- The Washington Times - Friday, September 27, 2019

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden told a group of wealthy campaign donors in Los Angeles Thursday that he would not “punish” them with tax hikes.

The remark drew a sharp contrast with his top rivals for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont, who are promising tax hikes on the ultra-wealthy to pay for a slew of new benefits such as tuition-free public colleges.

At the fundraiser in sushi restaurant, Mr. Biden boasted about the small-dollar donations pouring into his campaign and then joked to the well-heeled crowd that they wouldn’t get a tax cut from him.

“It ain’t coming. It ain’t gonna come,” Mr. Biden said, locking eyes with one donor. “But no punishment, either.”

The jest belied a major contrast between Mr. Biden and his far-left opponents in the race. He is running as a more moderate candidate, focusing on what he describes as the existential threat of President Trump and the promise of a return to normalcy.

Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders are running on socialist-style agendas and promise big structural changes for U.S. government and society.

Mr. Biden has enjoyed the front-runner position in the race for months. In recent weeks, Ms. Warren edged past him in polls in early voting Iowa and New Hampshire.

She has made an “Ultra Millionaire Tax” the centerpiece of her campaign. The 2% annual tax on fortunes above $50 million that would raise an estimated $2.75 trillion over 10 years. It would pay for things such as tuition-free public college, student debt forgiveness, universal child care and a “green” environmentalist makeover of the U.S. manufacturing sector, according to the Warren campaign.

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