Billionaire tax takes shape as Biden pushes for budget deal
WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats are working frantically to shore up the revenue side of President Joe Biden’s domestic package, poised to unveil a new billionaires’ tax to help pay for his social services and climate change plan after earlier tax plans fizzled.
Biden said Monday he’s hopeful the talks with Congress can wrap up overall agreement on the package this week. It's tallying at least $1.75 trillion, and could still be more. Biden said it would be “very, very positive to get it done” before he departs for two overseas global summits.
“That’s my hope,” the president said before leaving his home state of Delaware for a trip to New Jersey to highlight the child care proposals in the package and a related infrastructure measure. “With the grace of God and the goodwill of the neighbors.”
Resolving the revenue side is key as the Democrats scale back what had been a $3.5 trillion plan, insisting all the new spending will be fully paid for and not pile onto the debt. Biden vows any new taxes would hit only the wealthy, those earning more than $400,000 a year, or $450,000 for couples.
The White House had to rethink its tax strategy after one key Democrat, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., objected to her party's initial proposal to raise tax rates on wealthy Americans by undoing the Trump-era tax cuts on those earning beyond $400,000. Sinema also opposed lifting the 21% corporate tax rate. With a 50-50 Senate, Biden has no votes to spare in his party.
Instead, to win over Sinema and others, the White House has been floating a new idea of taxing the assets of billionaires and another that would require corporations to pay a 15% minimum tax, regardless of if they show any profits. Those both appear to be gaining traction with another pivotal Democrat, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.