Opinion

HEBERT: Mayor Pete Wants to Raise Your Taxes

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Tom Hebert Americans for Tax Reform

Democrat presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, gets fawning media coverage for his supposedly “moderate” persona. But his Fox News town hall proves that he is a liberal in the Sanders-Warren-Ocasio-Cortez mold that will stop at nothing to raise your taxes.

“Mayor Pete,” as the fawning liberal media likes to call him, may want to rebrand himself as “Tax Hike Pete” after proposing several new tax increases on the American people. In assessing these proposals, it is difficult to deduce whether Buttigieg is confused about the impact of the Trump tax cuts or deliberately misleading voters.

Buttigieg first called for a “fairer, which means higher” marginal income tax. This is a direct copy of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-N.Y.) 70 percent marginal tax proposal, also endorsed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). If Ocasio-Cortez, Sanders, and Buttigieg had their way, the tax bracket for top income earners would nearly double.

As if raising taxes on middle class families was not enough, Buttigieg also advocated for a wealth tax, or “something like that.” This proposal is straight out of the far-left Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) playbook, who suggested a 2 percent tax on Americans with assets over $50 million and a 3 percent tax on Americans worth more than $1 billion.

Not only is a wealth tax possibly unconstitutional, it has failed miserably in other countries. France imposed a wealth tax on assets over 1.3 million euros and saw a mass exodus of tens of thousands of millionaires. If America’s millionaires packed up and left for other countries, liberals like Buttigieg would have a significantly smaller tax base to target.

Buttigieg next called for a financial transactions tax (FTT), a terrible idea recently parroted by Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.). An FTT would be double taxation, as it is applied on top of existing capital gains taxes, individual income taxes, and corporate taxes. Such a tax would hamper investment and economic growth because it would increase the cost of capital, thereby reducing productivity and harming jobs and wages.

Finally, Buttigieg slammed Trump’s 2017 tax cuts with a flagrant falsehood. “You don’t blow a hole in the budget with an unnecessary and unaffordable tax cut for the very wealthiest,” Buttigieg told moderator Chris Wallace.

The reality is that the cuts helped the middle class most of all. Over the past year, average hourly earnings have grown by 3.2 percent. A family of four with income of $73,000 saw a tax cut of more than $2,058, a 58 percent reduction in federal taxes. On net, households are paying an average of 24.9 percent less in federal taxes according to a report by H&R block.  Even the left-wing New York Times had to admit that taxpayers in every state and every congressional district got a tax cut.

On top of all this, Buttigieg also recently championed a carbon tax. Implementing such a tax would raise the cost of everything Americans buy and do, and has been roundly rejected at the ballot box. In total, Buttigieg has proposed six new tax hikes in the last two weeks.

Buttigieg’s tax hikes are nothing new. They are just a rehash of the most extreme proposals on the left.

Buttigieg had an opportunity to offer the American people a vision of a moderate Democrat party. Instead, he has kowtowed to the far-left radicals that are currently in control of his party. If Buttigieg somehow stumbles into the Oval Office, it will be a dark day for the American taxpayer.

Tom Hebert is a tax associate at Americans for Tax Reform, a nonprofit group dedicated to advancing lower taxes and limited government.


The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.