President Joe Biden wants to raise taxes on both wealthy individuals and major corporations, but Congressional Democrats are increasingly “skeptical” of hiking taxes, and many of Biden’s closest Democratic allies are now worried his ambitious first-term agenda is “dangling by a thread,” dependent on a slim majority in the Senate and the health of a sitting Supreme Court justice.
The White House announced an ambitious, two-part “infrastructure” plan in the president’s joint address to Congress in late April, paving the way for a massive expansion of government, a massive increase in spending, and a correlating massive tax hike targeting individuals making just under half a million dollars, investors who see benefits from capital gains, and multi-national corporations that moved operations back to the United States under the Trump administration.
Last week, The Daily Wire reported that some Democrats were privately huddling with Republicans, strategizing on how to break the Biden infrastructure plan into palatable pieces, beginning with a bill that would focus directly on physical infrastructure improvements and followed by a more family-focused legislative package.
This week, The Washington Post and The New York Times both note that Democrats are now increasingly concerned about Biden’s tax hike plans as well, especially when paired with Democrats’ plan to repeal the SALT (State and Local Taxes) deduction cap, which would allow wealthy, mostly blue-state residents to deduct more of their state and local taxes from their federal income tax.
“Pockets of skepticism have emerged within Biden’s party over White House plans to raise the corporate tax rate, revamp the international tax system and double tax rates on wealthy investors, among other measures critical to the administration’s plans,” the Post reported. “The party faces regional divides over taxes as well, with farm-state Democrats skittish about taxes on heirs and coastal Democrats demanding the repeal of limits on state and local tax deductions, which would amount to an expensive tax cut that would require higher taxes elsewhere.”
Moderate Democrats are opposed to the corporate tax hike, particularly, and Republicans have said they plan to refuse “virtually all of the more than $3 trillion in tax hikes Biden has proposed,” leaving Democrats dependent on the support of “virtually every member of their caucus to support the measure.”
Democrats fear the tax hikes could impair their chances at maintaining both houses of Congress in the mid-year elections, and with good reason, according to The New York Times.
“In a narrowly divided Congress, an illness or a death could upend the balance of power and threaten an ambitious agenda,” the outlet reported Tuesday.
“Our ability to make good on Biden’s agenda is pretty much dangling by a thread,” Democratic strategist Brian Fallon told the paper. “I don’t think it’s uncouth to talk about it. I think it’s a reality that has to inform the urgency with which we approach those issues.”
“In the most extreme case, deaths could end Democrats’ ability to pass legislation without Republican support — or even flip control of either chamber. That’s more likely in the evenly divided Senate, where a single Democratic vacancy could hand Republicans committee gavels and the power to schedule votes until a Democratic successor was appointed or elected,” the Times noted, adding that even an illness could upend the balance of power.