All. In his op-ed, he said that it “defies common sense to strip coverage from 180 million Americans by outlawing private insurance with Medicare for All.” Bennet is part of a crowded Democratic presidential field. The senior senator from Colorado will appear in the second night of the second set of Democratic presidential debates held in Detroit on July 30 and 31. Bennet will join former Vice President Joe Biden, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julían Castro, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Washington Governor Jay Inslee, entrepreneur Andrew Yang, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), and Senators Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) at the debate.

About the Author

Nicole Rojas is a breaking news writer for The North Star. She has published in various venues, including Newsweek, GlobalPost, IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, and the Long Island Post. Nicole graduated from Boston University in 2012 with a degree in print journalism. She is an avid world traveler who recently explored Asia and Australia.