•   
  •   
  •   

Opinion How the Right-Wing Supreme Court Can Save Biden’s Economic Plan

06:55  27 october  2021
06:55  27 october  2021 Source:   nymag.com

Texas' six-week abortion ban: Biden administration takes case back to Supreme Court

  Texas' six-week abortion ban: Biden administration takes case back to Supreme Court Supreme Court justices are expected to move swiftly to address Texas' abortion law after an emergency appeal by the Biden administration.The appeal gives the high court a chance to temporarily block enforcement of the most restrictive abortion law in the country for the second time in as many months and represents the latest development in a whirlwind of litigation around the Texas ban.

Democrats find themselves in the desperate situation of scrambling for new ways to pay for President Biden’s social agenda now that Senator Kyrsten Sinema has ruled out all the tax hikes the rest of them support. Their solution involves creating a new tax on billionaire stock holdings.

Intelligencer. Photo: Getty Images © Intelligencer. Photo: Getty Images Intelligencer. Photo: Getty Images

The billionaire stock tax faces two enormous problems. First, several congressional Democrats are expressing open concern about the policy — and this is even before lobbyists go to work on them. And if the billionaire stock tax can’t pass Congress, anything like Biden’s plan is going to be dead, barring an unexpected face turn by Sinema. Second, even if it makes it through Congress, it is distinctly possible the Supreme Court will overturn this tax on constitutional grounds.

Texas abortion law model could spread to guns, free speech, Supreme Court is told

  Texas abortion law model could spread to guns, free speech, Supreme Court is told The Supreme Court faces arguments that a novel enforcement scheme Texas created for its abortion law could be used by states to neutralize other constitutional rights related to guns, protests, campaign finance and more. The warning comes from not only the Justice Department and the abortion providers that have challenged the Texas law but also […] The post Texas abortion law model could spread to guns, free speech, Supreme Court is told appeared first on Roll Call.

Sounds bad, right? Well, yes, it is. However, there is a potential bright side to this solution: The second problem might solve the first one.

Under current law, people who make money on stock only pay tax when the stock is sold at a profit. This allows very wealthy people to amass enormous gains on paper that do not have any tax burden — Jeff Bezos pays virtually nothing in taxes because he hasn’t sold his Amazon shares. However, in reality, Bezos is a very rich person who can borrow against the value of his stock holdings and enjoy a lavish lifestyle.

The billionaire stock tax plan would change this. Americans who have a net worth of more than $1 billion, or who have incomes of at least $100 million for three consecutive years, would pay capital gains taxes on the annual appreciation of their stock.

Supreme Court to hear case seeking to revive Trump 'public charge' rule nixed by Biden

  Supreme Court to hear case seeking to revive Trump 'public charge' rule nixed by Biden President Biden unwound a Trump-era rule seeking to limit legal immigration. Now several conservative states want the Supreme Court to bring it back.In agreeing to hear the case, the court limited its review to whether a group of conservative states led by Arizona are able to defend the rule.

The idea wasn’t seriously considered as a part of Biden’s plan until late last week. However, Democrats are already expressing some reservations. Passing it is going to require forging a new party consensus very quickly and then holding it in the face of the inevitable lobbying campaign. So far, lobbyists have managed to weaken or kill a slew of highly popular and obviously necessary reforms, simply by picking off a handful of Democrats. Holding the line on the billionaire tax won’t be easy, given that, as Bernie Sanders has mentioned once or twice, the billionaire class exerts quite a bit of political influence.

The legal challenge is even more serious. In 1913, the Supreme Court, then controlled by right-wing judicial activists who interpreted the Constitution as forbidding any liberal economic or civil-rights law, struck down an income tax passed by Congress. In response, Congress passed the 16th Amendment to the Constitution, explicitly giving it “power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.”

COVID-19, corporate taxes, Iran nuclear deal on Biden's agenda for Day One of G-20 summit

  COVID-19, corporate taxes, Iran nuclear deal on Biden's agenda for Day One of G-20 summit The G-20 summit that opened Saturday in Rome will mark the first time in two years that some of the world's most powerful leaders have met in person.Biden arrived at the modernist, cloud-shaped convention center in Rome where the Group of 20, or G-20, is meeting and was welcomed by Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi. A few minutes later, he joined other leaders for a traditional "family photo.

However, the amendment mentions income, not wealth. Those are separate things. The billionaire stock tax at least resembles a tax on wealth, which means one of the billionaires is going to bring a constitutional challenge.

The legal merits of this case appear to be debatable. If you want the case for why the tax is on income (and therefore constitutional), read Chuck Marr. To read the case for why it’s a tax on wealth (and therefore unconstitutional), read the Wall Street Journal editorial page.

I am not qualified to adjudicate this debate. Here’s what I do know. The Supreme Court has a 6-3 Republican majority, and five of those Republicans are extremely conservative. The case against the billionaire stock tax is far more plausible than the constitutional case against Obamacare, which already won the support of all the justices to the right of John Roberts. If conservatives bring them a legal challenge that isn’t so absurd that liberals break out in laughter at it, that challenge is probably going to succeed. That is to say, the chance that Brett Kavanaugh sees eye to eye with a liberal economist and not with the Journal editorial page seems remote.

Biden thinks his new eviction moratorium may be doomed. Here’s why he’s trying it anyway.

  Biden thinks his new eviction moratorium may be doomed. Here’s why he’s trying it anyway. He’s hoping the courts give it a little more time.Biden spoke at a press conference Tuesday afternoon shortly before the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a new order imposing a moratorium on certain evictions. The CDC’s new order is substantially similar to a previous eviction moratorium that expired at the end of July, but with one exception.

The upside is that Democrats can turn this very likely legal defeat to their advantage. If billionaires complain to Democrats about the new tax, the Democrats can assure them Kavanaugh and friends will never let it take effect.

In the meantime, they can still count on the revenue from the tax to pay for the spending. If the Court strikes down the tax, the rest of the provisions can still remain in place. Senate budget rules merely require that any permanent increase in the deficit be paid for in the bill. It doesn’t matter if the pay-for is repealed later, either by Congress or by the courts.

And if any Democratic budget hawks are worried that they’ll be increasing the deficit by relying on a funding source that’s never going to take effect, they shouldn’t feel guilty. Biden’s plan is going to increase tax revenue by hundreds of billions of dollars through ramped-up funding of the IRS, and most of that money won’t be counted as a funding source, because congressional budget rules have an extremely silly rule preventing them from counting the proceeds of better enforcement.

Enacting a billionaire tax would be good policy. But even if the Court won’t allow it, you can use it as a paper savings to finance important social spending investments. And they can use the Court’s very likely intervention to paper over whatever substantive concerns Democrats develop. Sinema has put the Democrats in a difficult spot, but Kavanaugh can save them.

Can Joe Biden Save His Presidency? .
With his domestic agenda at risk of failure and the prospect rising of a Democratic drubbing in the midterms, Biden needs to act swiftly to rescue his term.Even as Biden announced the terms last week of a $1.75 trillion framework to salvage his signature "Build Back Better" legislation—cut in half from the bill's original $3.5 trillion price tag—his approval rating was taking a beating. The latest Real Clear Politics average has just 42 percent of Americans approving of the job Biden has done so far, while 52 percent disapprove; that represents a sharp downturn over the past two months and a nearly 14-point drop overall from his post-inauguration peak of close to 56 percent.

usr: 1
This is interesting!