While far-right Republicans continue threatening to blow up the global economy unless Congress makes cuts to popular social programs, progressive taxation experts are celebrating U.S. President Joe Biden's latest push to invest in "widespread prosperity" by raising taxes on wealthy individuals and corporations.
As part of his fiscal year 2024 budget blueprint unveiled Thursday, Biden calls for a 25% minimum tax on the wealthiest 0.01%; reforms to ensure high-income individuals pay their fair share into the Medicare Hospital Insurance trust fund; and repealing 2017 tax cuts and restoring the top tax rate of 39.6% for people making over $400,000 a year.
Along with pushing for raising the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%—which is still far below the 35% rate that was in place prior to Republicans' 2017 tax overhaul—the president advocates expanding the child tax credit while eliminating tax subsidies for cryptocurrency transactions, fossil fuel companies, and real estate.
Biden also "proposes to reform the international tax system to reduce the incentives to book profits in low-tax jurisdictions, stop corporate inversions to tax havens, and raise the tax rate on U.S. multinationals' foreign earnings from 10.5% to 21%," according to a White House fact sheet.
Although many of these proposals are unlikely to go anywhere due to the GOP-controlled U.S. House and divided Senate, Groundwork Collaborative executive director Lindsay Owens said Friday that "it's great to see President Biden leading the charge to increase taxes on billionaires, crack down on stock buybacks by massive corporations, and prevent the wealthiest Americans from cheating on their taxes and avoiding paying what they owe."
"The tax policies laid out in this budget are fair, popular, and long overdue," she declared. "The next time someone claims that we can't afford to protect Social Security and Medicare for future generations—or that we need to cut popular investments in education, healthcare, housing, or clean energy—show them President Bident's latest budget proposal and ask them why they care so much about protecting the ultrawealthy from paying their fair share."
According to Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy executive director Amy Hanauer, "President Biden's budget proposal presents a bold vision for what tax justice should look like in America."
"The provisions would raise substantial revenue, fund important priorities, and increase tax fairness," she stressed. "The revenue raisers are laser-focused on taxing very wealthy individuals and corporations, and the budget would reduce the deficit while easing costs for American families, particularly for middle and low-income parents."
Americans for Tax Fairness executive director Frank Clemente asserted Thursday that "President Biden's budget plainly shows whose side he's on: working families struggling with the high cost of healthcare, childcare, housing and more—not the wealthy elite and their big corporations rolling in dough and dodging their fair share of taxes."
"Republicans have already made clear they're on the side of the 1 Percenters and big corporations by trying to shield rich tax cheats and endangering Social Security and Medicare with deficit-busting tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations," Clemente added. "The contrast couldn't be sharper."
As Common Dreams reported earlier Friday, the House Freedom Caucus said its 45 members would "consider voting" to raise the U.S. debt limit if their colleagues in Congress abandon some of Biden's key economic priorities, slash hundreds of billions of dollars in social spending, and restrict federal agencies' future budgets.
Responding on Twitter, Biden said that "extreme MAGA House Republicans are showing us what they value: tax breaks for the rich."