President-elect Joe Biden

Joe Biden open to corporate tax rate

2021/05/07 11:23 家族 健康

President Joe Biden on Thursday suggested he was open to a corporate income tax rate between 25% and 28% to pay for his sweeping infrastructure and jobs proposal, the most concrete view he's given to date on his negotiating position.

"Making sure the largest companies don't pay zero ... and reducing the, the tax cut to between 25 and 28 (percent), it's a couple hundred billion dollars. We can pay for these things," Biden said, speaking in front of the Calcasieu River Bridge in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Biden noted the corporate rate, which is currently 21%, had been as high as 35% before former President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans cut taxes in 2017.

How to pay for Biden's roughly $2 trillion American Jobs Plan has been a hotly contested topic on Capitol Hill, and Biden has said repeatedly it is something he is open to negotiating. The corporate tax hike has been met by fierce opposition by Republican lawmakers, who also take issue with the size and scope of Biden's proposal.

Raising corporate taxes was a core campaign promise of Biden's, and the administration says doing so would raise more than $2 trillion over the next 15 years.

The President on Thursday traveled to Louisiana as part of his "Getting America Back on Track" tour to make the case that his sweeping economic proposals will benefit middle-class Americans and took aim at tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations.

Joe Biden says he's open to corporate tax rate between 25% and 28% to pay for infrastructure plan

"We've got to build from the bottom up and the middle out. That's how we build America," Biden said.

Biden stood in front of the Calcasieu River Bridge -- a 70-year-old bridge that is 20 years older than its designated lifespan, according to the White House -- to highlight the need to invest in the nation's crumbling infrastructure.

"We're standing here in the shadow of the I-10 Bridge, which I've gone over several times myself in the past, and it's a perfect example how we've neglected as a nation to invest in the future of our economy and the future of our people," Biden said.

The President said reforming the tax code would allow for the kind of large-scale investments in infrastructure his American Jobs Plan calls for. He framed his proposal as a choice between giving tax breaks to the wealthiest of Americans and investing in working class families.

"In my view it's an easy choice," Biden said.

The President touted the American Jobs plan as a "blue-collar blueprint" and a "once-in-a-generation investment in America."

Biden said his plan would put electricians to work building a modern energy grid, engineers and construction workers would rebuild roads and bridges, and plumbers and pipe fitters would replace all of the nation's lead pipes.

The plan would modernize 20,000 miles of highways and roads and repair 10,000 bridges across the country, the President said. He stressed the economic value of the bridges while also highlighting the crucial role they play in transporting first responders when disasters strike.

"This is about jobs and also saving lives," Biden said.

The President said the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the need for the US to rebuild its foundation and invest in infrastructure in order to grow the economy, create jobs and be a global competitor.

"We can't afford to not do it," Biden said.

The President said: "When I think about the threats of hurricanes and global warming and the poor condition of our economy as a relates particularly infrastructure, I think one thing — I think of jobs, jobs, jobs," Biden said.

The President highlighted the economic impact his proposals would have on the American middle class and note that 90% of the jobs his infrastructure plan would create wouldn't require a college degree.

Biden was joined in Lake Charles by the city's Republican mayor, Nic Hunter, and the state's Democratic governor, John Bel Edwards. The Republican mayor recently co-authored an op-ed with the Democratic mayor of Shreveport on the need to the pass the American Jobs Plan. The President noted investments in infrastructure have been bipartisan priorities for decades.

"When it comes to bridges and roads and the like, I've never seen a Republican or Democrat road. I just see roads," Biden said.

Later on Thursday, the President will tour the Carrollton Water Plant in New Orleans.

During the 2020 election, Trump vowed to improve the Calcaiseu River Bridge during a speech in Hackberry, Louisiana, acknowledging the bridge's notorious problems. Trump promised "a brand new I-10 bridge," if he won the presidential election.

Biden on Wednesday defended his pitch to raise certain taxes to fund his economic proposals by saying his plan will not hurt most wealthy Americans and corporations but will instead help the kind of people he grew up with.

"We're not going to deprive any of these executives their second or third home, travel privately by jet. It's not going to affect their standing at all. Not a little tiny bit. But I can affect the standard of living of people I grew up with -- if they have a job," Biden said on Wednesday at a White House event.

He said restoring higher tax rates on the wealthiest Americans would grow the economy. "Benefits everybody. Hurts nobody," Biden said.

Biden's American Jobs Plan is a roughly $2 trillion proposal to improving the nation's infrastructure and shift the country to greener energy over the next eight years. The proposal would invest heavily in transportation, caregiving for aging and disabled Americans, manufacturing, housing, research and development, schools, and digital infrastructure, among other areas.

Biden's $1.8 trillion American Families Plan focuses on helping families afford child care, making two years of community college free, enhancing Pell Grants, providing paid family and medical leave, universal preschool, recruiting more teachers and providing more nutrition assistance for children.

The President's two proposals are aimed at helping the nation's economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

Biden launches a fiery defense of his tax hikes: 'This is about making the average multimillionaire pay just a fair share'

While answering questions after a Wednesday address on the impact of the American Rescue Plan, President Joe Biden doubled down on his tax proposals and the need for wealthier Americans and corporations to pay their fair share — and took aim at prior Republican tax cuts.

"My Republican friends had no problem voting to pass a tax proposal — it expires in 2025 — that costs $2 trillion," Biden said, adding that none of that was paid for. In fact, he said, it "gave the overwhelming percentage of those tax breaks to people who didn't need it. The top one tenth of 1% didn't need it."

As for the argument Republicans gave in 2017, that it would generate a "great economic surge and growth," Biden said "everyone from the Heritage Foundation on has pointed out it hadn't done that."

Then he turned to his plans to hike taxes.

The biggest 35 or 30 corporations didn't pay a single solitary penny last year, and they're Fortune 500 companies," Biden said. "They made $400 billion. They paid no taxes. How can that make any sense?"

Biden said sometime in the 2000s — he'd have his staff supply the exact date — the average CEO of a Fortune 500 company made about 36 times what the average employee of that corporation made.

"It's over 450 times as much now. As my mother would say, who died and left them boss?" he said before raising his voice while questioning how it can benefit the economy to have CEOs make so much more than workers. "No, seriously, what rationale, tell me what benefit flows from that?"

"We're not going to deprive" any executive "of their second or third home" or traveling privately by jet, he said.

"It's not going to affect your standard of living at all. Not a little tiny bit," Biden said, raising his voice, "while I can affect the standard of living of people I grew up with."

Biden has proposed a slew of tax measures to offset the proposed spending in his two-pronged infrastructure package. Those include raising the income tax rate for the wealthiest Americans to 39.6%, bringing up the capital gains rate to the same level, and increasing the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%. The corporate tax rate was one measure that was slashed under Trump's tax package, falling from 35% to 21%.

Biden said he was open to compromising on the corporate tax rate — some Democrats have floated an increase to 25%, instead of 28% — but said he still wants to offset spending.

"I'm willing to compromise, but I'm not willing to not pay for what we're talking about," he said.

Inequality expert Sarah Anderson has testified in front of the Senate Budget Committee that the yearly gap between CEO pay and the pay of average workers is about 350 to 1.

Overall, the tax burden of Biden's proposal would fall squarely on the top 1% of American tax filers, who would pay an average additional $100,000 per year. Biden addressed his proposal to raise the income tax rate to 39.6% for Americans making over $400,000, which he noted was a return to the Bush-era level.

"Just raise it back to what it was before. It raises enough money from that savings to put every single person in community college who wants to go," he said. On that topic, he posed a question: "What's going to grow America more?" The options, he said, are "the super wealthy having to pay 3.9% less tax" or an entire generation "of Americans having associate degrees."

In closing, Biden said: "This is about making the average multimillionaire pay just a fair share. It's not going to affect their standard of living" — pausing to whisper — "a little bit."