In private conversations over the past several weeks, aides to President Biden have discussed proposing new taxes on the wealthy this year to help fund Social Security benefits as the presidential election looms, according to two people familiar with the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe internal deliberations.
With former president Donald Trump again vowing to protect Social Security if elected, some advisers to Biden’s team believe pushing to bolster the program’s finances could help highlight the contrast between Democrats and Republicans on economic policy, even though such a plan would have no chance of passing Congress. But the plan would require Biden to expand his proposed tax increases, although they would not affect people earning under $400,000 per year, the people said.
The discussions over whether Biden should unveil a plan to shore up Social Security, previously unreported, reflects a growing effort by the Democratic Party’s leading economic thinkers to craft a populist message to counter Trump, who appears likely to win the GOP nomination easily and head into the general election with a substantial lead among voters on pocketbook issues. [Continue reading…]