Bloomberg Says Plans Leave Scant Leeway for Middle-Class Tax Cut

(Bloomberg) -- Michael Bloomberg said he doubts he would be able to cut middle-class taxes very much as president because of the need to raise revenue for crumbling U.S. infrastructure, social programs and other items.

“I don’t think that you can cut middle-class taxes very much. We have an infrastructure need that is enormous in this country, and all of the social programs that every candidate including me wants to enact, somebody’s got to pay for it,” Bloomberg said in an interview Monday in Compton, California.

Bloomberg’s tax plan released Saturday would raise taxes on the wealthy, increase the corporate tax rate and curb tax-free inheritances of large estates. He says that would raise $5 trillion over a decade to invest in spending needs and address income inequality in the U.S.

But Bloomberg said he can raise only so much money by taxing the wealthy and the country can’t afford more deficit spending, so the rest of the revenue would have to come from middle-class taxes.

The campaign said Saturday that his plan seeks to protect the middle class and lower-income Americans from tax increases.

“You probably can do it with what we laid out,” Bloomberg said. As for his Democratic rivals’ plans, “Not a chance,” he said. Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.

Bloomberg’s campaign has said that for now, tax rates on low-income and middle-class Americans set by the 2017 Republican tax law would remain the same. But it cautioned that could still change as the former New York mayor rolls out more policy plans in the near future -- with more spending.

The plan released on Saturday adopts several of the policy ideas that Bloomberg’s moderate competitors, including Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg, have touted. It stops short of some of the more progressive ideas -- such as a wealth tax or financial transaction tax -- floated by Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, who have proposed tens of trillions of dollars in tax increases to pay for universal health care.

Bloomberg said it would be difficult to get his tax plan enacted if he’s elected and Republicans maintained control of the Senate, but he said he was able to persaude Republicans in the New York Senate to support gay marriage.

“If I can do that, I can do anything,” he said.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.