Democrats Dropped Billionaire Tax But Push Surtax on Millionaires

Democrats plan to push for a surtax on millionaires after pushback over a plan to tax unrealized gains by billionaires, Bloomberg reports.

Senate Finance Chairman Ron Wyden last week introduced a bill to tax unrealized investment gains by about 700 billionaires and top earners who make over $100 million per year to pay for some of President Joe Biden’s spending plan after Sen. Kyrsten Sinema killed a proposal to roll back some of the Trump tax cuts on big corporations and the wealthy.

But the plan ran into opposition in the House and from Sen. Joe Manchin.

“People in the stratosphere, rather than trying to penalize them, we ought to be pleased this country is able to produce the wealth,” Manchin said last week. “But with that, there’s a patriotic duty that you should be paying something to this great country to give you the protection and the support and the opportunities. . . . Everyone should pay their fair share.”

Millionaire surtax:

A new framework released by the White House last week includes a surtax on millionaires.

The proposal would apply a 5% surtax on incomes over $10 million per year and an additional 3% on incomes over $25 million.

The plan also includes a 15% corporate minimum tax that would apply to corporations that make over $1 billion in annual revenue.

But House Ways and Means Chairman Richie Neal suggested that the surtax may still need to be more limited to win over some holdouts.

Wyden pushes back:

Wyden pushed back on Neal’s criticism.

“Not a single senator has come close to saying, ‘I think it’s OK that billionaires continue to pay little or nothing in taxes for years on end,” Wyden said. “Last time I looked, the United States Senate has a say, too. And so we are continuing to work with members.”

But Manchin knocked Wyden’s proposal as “convoluted” and Neal questioned whether it would be held up by courts.


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