CNBC Reporter: Biden Tax Plan 'Most Expensive' in Recent History

May 22, 2020

CNBC reporter Robert Frank said Friday that presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden is putting forward the most burdensome tax plan in years.

"The truth is that Joe Biden, even though he's portrayed as a moderate, is offering the most expensive Democratic tax plan that we've seen from any Democratic candidate in recent history," Frank said in an interview. "Hillary Clinton's total plan was $1.5 trillion. Biden's plan is $4 trillion."

Biden has been courting a number of progressives in advisory roles to his campaign in recent weeks. Last Wednesday, he announced his new "unity task forces" with rival primary candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.). The group, which includes freshman congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) and top economic advisers to the Sanders campaign, will collectively develop the Democratic Party's 2020 platform.

Frank noted that Biden's proposed raise to the capital gains tax rate by almost 20 percentage points would be the largest ever and that Biden's corporate income tax rate would see a 7 percentage point increase. While these suggestions are not surprising, Frank said, they do raise questions as to whether they are prudent during a time of economic recession.

"The question is not so much 'is this what the Democratic Party wants?'—because of course it is—but 'is this the right time to do it?'"

Biden's comments come as the Labor Department reported Friday that 43 of 50 states saw their highest rate of unemployment since 1976.

Frank said he was "surprised" to see that Biden's economic proposals all aim to "raise taxes on the wealthy and corporations ... no matter what's happening in the economy."

The former vice president continues to campaign remotely from his Delaware home's basement, where it has been reported he speaks frequently with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.). Warren spearheaded the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and is well known for her criticism of Wall Street.