PRESIDENT Joe Biden confirmed that people earning more than $400,000 will see a “small to significant” tax increase if he succeeds in passing a hike.
Biden’s tax increase will hit the top 10 percent of Americans but he promised that anyone earning less than $400,000 "won't see one single penny in additional federal tax."
In an interview with ABC on Wednesday morning, Biden hit out at Republicans criticizing the tax breaks included in his $1.9trillion Covid relief package.
The president said that he was focusing on giving tax breaks to the bottom 60 percent of the population, while the GOP is only interested in “the Trump tax cut where 83 percent went to the top 1 percent of people in America.”
"If we just took the tax rate back to what it was when (George W) Bush was president, top rate paid 39.6 percent in federal tax, that would raise $230 billion,” Biden noted.
“Yet they're complaining because I'm providing a tax credit for child care? For the poor? For the middle class?"
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki later reiterated Biden’s comments that the top 10 percent need to be paying more.
She said that the president believes "those at the top are not doing their part" and "obviously that corporations could be paying higher taxes."
The president campaigned on a platform that promised to increase the federal tax rate for those earning more than $400,000 from 37 percent to 39.6 percent.
He also campaigned on an increase in the corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 28 percent.
It would reverse some of the tax cuts granted to corporations by former president Donald Trump in 2017.
Biden acknowledged that he will struggle to get any Republican support for an increase in federal taxes but he remains sure of Democratic votes.
He also mentioned on Good Morning America that he believes the Senate filibuster should return to the “talking filibuster.”
However, he didn't say he will push to eliminate the 60-vote threshold to end debate on bills and pass legislation.
As it stands, with the Senate Chamber divided 50-50, it means that Democrats must secure at least ten Republicans votes to end the debate.
Biden, who led a presidential campaign plugging bipartisan unity, has so far failed to pass any legislation with Republican support.
His comments Wednesday come after Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy accused Biden of failing to back up the message of unity he pushed through the election campaign.
He claimed that Biden is not working on legislation to unite the two parties, with the president’s early focus on executive orders on immigration rather than boosting the economy amid pandemic recovery.
"Remember what President Biden said about 'unity' just a few days ago? So far, he has done nothing to back it up,” McCarthy tweeted.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen had said on Sunday that a federal tax increase could be on the horizon but that Biden would stagger proposals over time.
"(Biden) hasn't proposed a wealth tax but he has proposed that corporations and wealthy individuals should pay more in order to meet the needs of the economy, the spending we need to do, and over time I expect that we will be putting forth proposals to get deficits under control," Yellen told ABC.
If passed, it would be the first major tax hike since 1993.
Biden’s campaign said that the extra tax funding would be used to improve infrastructure, climate initiative and continued assistance to the poor.
As well as promises to hit higher earners and bump up corporation tax, the president has suggested that the way 401(k) retirement savings accounts are treated in the tax code should be changed.
The change would give low-income earners a bigger tax break up front.
His critics have suggested that the various tax proposals put forward by Biden during the 2020 election cycle will lead to a decline in wages for middle-class Americans.
Yet Democrats argue that reduced taxes for higher earners does not improve revenue for lower earners.
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