I got to say … I winced.
Eric Levitz of all people makes a strong argument.
“Donald Trump believes that tailoring U.S. tax policy to the preferences of the American people — rather than to those of multinational corporations and their lobbyists — constitutes a “globalist betrayal” of the United States and an act of “economic surrender” to “special interests” and their lobbyists. Or so the former president’s Orwellian denunciation of Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan would suggest.
On Wednesday, the White House unveiled its plan to rebuild the U.S. economy on corporate America’s dime. Specifically, the administration outlined $2 trillion of investments in infrastructure, green technology, and eldercare, along with an array of taxes on wealthy Americans and corporations — among them, an increase in the corporate tax rate from 21 to 28 percent and an increase in the minimum rate that U.S. corporations must pay on profits earned abroad from 10.5 percent to 21 percent. In the plan, Biden also vows to strong-arm weaker nations into raising their own corporate tax rates to a new global minimum level. In the view of Gabriel Zucman, a UC Berkeley economist and leading expert on tax evasion, if Biden’s plan is enacted, “the development model of tax havens collapses.”
At first brush, this might look like a patriotic, populist policy. After all, the proposal effectively takes money away from corporate shareholders (a disproportionately elite, cosmopolitan, and coastal-dwelling population) and U.S. firms that make a lot of money overseas and spends it on creating jobs and improving public works throughout the American heartland. What’s more, while the package’s tax provisions are opposed by the Chamber of Commerce, they enjoy majority support among the American public. In other words: Biden’s plan seems like a policy that prioritizes the interests of the median American over those of global capital. One might even say that it puts “America first.”
Alas, Donald Trump regrets to inform us, this couldn’t be further from the truth. As the billionaire wrote in a statement Wednesday:
“Biden’s ludicrous multi-trillion dollar tax hike is a strategy for total economic surrender … Under Biden’s plan, if you create jobs in America, and hire American workers, you will pay MORE in taxes — but if you close down your factories in Ohio and Michigan, fire U.S. workers, and move all your production to Beijing and Shanghai, you will pay LESS. It is the exact OPPOSITE of putting America First — it is putting America LAST! …
This tax hike is a classic globalist betrayal by Joe Biden and his friends: the lobbyists will win, the special interests will win, China will win, the Washington politicians and government bureaucrats will win — but hardworking American families will lose.”
I can’t speak with expert authority on how the tax provisions in Biden’s proposal would impact corporate offshoring. But Trump provides exactly zero evidence for his claims. And there are many reasons not to take his word on this subject (or any other).
For one thing, Biden is merely proposing to bring America’s corporate tax rate halfway back to where it was in 2017. …”
What exactly is being proposed here?
Raising taxes on +$400,000 households?
Raising the corporate tax rate halfway back to what it was in 2017?
Raising the global minimum corporate tax rate on profits earned abroad?
Let’s be clear … this is pretty mild stuff.
They’re not even doing what Obama and Hillary wanted which was to raise taxes on people who make more than $250,000 a year. They’re not even getting rid of the Trump tax cuts. They’re not bringing the corporate tax rate back to what it was under Trump. They’re not raising the capital gains tax or doing a wealth tax. The latest news is that Joe doesn’t want to revive the SALT deduction. Instead, Joe wants to raise taxes on corporate profits made overseas, which is to say, he is taxing globalism.
Neither Tucker or Levitz is being completely honest here. Joe isn’t really taxing all of those wealthy cosmopolitan elites and it will be painful for him to say no on the SALT deduction. Joe isn’t taxing Wall Street. At the same time, he isn’t raising taxes on the working class and lower middle class either. He isn’t even raising taxes on the upper middle class to pay for his infrastructure plan!
As I said earlier today, it seems like a big spending spree that isn’t really being financed like it should be. We should build actual infrastructure. We should also pay for it by taxing Wall Street and ultra millionaires. The bottom line here though is that we gave the White House to Donald Trump and Congress to the Republicans and a mandate to pass an infrastructure bill in 2017 … and it went nowhere.
Democrats are currently boasting about how lucky they are that the Republicans didn’t pass a big infrastructure bill when they had the chance to do so. They also got lucky that Mitch McConnell held the line on the $600 stimulus check which is the reason why all of this is happening.