Steve Bannon has kept a pretty low profile for the last few months. After being described as the puppeteer behind Trump’s administration in a few articles early on, we’ve heard little about the man and what he’s doing. In recent days, however, two articles by The Intercept have described recent Bannon pushes. And they’re not exactly what you’d expect.
The first piece, published yesterday, described an increased marginal tax rate for the rich. Anonymous sources said that Bannon has been advocating for a 44% marginal tax rate for people who make over $5 million, compared to the 39.6% one in place now for the top tier. In essence, he’s pushing for greater taxation on the rich, which doesn’t sound that Trumpian.
Today, anonymous sources are saying that not only is Bannon lobbying for a higher tax rate, he’s also pushing for more government control over technology giants. Specifically, writes The Intercept, he wants Facebook and Google to be considered public utilities. This means essentially that they would be considered public goods that citizens consume, and thus should be held to more uniform regulation. (It’s also something I argued a few months ago!)
Another priority Bannon shares with Bernie: Both want the end of the use of offshore tax havens by the tech giants and the rest of corporate America. In a photo posted to Twitter by a visitor to Bannon’s office in May, a glimpse of Trump’s tax reform plan was visible on a whiteboard of White House goals: “Create a 10% repatriation tax.”
Don’t get me wrong: Bannon is still Bannon. For example, he had reportedly been lobbying for Trump to take the action he did yesterday on transgender people in the military. He’s also still the man that made Breitbart what it is today, which today published an article that put Earth emojis around the name of Trump chief economic advisor Gary Cohn.
Yet Bannon’s recent pushes, if proven, show that he’s gunning for something that is definitely not within the confines of the traditional Republican party. And they’re also both pushes that someone like Bernie Sanders would probably endorse.