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A CNBC reporter said Friday that an analysis of presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s plan to raise taxes is the most expensive in recent history and would place huge burdens on the U.S. economy as it rebounded from the coronavirus pandemic.
“The truth is that Joe Biden, even though he’s portrayed as a moderate, is offering the most expensive Democratic tax plan that we’ve seen from any Democratic candidate in recent history,” reporter Robert Frank said. “Hillary Clinton’s total plan was $1.5 trillion. Biden’s plan is $4 trillion.”
Frank went on to report that Biden’s proposal to raise the capital gains tax rate by nearly 20 percent would be the largest increase in the country’s history. He also noted that Biden’s plan calls for a 7-percent increase in the corporate tax rate.
That a Democrat wants to raise taxes isn’t noteworthy, per se, said Frank, but the timing is certainly suspect given what the pandemic has done to the once-red-hot economy.
“The question is not so much ‘is this what the Democratic Party wants?’—because of course it is— but ‘is this the right time to do it?’” Frank said.
In recent weeks, the presumptive Democratic nominee has been talking with several left-wing extremists before announcing his new “unity task forces” last week with one-time rival and socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). The group includes Democratic socialist and freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and top Sanders economic advisers, the Washington Free Beacon reported, noting that collectively the group will form the 2020 Democrat Party platform.
Biden’s tax plan comes amid a Friday report from the Labor Department that 43 of 50 states have seen their highest unemployment rate since 1976. As such, Frank noted he was “surprised” that the former vice president’s proposals all seek to “raise taxes on the wealthy and corporations … no matter what’s happening in the economy.”
The presumptive nominee has been campaigning remotely from the basement of his Delaware home. Reports note that he’s been speaking frequently with another 2020 presidential rival, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), the driving force behind the Obama-era Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Larry Kudlow, the president’s top economic adviser, said in February before states began shutting down for coronavirus that Trump would like to see another tax-cut package by September, dubbed “tax cuts 2.0.”
Trump’s first tax-cut and reform bill, passed in December 2017, generated additional revenues for the government even after the Congressional Budget Office estimated tax revenue drop-offs.
In an April 2018 report, the CBO estimated that the tax cuts would spur so much additional growth that revenue to the Treasury would increase enough to pay for at least 65 percent of the cuts.
In fact, the federal government began seeing record income tax collection immediately after the cuts took effect.
Warren has been a frequent critic of Wall Street, though she and her husband are millionaires, like Sanders. And she would raise personal income taxes to between 50 and 90 percent, she said in 2018.
For her part, Ocasio-Cortez is a sponsor of the “Green New Deal,” a massively expensive plan to dramatically reduce carbon emissions by banning use of fossil fuels within a specified time period while transforming the U.S. economy to focus around renewable energy.
Shortly after the plan was introduced, the Competitive Enterprise Institute found that, in a five-state analysis, the average household “will be on the hook for more than $70,000 in increased costs for electricity, upgrading vehicles and housing, and shipping in just the first year under the Green New Deal.”
Residents in one of the states, Alaska, would pay an average of $100,000 the first year because of their remote location.
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