Where Does Kamala Harris Stand on the Economy?

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Last week, we took a close look at Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” plan for the U.S. economy, including a new federal credit bureau aimed at closing the racial wealth gap in America. But what about Biden’s new running mate, Senator Kamala Harris of California?

“I’m not trying to restructure society,” she said to The New York Times early in her own presidential campaign last year. “I’m just trying to take care of the issues that wake people up in the middle of the night.”

Here’s where Kamala Harris stands on key economic issues from taxes to coronavirus relief.

Big changes to the tax code

Unsurprisingly, Harris shares many of her running mate’s economic priorities. Her proposed changes to the tax code include:

  • Raising the corporate income tax rate of 21 percent up to 35 percent
  • Raising the marginal income tax rate to 39.6 percent from 37 percent on the top 1 percent of America’s highest-earning households
  • Expanding the estate tax to cover teacher compensation
  • The LIFT Act (Livable Incomes for Families Today), which includes a new refundable tax credit of “up to $6,000 a year—or up to $500 a month—to address the rising cost of living.”
  • A transaction tax on stock trades (0.2 percent), bond trades (0.1 percent), and derivative transactions (0.002 percent) in lieu of raising taxes on the middle class.

Harris has also stated support for an increase in the national minimum wage, as well as penalties for companies that overshadow worker’s pay. Additionally, she introduced legislation last year that would extend full worker protections to domestic workers.

Financial support for renters

To help Americans struggling with the high cost of renting a home, Harris is proposing a tax credit for renters who use more than 30 percent of their incomes to cover rent and utilities. As a Californian, Harris is very familiar with the current eviction crisis.

[ Read: The Best Renters Insurance in 2020 ]

The legislation would ban evictions and foreclosures for a year and give tenants 18 months to pay back missed payments. The bill would also prohibit landlords from raising rents and reporting missed payments to credit report companies (for the households covered by the bill).

More affordable health care

During a Democratic presidential primary debate in 2019, Harris raised her hand when asked who “would abolish employer-provided health insurance,” but later said she had misheard the question. Since then, she has proposed to make Medicare more affordable while still allowing private insurers to offer plans within the system and compete in the market.

[ Read: Biden’s Economic Plan, Explained ]

“Right now, the American health care system is a patchwork of plans, providers and costs that have left people frustrated, powerless and insurance companies in charge,” Harris wrote last year. “And the bottom line is that health care just costs too much.”

To pay for her vision of “Medicare for all,” Harris has proposed an annual 4 percent “income-based premium” on households with annual incomes higher than $100,000.

More COVID-19 relief

On multiple occasions, Harris has called for monthly $2,000 stimulus payments instead of a single, second $1,200 stimulus check. “Through the course of this pandemic and crisis, we need to give people $2,000 a month as recurrent payments — people below a certain income level — to help them and sustain them through these months of crisis so at the end of it, they can get back up on their feet instead of falling deep deep deep into the crevices of this crisis,” Harris recently said on MSNBC.

Harris’s latest proposal — the COVID-19 Racial and Ethnic Disparities Task Force Act — is designed to address health care inequality during the pandemic. One crucial recommendation includes assisting federal agencies on how to disburse COVID-19 relief funds — including the Education Stabilization Fund and the Paycheck Protection Program.

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