(KTIV) – Over the weekend, the field of Democratic candidates for president grew by two with South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and U.S. Senator Cory Booker.
Booker campaigned in Sioux City Monday night at the Sioux City Public Museum as part of his two-week long “Justice for All Tour.”
Booker spoke with KTIV’s Matt Breen before his event Monday night.
“It has been a very busy couple of days for you. Over the weekend, you formally announced your candidacy for president and today (Monday) you unveiled the Rise Credit. It promises to cut taxes for 150 million Americans. But, NBC News cites the non-partisan Tax Policy Center, which estimates your plan would cost more than two-trillion dollars. How do you pay for this policy?” asked Breen.
“I take a little bit of an issue with that expense, but remember we just did a big tax cut that went overwhelmingly to the wealthiest Americans, and blew a trillion dollar hole in our deficit,” said Booker. “This is something we can actually pay for almost cover completely by changing what’s called the Capital Gains Tax, which taxes ordinary income. It’s like the wealthiest among us buying a Picasso painting for a million dollars, and 5 years later they sell it for $20 million. They pay a lot less percentage of that in taxes than we do for the ordinary income that somebody goes out and sweats every single day. By just taxing that as ordinary income it’ll bring so much more resources in that we can use for a massive increase of the Earned Income Tax Credit. But, think about what that means to the ordinary American. If you’re somebody who’s working a full-time job your tax credit going directly to you, not to the wealthiest, will increase by about $4,000. It would give 154 million people in the country a tax break. 15-million people would see themselves lifted out of poverty, and it would change the very definition of work. There are a lot of Americans at home taking care of a very sick parent every single day. By the way that is work it’s hard. They would be eligible for the tax credit. There’s a 20-year-old kid who’s working really hard to put themselves through school. Right now, they can’t claim the credit. Under our plan they could claim it and it would really help them bring revenue to pay for college, and to help them. But, the very nature of work has changed. We shouldn’t have people who are at the the younger end of the spectrum excluded from the Earned Income Tax Credit. People over 65, who will work to meet the needs their family, shouldn’t be excluded. This is a much fairer tax cut then the tax cuts we’ve just seen. If we reverse these toxic Trump tax cuts and tax capital gains as ordinary income, we could pay for all this and have a tax system that reflects our values, and doesn’t concentrate more wealth at the top.”
“You are one of many Democratic candidates for president,” said Breen. “How do you stand out in that crowded field of candidates?”
“I have a unique resume that nobody else has,” said Booker. “I was a chief executive of a major city, the largest in the state of New Jersey, and actually led it through it’s worst economic recession. But, we transformed the city’s economy. It’s the number one school system in America. After years of failing, it is now the top six system for high poverty kids, and it’s doing extraordinarily well. Then I went to the Senate, so I have executive experience. Now, in the Senate, I have developed the reputation for getting bipartisan bills passed. In fact, the only major bipartisan bill to pass under this president was one that I led on the Democratic side to get through comprehensive criminal justice reform. It’s called the “First Step” Act. So, I’m somebody who has shown you can get things done when you’re running a city, and again across the aisle. My governor at the time was Chris Christie, a Republican. We created transformations in that city. And,then in the Senate. My experience is very different at a time their country many people are feeling it’s too divide, and that the forces tearing us apart are stronger than the forces holding us together. My leadership shows that we can bring people together to get really good things done for the country.”