Kamala Harris Would Have Government 'Give Middle-Income Households Cash Payments of Up to $6,000 a Year’

By Staff | February 22, 2019 | 11:32am EST
Sen. Cory Booker and Sen. Kamala Harris (Getty Images/Erin Schaff-pool)

Sen. Kamala Harris (D.-Calif.) on Thursday night tweeted out a story by PBS News Hour that said her tax plan included a provision to give up to $6,000 per year in cash payments to middle-income households.

The PBS story was headlined: “Why 2020 Democratic candidates are pushing more progressive tax proposals.”

“Democratic 2020 contenders are pushing some of the most progressive tax proposals in decades,” said the lead paragraph in the PBS story, “a sign that the debate over one of President Donald Trump’s signature achievements—the Republican tax overhaul—could become a crucial issue in the primary elections.”

One paragraph in the story said: “Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., is sticking by the tax plan she proposed last fall. It would give middle-income households cash payments of up to $6,000 per family. The payments would be offset by repealing the 2017 GOP tax cuts and creating a fee on large financial institutions.”

In her Tweet that linked to this PBS story, Kamala Harris said: “Nearly half of American families do not have enough cash to afford a $400 unexpected expense. It’s time we put money back in their pockets—not big wealthy corporations and the top 1%.”

While Harris is planning to have the government give payments of up to $6,000 per year to middle-income families, Sen. Cory Booker (D.-N.J.) has put out a plan to give $46,125 to 18-year-olds in the lowest income bracket.

On Wednesday, as reported that day, Booker tweeted out an article posted by that was headlined: “Cory Booker’s American Opportunity Accounts Act is a Bold Step Towards Wealth Equality.” It linked to an article published by Vox: “An exclusive look at Cory Booker’s plan to fight wealth inequality: give poor kids money.”

“Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.),” Vox said, “is introducing a bill aimed at closing that gap. His idea is to give low-income kids a sizable nest egg (nearly $50,000 in some cases) that they could use for wealth-building purchases, like a down payment on a house or college tuition.”

The Vox story detailed how Booker’s plan would work and reported that Booker’s office had estimated that children in the lowest income bracket would get $46,215 from Booker’s program by the time they reached 18.

“His American Opportunity Accounts Act would give each child born in the United States a savings account with $1,000,” said Vox. “Each year, until the child turns 18, the government would deposit as much as $2,000 into that account. The size of the annual payment would depend on the child’s family income, with lower-income families receiving larger checks.”

“Booker’s office estimates that a child who remains in the lowest income bracket of the program (meaning she gets the largest, $2,000 payment each year) would accrue $46,215 by her 18th birthday,” said Vox. “A child in the highest income bracket of the program (above 500 percent of the poverty line, or $147,100 for a family of four) would end up with $1,681—just the original $1,000 payment plus earnings accured from the government investing it in low-risk funds.”

In his Tweet sending out the link to the article, Booker said: "We must close the wealth gap that's undermining equal opportunity in our country. My baby bonds will help level the playing field by creating a savings account for every US child--to invest in themselves through things like paying for higher education."

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