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2020 candidate Kamala Harris says her top priority is raising incomes


Her positions as a presidential candidate are clearly to the left of center.

Harris’s number one priority is her plan to “give working and middle class families up to $500 more per month,” according to spokesman Ian Sams. In a post on Twitter, Sams said the campaign “is about raising incomes for people.”

The senator introduced her $500-a-month proposal in October 2018, citing a survey which found that a majority of Americans did not have enough saved to cover an unexpected $500 expense.

Her proposal would grant $6,000 a year to families earning less than $100,000 a year, and $3,000 annually to individuals earning less than $50,000. The funds would come in the form of tax credits, and workers could choose to receive the payments in monthly installments or in one lump sum.

About half of American families would receive a tax cut, with nearly all of the cuts going to those making less than $87,000, according to the Tax Policy Center. The nonpartisan think tank said it was not clear how Harris would pay for her plan and that her current proposals to do so, including rolling back the GOP tax cuts passed in 2017, “would fall far short.”

Indeed, the plan is one of the mostly costly Democratic proposals introduced by a contender for the presidency. Over ten years, it would reduce federal revenue by about $2.8 trillion, according to an analysis from the nonpartisan Tax Foundation.

The bill would primarily benefit the middle and working class. It would lift 9 million people out of poverty, including 3 million children, according to a calculation by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Progressives have argued that the plan neglects the poorest Americans in order to provide assistance to those “who are on the rung just above them.”

But the campaign has said more proposals are on their way.

“She will continue to outline big ideas to help more Americans throughout this very long primary campaign,” Sams said in an email.

Harris has also proposed legislation that would make access to housing easier for many Americans. She proposed legislation in 2018 that would enable those making less than $100,000 a year and spending more than 30 percent of their income on rent to claim tax credits to help ease their housing costs.

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