By Spy Uganda Correspondent
After a rough summer, President Joe Biden is getting ready to spend the autumn fighting for tax increases on the wealthy and corporations.
The surge of the Covid-19 delta variant, the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, hurricanes, wildfires, evictions and inflation have all battered Biden’s approval ratings and exhausted White House staff.
Now he is shifting his attention back to passing a once-in-a-generation expansion of the social safety net and an infrastructure package.
Biden spoke via Facebook about why Congress needs to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans and corporations in order to fund his “Build Back Better” agenda.
“The data is absolutely clear,” he said. “Over the past 40 years, the wealthy have gotten wealthier and too many corporations have lost a sense of responsibility to their workers, their communities and the country.”
Biden pointed to the ratio of CEO pay to average worker pay, which has risen more than fifteenfold in the past five decades.
And in a year when millions of Americans struggled to pay rent and put food on the table amid historic levels of unemployment, Biden said, the combined net worth of the world’s wealthiest people grew by an estimated $1.8 trillion.
“How is it possible that the wealthiest billionaires in the country can entirely escape paying income tax on what they’ve made?” said Biden. “How is it possible for millionaires and billionaires that can pay a lower rate of tax than teachers, firefighters or law enforcement officers?”
Progress In House
The president’s statement comes just few days after the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee voted to advance the tax portion of the social safety net bill.
The plan raises the top corporate tax rate by 5.5 percentage points and the top individual tax rate by 2.6 percentage points, respectively. If it is enacted as written, the new federal corporate income tax rate will be 26.5% and the new top individual income tax bracket will be 39.6%.
The proposal also includes a 3% surcharge on individual income above $5 million and a capital gains tax of 25%.
In addition to the tax changes, the Ways and Means bill include $80 billion in additional funding for the Internal Revenue Service, money Democrats say will improve tax enforcement and help the government collect hundreds of billions of dollars a decade in evaded taxes.
Biden highlighted the need for this funding on Thursday.
“Today in this country, right now, the top 1%, for example, evade an estimated $160 billion in taxes that they owe each year,” he said. “Not new taxes, taxes that they owe.”