From Zero Hedge:
Sanders Challenges Biden To Adopt Aggressive Tax Scheme Topping 65% For Wealthiest Americans
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is playing bad cop – introducing a tax plan that’s so aggressive that it makes Biden’s small-business-killing corporate tax hike look moderate in comparison.
Sanders, Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, has proposed two new measures – one which would raise the corporate tax rate from 21% to 35%, far above the 28% Biden has proposed. It would also add stricter rules for taxing offshore profits, according to The Hill.
The second piece of legislation would supercharge the estate tax – lowering the threshold from $11 million to $3.5 million for single people, and from $22 million to $7 million for couples. It would also raise the tax rate to as much as 65% for estates over $1 billion.
Biden, on the other hand, would cap taxes on estates valued over $3.5 million at a flat 45%.
According to Sanders, Biden and Democrats need to be willing to go much further in taxing corporations and estates in order to pay for upcoming infrastructure and pandemic stimulus.
“We can no longer tolerate many large corporations making billions of dollars in profits to pay nothing in federal income taxes while about half of older Americans have no retirement savings and no idea how they will be able to retire with any shred of dignity or respect,” said Sanders at a Budget Committee hearing on the topic.
The proposals underscore how Sanders is continuing to push Biden to the left, as he did during the presidential primary race when he finished second to the president.
But the pressure creates a number of problems for Biden, who is seeking to pass legislation through a Senate with 50 Democrats and 50 Republicans.
If Biden does pursue the $3 trillion infrastructure and climate change package being contemplated, it’s not clear how much he’ll seek to pay for and how much will add to the deficit.
The White House is contemplating working with Republicans on at least part of the package to win a bipartisan victory, something some centrist Democrats have pressed him to do. –The Hill
Upcoming stimulus is likely to be split into a $2 trillion infrastructure bill, and a $1 trillion bill to address education, child care and poverty.
What do my Republican colleagues want to do to address the crises facing working families today? They want to give tax breaks to the wealthiest people in the country. That is obscene. pic.twitter.com/n9TXnMBtJW
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) March 25, 2021
Republicans, meanwhile, are sounding the alarm on out-of-control spending following the passage of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan earlier this month, which would bring the total debt from concurrent packages to nearly $5 trillion.
“We have engaged in an unprecedented amount of borrowing over the past year, which is exactly what we should have been doing,” according to MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, in Thursday testimony before Sanders’ committee.
“This debt trajectory leaves us vulnerable on many fronts: it leaves people who depend on these important trust fund programs vulnerable given all the uncertainty; it leaves the economy vulnerable to economic shifts both here and abroad; and it creates a major national security threat as well,” she added.
The GOP itself passed $1.9 trillion in unfunded tax cuts in 2017 that added to the deficit. But it is unlikely to back new legislation that would add more spending that is unpaid for.
“In 2017 we did in fact cut taxes. We cut taxes in a way to make American corporations competitive with the worldwide rate,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), the top Republican on the Budget panel.
“This insatiable desire by my friends on the left to grab as much money and power as they can is going to ruin the country. There has to be some balance,” he added. –The Hill
Sanders’ new bills make clear that any attempt by Biden(‘s handlers) to make generous concessions to the GOP will be met with pushback from his own party – which could cause friction in both the House and the Senate, where Democrats’ majorities are razor-thin.
“Despite what some of my Republican colleagues may claim, the reality is that when you take into account federal income taxes, payroll taxes, gas taxes, sales taxes and property taxes, we have, as a nation, an extremely unfair tax system that allows billionaires to pay a lower effective tax rate than public school teachers, truck drivers and nurses,” said Sanders, adding “That has got to change.”