Joe Biden Echoes Bernie Sanders in Proposing Real Estate Taxes to Fund Child, Elder Care

Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders (Saul Loeb / AFP / Getty)
Saul Loeb / AFP / Getty

Former Vice President Joe Biden released a plan Tuesday to tax “real estate investors” to pay for a new federal benefit that, he says, will cover the costs of elder care and child care so working-age adults can focus on their own jobs.

Called “The Biden Plan for Mobilizing American Talent and Heart to Create a 21st Century Caregiving and Education Workforce,” the proposal claims it “will cost $775 billion over 10 years and will be paid for by rolling back unproductive and unequal tax breaks for real estate investors with incomes over $400,000 and taking steps to increase tax compliance for high-income earners,” according to a description of the plan on Biden’s campaign website, posted on Tuesday.

President Donald Trump has already proposed a plan for paid parental leave, which has been championed by daughter and  adviser Ivanka Trump, and which was introduced in the Senate last year as a bipartisan bill. Democrats have opposed the plan because it does not provide new spending, but rather allows individuals to draw on their future child tax credits.

The details of Biden’s plan are still sketchy, but the core appears to be “a $5,000 tax credit for informal caregivers, [and] Social Security credits for people who care for their loved ones,” among other proposed federal government interventions.

It is not clear what Biden means by “tax breaks for real estate investors,” but Bloomberg News reported that “a senior campaign official said a Biden administration would take aim at so-called like-kind exchanges, which allow investors to defer paying taxes on the sale of real estate if the capital gains are reinvested in another property. The official also said they would prevent investors from using real-estate losses to lower their income tax bills.”

Biden’s idea also reflects an idea first proposed by “democratic socialist” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) during the primary.

In his housing plan in September 2019, Sanders proposed a “25 percent House Flipping tax on speculators who sell a non-owner-occupied property, if sold for more than it was purchased within 5 years of purchase.” Biden’s tax proposal is similar, in that it would attempt to tax wealthy “real estate investors,” though for purposes other than housing.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) also proposed to tax real estate as part of a two percent “wealth tax,” applying to those with a net worth greater than $50 million. Warren is thought to have influenced several current Biden proposals.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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