History Quiz

I wonder what happens when a Democratic canidate for President campaigns on a proposal to increase taxes on high incomes and cut taxes on middle and lower class incomes (that is on the class warfare platform) ? IIRC what happens is that he gets elected. This is what Clinton did in 1992 and Obama did in 2008 (and Obama also kept the promise).

So Quiz question — who was the last Democratic candidate to defeat a Republican who
1) was not an incumbent
2) didn’t propose raising taxes on high incomes and cutting them on middle class incomes when the top marginal income tax rate was under 70%70% 62% even though this would have been constitutional ?

Answers after the jump

Woodrow Wilson defeated William Howard Taft in 1912*

Grover Cleveland defeated James C Blain in 1880 James G. Blaine in 1884** and Benjamin Harrison in 1892 ***

James Buchanan defeated John C Frémont in 1856

Answer to trick question. No such entity exists. No Democrat who was not then President has been elected who did not propose lower taxes on middle classincomes and higher taxes on high incomes at a time when the income tax was constitutional and the top marginal rate was less than 70%.

The election of Hillary Clinton in 2016 (inshallah) would be unprecedented not only because she has no y chromosome but also because she is a non incumbent Democrat who has no proposal to cut middle class tax rates and raise taxes on high incomes(even though the top income tax rate is less than 70%).

* typo corrected thanks to sandwichman
** 3 errors corrected thanks to Barkely Rosser. The word “in” was not an error.
***typo corrected thanksto Bruce Webb
**** This is substantive. In 1932 the top rate was only 62%