Off European disaster, Biden jumps into campaign gear pushing popular Dem plan: Tax the rich!

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Democrats are scrambling to find something good to point to in Joe Biden’s presidency, which thus far has been a series of disastrous and sometimes deadly policy failures, to say nothing of his recent gaffe-ridden European trip that forced the White House to push its damage control engines into hyper speed.

The appropriate distraction from all of that?

Get in campaign mode and tax the rich!

On Tuesday, Biden announced his most recent proposal to implement a minimum 2o percent tax wealth on billionaires who already pay the lion’s share of federal taxes in the nation. In a report from May of 2021, IRS data for 2018, which was the year following enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) showed the top one percent of income earners — that is those earning more than $540,000 — earned 21 percent of all U.S. income while paying 40 percent of all federal income taxes. The top 10 percent earned 48 percent of the income and paid 71 percent of federal income taxes.

The bill faces resistance from Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) among others, namely for its controversial proposal to tax unrealized gains, but Democrats know their base loves a good battle cry against super-wealthy and highly visible figures such as Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk.

Republicans, for their part, seem hesitant to attack the bill over the perception they lobby for the wealthy too often. Democrats can easily use that perception to their advantage when it comes to “looking out for the little guy,” especially as a means to alleviate the record inflation that currently torches wallets at the gas pump and the grocery store.

“It’s important that you have the president propose it and if it doesn’t get done this year, I think it remains on the table. I think it’s something that will remain unfinished until it’s done. It’s such a glaring flaw that at some point it needs to be addressed,” Chuck Marr, the vice president for federal tax policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, told The Hill.

“It’s a major policy issue for this year and every year until [it gets enacted.] Once the Pro Publica story came out, I don’t think policymakers can ignore that.”

The story he refers to was published in June by Pro Publica and sought to expose the nation’s richest multi-billionaires including Bezos, Musk, Mark Zuckerberg and Rupert Murdoch, and alleged they sometimes paid nothing or very little in taxes, relative to their gargantuan wealth. As they must constantly be reminded, liberals forget that a business cannot pay taxes on money lost. In addition, simply taxing the rich more is merely putting a band-aid on a tax code that if Congress wanted to change, they would change.

(Video: The Hill)

As it stands, the current richest man in the world, Elon Musk, didn’t pay any federal income taxes in 2018, according to the report and subsequent story. Bezos, who is worth an estimated $190 billion, didn’t pay any federal income taxes in either 2007 or 2011.

The White House budget office claimed on Monday in a fact sheet accompanying the proposal that “the tax code currently offers special treatment for the types of income that wealthy people enjoy.”

For Democratic strategists, the move signals a turn for Biden away from far-left progressives in the party and more toward the political center.

“I think it’s return to Biden 2020,” Jim Kessler, executive vice president for policy at Third Way, told The Hill. “There’s deficit reduction, more money for police, a strong defense budget.”

“He ran as a centrist with big ideas in 2020 and that won the Democratic primary and it beat Donald Trump, and then early on he did what had to be done with the [American] Rescue Plan and getting through the pandemic and the infrastructure bill,” he added.

Kessler asserted that Biden’s horrible poll numbers are directly related to his stubborn push for the now-infamous $3.5 trillion dollar spending bill.

“I think Build Back Better started to get away from him,” he said. “Congress deserves some of the, definitely, blame on this, too. That $3.5 trillion price tag — no one thought that was real and that just hung around for too long.”

Sens. Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) continue to be irritating pebbles in the shoes of Democrats when it comes to government largess.

“I’ve taken the word reconciliation, I’ve put it over here on the shelf,” Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), reportedly said. “I’m focusing on everything else that’s going on around here, and most of it needs 60 votes, which means it’s very limited in scope.”

“I don’t want to go through this exercise again of getting my hopes up that reconciliation is going to solve our problems and then losing it to one or two senators at the last minute,” he added.

For now, Manchin remains at least somewhat defiant over the bill.

“I don’t like it. I don’t like the connotation that we’re targeting different people,” the senator said last year and argued that ultra-wealthy individuals “bring a lot of jobs, invest a lot of money and give a lot to philanthropic pursuits.”

It looks to be an uphill battle in any case. Perhaps the only popular and sensible thing the 535 charity cases in Congress might achieve under the Biden regime will be the passage of the daylight savings bill, dubbed the Sunshine Protection Act.


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