I hope that no one mistakes that statement by Manchin as something remotely progressive. It isn't. Voters overwhelmingly want the rich to pay their fair share. Look at these two polls, one from Data for Progress and the second from Morning Consult/Politico.
Manchin's ploy is to expand the amount collected by Social Security by raising the cap from $147,000 to $400,000. The way it works now is that the first $147,000 of income gets taxed by the Social Security system. Under Manchin's position it wouldn't be the first $147,000; it would be the first $400,000. Really? What about the second and third and tenth and 100th $400,000? Why not eliminate the cap? All of poor people's income gets taxed. All of the middle class' income gets taxed. Why not the millionaires and billionaires?
That's the progressive and populist position. Manchin's position is a ploy to prevent that. Like everything he does, it's pure bullshit.
Today the Patriotic Millionaires sent out an e-mail: We Have A Billionaire Problem.
Over the last two years of the pandemic, billionaires had a financial field day. As we previously reported, the world’s ten richest men doubled their collective fortunes-- from $700 billion to $1.5 trillion-- at the same time that incomes for 99% of humanity fell. America’s 740 billionaires also increased their combined wealth by no less than $2 trillion over the same period.
This week, the ultra-rich are making headlines for how they’ve gone about spending the billions that they’ve made over the pandemic. Many of them have purchased superyachts, driving sales for the mega-ships to record-highs in 2021. Jeff Bezos, the world’s most notorious superyacht customer, has a new ship, Y721, that is so large that a historic bridge in the Netherlands will have to be temporarily dismantled in order to let it pass.
But billionaires aren’t just buying yachts-- they’re buying politicians as well. Billionaires have spent generously this cycle, particularly through SuperPACS, in hopes of shaping future legislation. Politicians like Senators Manchin and Sinema may not be up for re-election, but they have nonetheless attracted billionaire backing by successfully roadblocking President Biden’s legislative agenda.
We’ve got a billionaire problem. It’s frankly disturbing to see that while millions needlessly suffer from hunger, disease, environmental devastation, and more, billionaires can waste their endless wealth on superyachts and rigging our democracy. And don’t forget, most of these people pay almost nothing in taxes (we’re sure their support for Sinema and Manchin has nothing to do with their desire to keep those tax rates low).
...Billionaires are the reason Build Back Better has stalled by Douglas Rooks
In this piece, Douglas Rooks contends that the reason why President Biden’s Build Back Better Act has failed to pass is because it raises taxes on the rich. Other budget bills like the CARES Act, the American Rescue Plan, and the bipartisan infrastructure bill all passed with support from all 50 Senate Democrats. The difference between these bills and the Build Back Better Act is that the latter is fully paid for by increased taxes on the wealthy and corporations. The excuses that Senators Manchin and Sinema have respectively deployed for their opposition to the Build Back Better agenda simply don’t add up. What does make sense is that their billionaire donors wouldn’t like having to pay their fair share in taxes because of the bill.
And, by the way, last year Hawai'i progressive Senator Brian Schatz re-introduced a bill, The Safeguarding American Families and Expanding Social Security Act that would increase benefits by more than $115 per month, ensure the cost of living adjustments adequately reflect the living expenses of retirees and extend the life of the trust fund by removing the wage cap to make sure all Americans contribute equally. That's precisely what Manchin's owners fear.