As more Democrats declare their intention to run for president in 2020, they will be under increased pressure to distinguish themselves from the rest of the crowd.

One of the ways this is already unfolding is a competition to be the person who wants to raise taxes the highest on high earners.

Gabriella Muñoz reports at the Washington Times:

‘Over 90 percent?’ Liberals eyeing White House vie for title of highest tax raiser

Democrats eyeing bids for the White House also are competing to see who is willing to go the highest in raising taxes.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a New York liberal who is too young constitutionally to become president, nevertheless set a benchmark when she suggested in a “60 Minutes” interview Sunday that rates for the wealthy could top out at up to 70 percent.

Julian Castro, an Obama administration Cabinet official who has announced a testing-the-waters presidential committee, quickly jumped on the bandwagon by telling ABC News that it’s time the wealthy be tapped for their “fair share.”

“There was a time in this country where the top marginal tax rate was over 90 percent,” Mr. Castro said in praising Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s vision. “Even during Reagan’s era in the 1980s, it was around 50 percent.”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, who also has formed a presidential exploratory committee, hasn’t committed to a high-water mark, but she too spoke approvingly of major rate hikes.

“Look, there was a time in a very prosperous America — an America that was growing a middle class, an America in which working families were doing better generation after generation after generation — where the top marginal rate was well above 50 percent,” Ms. Warren said on CNBC in July. “Ninety percent sounds pretty shockingly high. But what I’m trying to get at is this is not about negotiating over specific numbers.”

Get ready to hear a lot about paying your fair share. When it comes to fiscal policy, nearly all of the Democrats are going to sound like Bernie Sanders. They’re also eyeing Trump’s tax cuts and salivating.

“Repealing the trillion-dollar-plus Trump giveaway to the superrich and giant corporations is becoming the new floor for what Democrats will be pushing for on taxes,” said Adam Green, a co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee…

Mr. Castro embraced Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s idea, but other potential Democratic presidential candidates said only that taxes need to be increased.

“I’m eager to have a discussion about it,” Sen. Kamala D. Harris of California told The Washington Times.

As my colleague Kemberlee Kaye noted in an earlier post, Julian Castro is expected to make a big announcement today. What could it be?

Gromer Jeffers Jr. writes at the Dallas Morning News:

Julian Castro launches presidential bid, as Texas Democrat looks to regain spotlight he once enjoyed

Julian Castro’s keynote speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention was a potential star-making appearance designed in part to catapult the emerging politician to greatness.

The former San Antonio mayor was widely mentioned as a can’t-miss prospect who would lead Texas Democrats to a historic statewide victory as a 2018 candidate for governor. Others saw him as a presidential contender, particularly after he was considered as a running mate for Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Yet, in the years since his keynote speech in Charlotte, N.C., Castro has been content to remain on the sidelines as other Democrats moved ahead of him in attention and popularity.

Castro’s dreams, he hopes, won’t be deferred much longer.

In his hometown San Antonio on Saturday, Castro is launching his campaign for president, hoping to outrun a potential large and diverse field of Democratic Party contenders. If successful, he would be the first Hispanic and one of the youngest Americans to win the White House.

It won’t be easy.

No, it won’t. Especially when people learn his role as San Antonio mayor was largely ceremonial.


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