The great thing about controlling the microphone is that a person can say pretty much whatever they want without much fear of rebuttal, a benefit White House press secretary Jen Psaki takes full advantage of at the daily press briefings.
On Tuesday, New York Post reporter Steven Nelson asked Psaki about reports that President Biden took advantage of a tax loophole to avoid paying up to $500,000 of his so-called “fair share” of Medicare taxes, and she simply dismissed the inquiry by claiming the reports have been “debunked.” Never mind that experts on the matter disagree.
“About Build Back Better and tax policy, I’d like to ask you about proposed tax increases and proposed tighter tax enforcement,” Nelson said, in a long set-up to his question. “President Biden often describes raising taxes on higher incomes as a matter of fairness and enforcing current tax policy is a matter of people paying their fair share. But Republicans in Congress, led by Rep. Jim Banks, (R-Ind.,) pointed to a recent Congressional Research Service report which they say underscores that President Biden allegedly owes $500,000 in Medicare taxes that he didn’t pay by allegedly improperly categorizing $13 million in income through S-corporations in 2017 and 2018.”
“So, tax law expert Robert Willens, who teaches at Columbia University, said, quote, in my case — “in my view, the case can easily be made,” end quote, by the IRS that President Biden owes back taxes under current law. So, as he campaigns for —” he continued.
Having heard enough, Psaki cut the reporter off, “This is a very long question. I think I know where you’re getting at. This has been debunked, as you probably know. Also, he has released many, many years of his tax returns, so people can check them out.”
“No, it hasn’t been debunked,” Nelson tried to counter, before asking if the president will be “paying the back taxes,” but Psaki was already moving on to the next reporter with no intentions of replying.
While reporters had each others’ backs during the Trump years, where the next person called on would take the baton from the previous reporter and stay on topic, that wasn’t the case Tuesday.
Nelson wrote afterward that Psaki “grew visibly annoyed when asked about the issue,” and said she “cut off the line of questioning after an expert was cited, who affirmed Biden might indeed owe taxes.”
“He should have paid the tax on the share of this income that was earned as a result of his own labor, experts say,” Nelson reported.
As Fox News reported late month, a Congressional Research Service report suggested that Biden may have improperly used ‘S corporations’ to avoid taxes on over $13 million in speaking fees and book sales in 2017 and 2018 to avoid paying Medicare taxes before he took office and could owe the IRS up to $500,000.
“Joe Biden wants to raise taxes by $2.1 trillion while claiming the rich need to pay their ‘fair share.’ But in 2017, multi-millionaire Joe Biden skirted his payroll taxes — the very taxes that fund Medicare and Obamacare,” Rep. Jim Banks, who chairs the conservative Republican Study Committee, said at the time.
At the time of the report, the White House fell back on a Biden campaign statement that defended the action.
“The salaries earned by the Bidens are reasonable and were determined in good faith, considering the nature of the entities and the services they performed,” the statement said, calling the use of the corporations a “common method for taxpayers who have outside sources of income to consolidate their earnings and expenses,” according to Fox News.
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