Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg criticized the 2017 Republican tax cuts and called for a number of tax increases during his Fox News town hall in Claremont, New Hampshire, Sunday night.
Asked early on whether the country needs “generational change” among Democratic leaders, Buttigieg brought up the need to address climate change and fiscal sustainability: “Making sure we actually have a fiscally sustainable path — I know it’s not as fashionable in my party to talk about deficits — but you look at what the Republican Congress did, blowing a trillion-dollar hole in our budget with a tax cut for the rich that America did not need, these problems will be visited on the heads of not just my children and grandchildren, but me and people in my generation, too.”
Later, after being asked about the $22 trillion national debt and deficits climbing toward $1 trillion a year, Buttigieg said deficit spending can be useful, especially if it goes toward investments that pay for themselves over time. “Now, tax cuts for the wealthy don’t do that,” he said, “but investments in education, in infrastructure, in health sometimes can. So we should be honest about the fact that sometimes that’s appropriate, but not if you have no vision of what kind of revenue is going to support it.”
The South Bend, Indiana, mayor then called for four potential tax increases, saying the U.S. should consider “a fairer, which means higher, marginal income tax rate on those earning the most”; “a reasonable wealth tax or something like that to make sure that people are giving back when they become enormously wealthy”; a financial transactions tax; and closing corporate tax loopholes.
You can watch the full Buttigieg town hall at Fox News.