Politics Pelosi upbeat on budget deal but billionaire tax could tank progress
Expanded child tax credit contains almost no tax cuts
Democrats’ rhetoric about their expansions of the child tax credit increasingly insists that these new benefits amount to “tax cuts” for middle-class families. As one article recently put it: “In speeches, internal memos, and campaign-style videos, President Joe Biden and the Democrats are increasingly promoting the payments as a ‘tax cut’ for the middle class, rather than a spending program that benefits only lower-income families.” But that characterization is sharply at odds with the proposal’s actual effects, which Democrats would extend for four years as part of their $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package.
Progress, slowly but surely.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) unveiled a proposed new billionaires’ tax on Wednesday to pay for President Biden’s sweeping social spending and infrastructure plans, but the just-announced revenue deal could be scrapped after Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia panned it as unfairly targeting the wealthy.
“People in the stratosphere, rather than trying to penalize, we ought to be pleased that this country is able to produce the wealth,” Manchin told reporters.
Biden and Democrats are racing to wrap up talks before the president departs this week for overseas global summits. One potential new casualty — a paid family leave benefit — was now being reduced to a more narrow program, perhaps for parents to care for new children. Besides pressing for important party priorities, Biden’s hoping to show foreign leaders the U.S. is getting things done under his still-new administration.
Dems look to keep tax on billionaires in spending bill
Top Democrats said on Sunday they are eyeing a tax on billionaires to help fund the party's multi-trillion dollar reconciliation bill, which lawmakers on Capitol Hill hope to advance this week.House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told host Jake Tapper on CNN's "State of the Union" that the Democrats' social spending bill "probably will have a wealth tax," when asked about how the massive piece of legislation will be paid for.Pressed by TapperHouse Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told host Jake Tapper on CNN's "State of the Union" that the Democrats' social spending bill "probably will have a wealth tax," when asked about how the massive piece of legislation will be paid for.
President Joe Biden (NICHOLAS KAMM/)
The president’s signature package of social service and climate change proposals in the balance, Biden could yet visit Capitol Hill before traveling abroad Thursday. House Democrats are set to meet in the morning. The administration is assessing the situation “hour by hour,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.
“We are on track now to move forward once we get an agreement,” Psaki said.
Manchin said he prefers a minimum 15% flat “patriotic tax” to ensure the wealthiest Americans don’t skip out on paying any taxes. “There’s a patriotic duty that you should be paying something to this great country,” he said.
Nevertheless, he said: “We need to move forward — the president has made that very clear — he wants to move forward and we owe it to the president to move forward.”
Billionaires Blast Wealth Tax: ‘One-Way Ticket to Venezuela’
It has been a summer of scrutiny for the ultra-rich—and now the billionaires are fighting amongst themselves. The culprit: a so-called “Billionaire Income Tax” that Democrats in Congress are reportedly mulling to help finance Biden’s agenda. The proposal would only target several hundred of the wealthiest Americans by taxing the rising values of certain assets, like stocks, even before they are sold. “I doubt it’s legal, and it’s stupid,” the billionaire investor Leon Cooperman complained to The Daily Beast. “What made America great was the people who started with nothing like me making a lot of money and giving it back.
White House officials met at the Capitol with Manchin and another key holdout Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona.
Video: Pelosi 'very disappointed' spending bill will be lower than original $3.5 trillion (MSNBC)
“Making progress,” Sinema said as she dashed into an elevator.
There’s a Sunday deadline to approve the smaller, bipartisan roads-and-bridges infrastructure bill or risk allowing funds for routine transportation programs to expire. But that $1 trillion bill has been held up by progressive lawmakers who are refusing to give their support without the bigger Biden deal.
Democrats hope that’s a winning formula to get the sprawling packages over the finish line after months of tortuous talks.
“No senator wants to stand up and say, ‘Gee, I think it’s just fine for billionaires to pay little or no taxes for years on end,’” said Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, who put together the new effort.
Elon Musk slams Biden over his new billionaires' tax
Elon Musk has slammed President Joe Biden's plan to tax billionaires' income as the Tesla CEO saw his company's value top $1trillion and his personal wealth increase by $36billion.Musk took to Twitter on Monday and responded to a tweet that was critical of the Democrats’ idea for a new billionaires’ tax to help pay for Biden’s social services and climate change plan.
Pelosi in a letter to colleagues called for a Thursday committee hearing to consider the packages, a typical step necessary before a vote by the full House. Her earlier remarks were conveyed during a private meeting of House Democrats.
The new billionaires’ proposal would tax the gains of those with more than $1 billion in assets or incomes of more than $100 million over three consecutive years.
It would hit the wealthiest of Americans, fewer than 800 people, starting in the 2022 tax year, requiring them pay taxes on the gains of stocks and other tradeable assets, rather than waiting until holdings are sold.
It would require the big-bucks guys to pay taxes on the gains of stocks and other assets, rather than waiting until holdings are sold, a huge and costly shift for them. Real estate would not be included although interest would have to be paid on gains.
Democrats have said it could raise $200 billion in revenue that could help fund Biden’s package over 10 years.
“I’ve been talking about this for years,” said Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) “I’ve even made billionaires cry over this.”
Republicans have derided the billionaire’s tax as “harebrained,” and some have suggested it would face a legal challenge.
Manchin was also objecting to a new paid family leave program that was already being chiseled back from 12 to four weeks. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., had devised several new options for his review.
Gillibrand told reporters late in the evening: “It’s not out, and it’s not over until it’s over.”
Together, Manchin and Sinema’s objections have packed a one-two punch, throwing Biden’s overall plan into flux, halving what had been a $3.5 trillion package, and infuriating colleagues along the way.
Said Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont Independent: “You got 48 out of 50 people supporting an agenda that works for the American people.”
With News Wire Services
Billionaire CEO Compares Democrats' Plan to Tax Ultra-Rich to Something 'Putin Would Do' .
John Catsimatidis, a billionaire grocery chain and real estate mogul, described the Democrats' plan as "a little bit insane."Sen. Ron Wyden unveiled the tax proposal Wednesday, which would only apply to people with $1 billion or more in assets or people who made $100 million or more for three straight years. Less than 800 people would likely be subject to its terms, and it would tax tradable assets even when they haven't been sold.