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The Inadequate Tax Proposals From House Ways And Means


You can't just blame the Republicans-- status quo Democrats never stand and fight on economic issues

There are 24 Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee, mostly supporters of the status quo, including 5 full-blown reactionaries-- Ron Kind (New Dem-WI), Terri Sewell (New Dem-AL), Suzan DeBene (New Dem-WA), Jimmy Panetta (New Dem-CA) and Stephanie Murphy (Blue Dog-FL)-- corrupt conservatives who frequently side with the committee's 18 crackpot Republicans. This morning the committee released part of their disappointing legislation to raise taxes-- a little, and certainly not enough to pay for Biden's and Bernie's $3.5 trillion reconciliation projects. The corporate tax rate would go from 21% to 26.5%, less than Biden's already sickeningly low 28% proposal. Until 1942, the top corporate tax rate had been 53%. It was pushed down to 38%-- where it stayed, more or less, until conservative in Congress allowed Trump to cut back to 21%. It should certainly be up around 38% at the least, but Committee Chair Richie Neal and the Democratic leadership prefers the abysmally small 26.5% number.


If the their proposal doesn't get further slashed by the paid-off Blue Dogs in the House and by Manchin/Sinema/Warner in the Senate, the top capital gains rate would go from 20% to 25%, while the the top individual tax rate goes from 37% to 39.6% with a laughable 3% surtax on individuals' income above $5 million. (That's $5 million in annual income, not in net worth and that's 3% not 30%.)


Neal bullshitted his way through a statement, claiming, falsely, that "Our proposals allow us to both address our perilously changing climate [a HUGE, blatant and absurd lie] and create new, good jobs [andother lie], all while strengthening the economy and reinvigorating local communities [two more lies]. We seek to help families better afford essentials with the continuation of the expanded Child Tax Credit and investments that will lower the cost of prescriptions and health insurance premiums. And we can do all this while responsibly funding our plans." This would be funny if it wasn't so tragic.


Naomi Jagoda reported this morning that "Democrats are proposing to replace the current flat corporate rate of 21 percent with a graduated corporate rate structure. The first $400,000 in corporate income would be taxed at 18 percent, income between $400,000 and $5 million would be taxed at 21 percent, and income above $5 million would be taxed at 26.5 percent. On capital gains, House Democrats' proposed rate increase to 25 percent is a substantially smaller rate hike than Biden's proposal to tax capital gains at the same rates as ordinary income. The Ways and Means Committee's bill also does not propose to tax capital gains at death, an idea that is supported by Biden and some Democratic lawmakers but has drawn criticism from Democrats representing rural areas. However, the committee does propose changes to the estate tax... Additionally, it would provide the IRS with nearly $80 billion in order for the agency to bolster tax enforcement activities and update its information technology."


So we have conservatives-- called "moderates" in the media-- screaming that they won't agree to Biden's social infrastructure bill unless it's fully paid for while they scream from the other side of their mouths that they won't support reasonable tax increases on their wealthy contributors. This has been the problem from day one-- and why I laugh at my friends who mouth nonsense about how "any blue will do" or who subscribe to the DCCC/DSCC lesser-of-two evils strategy as a way to get two-legged garbage like Joe Manchin, Josh Gottheimer, Kyrsten Sinema, Henry Cuellar, Kurt Schrader reelected-- and why we see the big pushes now for crap primary candidates like Conor Lamb and Val Arkoosh in Pennsylvania, Alex Lasry and Sarah Godlweski in Wisconsin, Abby Finkenauer in Iowa (a Kyrsten Sinema political clone), Jeff Jackson and Cheri Beasley in North Carolina, Val Demings in Florida, and Tim Ryan in Ohio.


Last night Patriotic Millionaires leaders Erica Payne and Morris Pearl released a statement castigating the House Ways and Means Committee that reads, in part, "America’s billionaires are popping champagne tonight as the House Ways and Means Committee-- led by Chair Richie Neal-- fails the President, fails the country, and fails history...They failed. It’s that simple. This is not what the American people voted for when they elected Joe Biden as President."


In their proposed “pay fors,” the Committee both refused to end the preferential treatment the rich receive in the tax code and refused to fully fund the President’s Agenda, choosing instead to maintain even some of the code’s most egregious tax loopholes like the stepped-up basis, a tax giveaway to America’s wealthiest families, and the carried interest loophole, which allows fund managers to pretend they are investors with regard to taxes.
If this proposal becomes law, working people in America will continue to pay almost twice the tax rate of millionaire investors, heirs to billionaires will continue to inherit enormous amounts of money and property tax-free, and the concentration of wealth and power will continue until this country becomes what it is already fast approaching, a feudal aristocracy. And because the House Ways and Means Committee refuses to stand up to the 55 profitable multinational companies that paid no federal income tax last year, corporations will continue to play international shell games with their profits while moving American jobs overseas.”

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