On The Money: Taxing the rich becomes hot debate for 2020 hopefuls | Graham predicts GOP 'war' over border wall | Schumer, Sanders propose bill to limit stock buybacks

On The Money: Taxing the rich becomes hot debate for 2020 hopefuls | Graham predicts GOP 'war' over border wall | Schumer, Sanders propose bill to limit stock buybacks
© Greg Nash

Happy Monday and welcome back to On The Money. I'm Sylvan Lane, and here's your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line.

See something I missed? Let me know at slane@thehill.com or tweet me @SylvanLane. And if you like your newsletter, you can subscribe to it here: http://bit.ly/1NxxW2N.

Write us with tips, suggestions and news: slane@thehill.com, vneedham@thehill.com, njagoda@thehill.com and nelis@thehill.com. Follow us on Twitter: @SylvanLane, @VickofTheHill, @NJagoda and @NivElis.


THE BIG DEAL--Taxing the rich becomes hot topic of debate for 2020 hopefuls: A debate over how hard to tax the rich is taking center stage in the early days of the 2020 presidential race.

Likely candidates who are more to the left are leaning heavily on messaging that says wealthy Americans need to be taxed significantly more, and they're backing that up with proposals to make their mark on the issue.

Meanwhile, billionaires who are considering entering the race are pushing back on some of the latest calls to boost taxes on the wealthiest U.S. residents. The Hill's Naomi Jagoda breaks it down here.

The proposals:


The politics: 

Public opinion polls have found that Democrats, as well as a significant number of independents and Republicans, think the wealthy aren't paying enough in taxes. That's why some Democrats argue that presidential candidates will be rewarded in both the primary and general election if they push for raising taxes on the rich.

"This is one of the few issues that can energize the base and persuade the swings," said Democratic pollster Celinda Lake.


The backlash:

But not everyone is a fan of the new proposals. Some of those plans have received public pushback from billionaires who are signaling they might enter the presidential race.

  • Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who may run as a Democrat, criticized Warren's proposal, questioning its constitutionality and saying the U.S. "shouldn't be embarrassed" by its capitalist system.
  • And former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, who has said he's seriously considering running for president as an independent, called Warren's proposal "ridiculous" in a recent National Public Radio interview. He also told CNBC that Ocasio-Cortez's 70 percent tax rate proposal was a reason why he won't be running for president as a Democrat.

On tap tomorrow

  • The U.S. Chamber of Commerce holds a conference on infrastructure investment, 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.



Graham: There could be GOP 'war' over border wall: Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump digs in ahead of House vote to condemn tweet Why Trump's bigoted tropes won't work in 2020 The Memo: Toxic 2020 is unavoidable conclusion from Trump tweets MORE (R-S.C.) warned on Monday that there could be a "war" among Republicans if President TrumpDonald John Trump#IStandWithIlhan trends after crowd at Trump rally chants 'Send her back' 'Racism' top search after Trump rally: Merriam Webster Ocasio-Cortez offers encouragement to those 'scared for our future' after Trump rally MORE declared a national emergency to build the U.S.-Mexico border wall. 

Graham, speaking in South Carolina, acknowledged that the idea divides Republicans, who he argued should unite behind the president if he ends up circumventing Congress to build the wall.

"It seems to me that he's gonna have to go it alone, but there could be a war within the Republican Party over the wall," Graham said.

"To any Republican who denies the president the ability to act as commander in chief, you're going to create a real problem within the party," Graham said. The Hill's Jordain Carney tells us why.


The details

  • Congress has until Feb. 15 to reach a deal on a U.S.-Mexico border wall and prevent a second partial shutdown, which would cover roughly a quarter of the government. 
  • Trump has repeatedly doubted the conference committee's ability to get an agreement with Democrats. Graham echoed him on Monday, saying he was not "very optimistic" about the chances of getting a deal. 
  • The president has panned the talks as a "waste of time" and repeatedly hinted that he could declare an emergency to construct the border wall if Congress misses next week's deadline.


Schumer, Sanders to introduce bill limiting stock buybacks, pushing for $15 minimum wage: Sens. Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerLawmakers pay tribute to late Justice Stevens Trump administration denies temporary immigrant status to Venezuelans in US Colombian official urges more help for Venezuelan migrants MORE (D-N.Y.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) are planning to introduce a bill that would prevent corporations from buying back its own stock and push for employees to be paid at least $15 an hour.

In an op-ed written by the two senators published in The New York Times Sunday, the pair argues that "corporate boardrooms have become obsessed with maximizing only shareholder earnings to the detriment of workers."

In an attempt to combat the issue, the two senators will introduce legislation that imposes "preconditions," including the $15 minimum wage, on a company's ability to buy its own shares.

"Our legislation would set minimum requirements for corporate investment in workers and the long-term strength of the company as a precondition for a corporation entering into a share buyback plan. The goal is to curtail the overreliance on buybacks while also incentivizing the productive investment of corporate capital," they wrote. The Hill's Owen Daugherty tells us more.



  • Deutsche Bank declined to give President Trump a loan in 2016 after the then-candidate requested funds for his Trump Turnberry golf property in Scotland, The New York Times reported Saturday.
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) says Walmart's new paid sick leave policy is not "enough," as he keeps pressure on the retailer over its employment practices.
  • The Chinese government has proposed a massive expansion of access to financial markets for foreign investors, according to Bloomberg News.
  • Senate Democrats introduced legislation on Monday to prevent President Trump from using military and disaster relief funds to construct the U.S.-Mexico border wall should he declare a national emergency.



  • Mignon Clyburn, a former Democratic commissioner on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), is advising T-Mobile and Sprint on their proposed $26 billion merger as the two companies seek regulatory approval from her former agency.
  • Op-Ed: Wisconsin State Sen. Patty Schachtner says her state "deserves better than Foxconn's constant waffling."