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Michael Bennet

Michael Bennet talks running on taxes

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) sees a winning message for Democrats to run on their tax agenda this November.

We sat down with the Colorado Democrat to talk about the looming 2025 fight over the expiring Trump tax cuts for our latest in a series of Q&A’s with tax writers. We covered a range of big priorities for Bennet, a member of the Senate Finance Committee who has been one of Democrats’ most vocal advocates for expanding the child tax credit.

Bennet told us he’s also thinking about goals like simplifying the tax code and deficit reduction in a potential tax package next year.

With Capitol Hill’s attention shifting to the campaign trail, we also dove into the politics. There’s a huge amount at stake on Nov. 5 when it comes to tax policy.

Bennet told us he did well with both educated and less-educated voters in his 2022 reelection race thanks to running on priorities like a bigger child tax credit and ending Trump tax cuts for wealthy households. That election had a lot to do with other factors – like abortion rights – but issues such as the child tax credit were a prominent part of Bennet’s platform.

Now, Bennet said he sees a path for President Joe Biden to boost his reelection chances with similar messaging.

Bennet said Biden can draw a contrast with former President Donald Trump and his tax cut law by highlighting attempts to make Democrats’ 2021 child tax credit expansion permanent and bipartisan bills including the infrastructure law and the CHIPS package.

On the campaign trail: Republicans have been plenty eager to message on the Trump tax cuts with the election closing in. Republican lawmakers have been arguing that Biden would raise taxes next year, pointing to the president’s statements about letting parts of the signature 2017 GOP law expire.

But plenty of Democrats are keen to push back on this messaging and argue the law did too much for wealthier households and big corporations.

“Those two records from the vantage point of the American people who want no more trickle-down economics – I mean, you couldn’t get clearer than that,” Bennet said. “That is what we’ve got to litigate between now and November.”

— Laura Weiss

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