Centrist Democrats are pushing to raise taxes on the rich to pay for a large infrastructure package while Republicans want to give the top 0.1% another tax cut as well, Politico reports.
President Joe Biden has vowed for months to introduce a massive infrastructure bill but centrist Democrats wary of deficit spending after passing a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package say it needs to be paid for in tax hikes.
“At some point we’ve got to start paying for things,” Maine Sen. Angus King told Politico. “It’s got to be paid for. It’s just a question of who pays. Are we going to pay or our kids going to pay?”
House Budget Chairman John Yarmuth agreed that at least some of the package would be paid for, but argued that it was unlikely revenue increases would cover the total cost.
“I think that’s unrealistic, given what everyone assumes the size of this is going to be,” he told the outlet.
GOP pushes estate tax repeal:
On the other side of the aisle, Republicans led by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are pushing a full-scale repeal of the estate tax, which only applies to inheritances on estates worth more than $22 million -- meaning only the wealthiest of the wealthy would receive a tax break.
The legislation is co-sponsored by half of the Senate Republican caucus.
Sen. John Kennedy, one of the bill’s lead sponsors, claimed that the tax is “lethal to many family-run businesses and farms,” even though it only applies to a couple thousand people each year with massive net worths.
“Family-owned farms and ranches, like those in South Dakota, can bear the brunt of this tax, which oftentimes makes it difficult and costly to pass these businesses down to future generations,” claimed fellow sponsor John Thune, even though no farmer is hit with the estate tax unless his farm is worth well into eight figures.
Bernie accuses GOP of hypocrisy:
Senate Budget Chairman Bernie Sanders accused the GOP of hypocrisy after every Republican in the Senate voted against the coronavirus relief bill.
"While Senate Republicans told us we cannot afford to provide $1,400 direct payments to the working class," Sanders said Thursday, "they had no problem introducing a bill this week to repeal the estate tax which would provide a $1.7 trillion tax break to the billionaire class. Total hypocrisy!"
“Repealing it would provide a $1.7 trillion tax break to the billionaire class and a ZERO.ZERO tax break to the bottom 99.99% of Americans,” added top Sanders aide Warren Gunnels. “Not a single family farm owed an estate tax according to the latest data. Not a single one.”