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82 unions and liberal groups urge Biden to go bigger on tax hikes and hold the wealthy accountable

Published by Business Insider on Wed, 31 Mar 2021


<p><img src="https://static1.businessinsider.com/image/60584b14cad7d300183f83e9-1421/50986846068_fe8137b3c1_o.jpg" border="0" alt="joe biden" data-mce-source="White House/Lawrence Jackson" data-mce-caption="President Joe Biden participates in a conference phone call with governors affected by a snowstorm in the Midwest and southwest Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021, in the Oval Office of the White House."></p><p></p><bi-shortcode id="summary-shortcode" data-type="summary-shortcode" class="mceNonEditable" contenteditable="false">Summary List Placement</bi-shortcode><p>President Joe Biden is unveiling the first part of his <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/biden-infrastructure-bill-package-4-trillion-with-tax-hikes-2021-3">multitrillion-dollar infrastructure proposal</a> today, which could include up to $3.5 trillion in tax hikes. Some unions and progressive organizations are saying he should go even bigger.</p><p>On Tuesday, 82 national organizations, led by Americans for Tax Fairness, sent a <a href="https://twitter.com/4TaxFairness/status/1377255011412025351">letter</a> to Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, commending the administration's efforts to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans and encouraging the president to go further. The letter said Biden's tax plans were the "boldest of any major party presidential nominee in modern American history."</p><p>The tax proposals have "received widespread media coverage and, perhaps more significant, your boldly progressive tax plan was heavily attacked by your political opponents, who spent untold millions of dollars and claimed falsely that the middle-class would pay more," the letter said. "Yet, you won the most votes ever of any US presidential candidate, with a central promise of your campaign to make the rich and corporations pay their fair share of taxes. You have a clear mandate to pursue your agenda."</p><p>The letter, which was signed by&nbsp;AFL-CIO and MoveOn, said that even among Republicans, raising taxes is popular. For example, a New York Times <a href="https://www.surveymonkey.com/curiosity/nyt-november-2020-cci/">survey</a> from November found that two-thirds of respondents, including 45% of Republican voters, supported tax increases on people making over $400,000, and an Americans for Tax Fairness <a href="https://docs.google.com/document/d/1wD5o-QzWAI-TPT6XLxRz2ZKpRL1TqIbTOE6BnxInbag/edit">survey</a> from October found that 71% of Americans supported raising the income tax rate, including 51% of Republicans.</p><p>The best way to hold the wealthy accountable, according to the letter, is to reverse the "worst aspects" of former President Donald Trump's Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), including Biden's proposals to:</p><ul><li>Lift the corporate tax rate to 28% from the current 21%;</li><li>Restore the estate tax to its 2009 levels, meaning that still only the richest 0.59% of estates would get taxed;</li><li>And return the top marginal tax rate on the highest incomes to 39.6%, from the current 37%.</li></ul><p>Aside from the TCJA proposed changes, Biden also proposed additional tax reforms during his campaign, like investing in Internal Revenue Service enforcement of high-income taxpayers and imposing a "financial-risk fee" on large Wall Street banks.</p><p>The letter said that even along with Biden's campaign proposals, he could implement many other reforms, including a 10-percentage-point surtax on all incomes about $2 million, a financial transaction tax on bond and stock trades, and a wealth tax on ultra-millionaires.</p><p>Biden's tax hikes have already faced opposition in Congress. While moderate Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin said an infrastructure proposal could be <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/joe-manchin-biden-infrastructure-bill-funded-tax-increases-2021-3">as large as $4 trillion</a> using tax hikes as funding, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell warned that won't win his party's support.</p><p>"I don't think there's going to be any enthusiasm on our side for a tax increase," McConnell <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/mcconnell-dismisses-gop-support-tax-hikes-pay-for-biden-infrastructure-2021-3" data-analytics-module="body_link" data-analytics-post-depth="100" data-uri="dfa09f3e787fcf4cf9da03aee4710189">told reporters last week</a>. Republicans even recently introduced a bill to <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/republicans-want-another-tax-break-for-wealthy-democrats-wealth-tax-2021-3">repeal</a> the estate tax, which would only affect 0.6% of farm estates.&nbsp;</p><p>But progressive lawmakers are continuing to push for measures that hold the ultra-rich accountable. Although Politico <a href="https://www.politico.com/news/2021/03/30/biden-elizabeth-warren-wealth-tax-478642">reported</a> on Tuesday that Biden will not&nbsp;use a wealth tax to fund infrastructure, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/democrats-propose-ultra-millionaire-tax-on-wealthiest-americans-2021-3">led the effort</a> to propose a 2% tax on households with net worths over $50 million.&nbsp;</p><p>"A wealth tax is&nbsp;critical for raising revenue, and that revenue is critical for raising opportunity," Warren said on <a href="https://twitter.com/SenWarren/status/1366388164974301184">Twitter</a> on March 1. "We build a future for all of our kids by investing in opportunity. This is one way we can make this government work for everyonenot just the rich and powerful."</p><p><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/unions-liberal-groups-urge-biden-think-bigger-tax-hikes-2021-3#comments">Join the conversation about this story &#187;</a></p> <p>NOW WATCH: <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/how-symphony-seas-worlds-largest-cruise-ship-deals-with-waste-2020-3">How waste is dealt with on the world's largest cruise ship</a></p>
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