Republicans have turned on globalism, under the protectionist trade policies of President Trump. That’s the wrong move, according to John Delaney, a former business owner and Democratic member of Congress who was one of the first to declare he’s running for president in 2020.
“The United States has to engage globally,” Delaney tells Yahoo Finance in the video above. “Nationalism and isolationism are the wrong answer to every question.”
Delaney, who made millions founding and running two financial services companies before running successfully for Congress in 2012, positions himself as a moderate among more extremist candidates, in both parties. “I'm running on unity and common purpose,” he says. “Solving problems and getting things done and working towards doing some big things to prepare our country for the future.”
Unlike some other candidates, Delaney promises to put price tags on all his policy proposals. “Every time I say I'm going to do something, I tell people exactly how I'm going to pay for it,” he says.
While Delaney doesn’t favor a “Medicare for all” system that would put the government in charge of everybody’s health care, he backs basic government coverage for everybody, with traditional insurers offering supplemental coverage for people who want more, and are willing to pay for it themselves. Money for this program would come from eliminating the tax breaks for employer-provided insurance and other subsidies, eliminating the Affordable Care Act (which would no longer be needed) and improving Medicaid. Above certain income levels, patients would be responsible for co-pays.
Delaney doesn’t want to soak the rich with new taxes, the way Elizabeth Warren’s “wealth tax” might, or a 70% marginal tax rate would. But he’d raise some taxes modestly, to generate funds for other programs. He’d raise the corporate tax rate from 21% to 25% and use the added revenue to finance more infrastructure spending. He’d raise the top income tax rate from 37% to 39.6%, which is what it was before the Trump tax cuts of 2017 lowered it. He’d also push the capital-gains tax higher for short-term investments, so that the tax on investment income is comparable to the tax on labor income. As a multimillionaire with substantial income from investments, he’d be raising taxes on himself.
Delaney acknowledges that free trade and globalization have hurt some Americans, but would approach the problem differently than Trump has. To address China’s theft of U.S. intellectual property, he’d form a coalition with allies and demand reforms. To help people whose jobs have gone overseas, he’d establish incentives for government contractors and other private-sector firms to employ workers in struggling communities. “The best way to do it,” he says, “is create incentives for private companies and private individuals to invest in these communities.”
There’s one Delaney idea you may not hear from any other candidate: A quarterly debate between the president and Congress, similar to the prime minister’s questions in the UK. “This is every three months,” Delaney explains. “I envision three hours on national television and the first hour and a half, one issue. I think we'd start getting to the truth, because right now, people are having a hard time finding the truth.” No argument there.
Rick Newman is the author of four books, including “Rebounders: How Winners Pivot from Setback to Success.” Follow him on Twitter: @rickjnewman