For those who aren’t policy wonks—and who somehow can’t decide whether Joe Biden is a compassionate family man or a rapacious baby’s blood aficionado—it can be difficult to suss out the real benefits of Biden’s recent economic proposals. Luckily, new analysis from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) spells out the pluses (for the vast majority of Americans) and the minor minuses (for the ultra-wealthy) pretty clearly.
Remember when Donald Trump was ceaselessly promoting his 2017 tax scam? At one rally, he stood smugly—his sweat glands hissing and churning like berserk wolverines caught on jumbo glue traps—and lied his arse off about who would benefit from his plan.
“We’re targeting relief to working families,” the fake Santy Claus lied. “We will make sure benefits are focused on the middle class, the working men and women, not the highest-income earners.”
Trump even personalized his message, insisting, “It’s not good for me, believe me.” Needless to say, those were lies—and brazen ones at that.
Trump’s vague articulation that he’s protecting the non-rich but not the rich is not borne out by the details. “The wealthy get a tax cut,” our Heather Long writes. “They will pay only 35 percent on their income taxes (down from 39.6 percent). At the moment, this rate applies to any income above about $418,000.” If you make $1,000,000, in other words, you’ll save about $27,700 a year in taxes. What’s more, business gets a significant cut, which obviously benefits Trump through the Trump Organization (which still puts money in his pocket).
This was obvious—to us, anyway. Trump, who campaigned as a populist, slyly placed his Lilliputian thumb on the scales to benefit him and his rich cronies, while simultaneously insisting he was doing the exact opposite. Why? Because he’s a fucking sociopath, that’s why.
Yes, lower-income people generally did get a tax cut, but the lion’s share of the benefits went to the already wealthy. This has always been the Republican strategy, of course: Cut taxes significantly for the wealthy and throw crumbs to everyone else, while shrinking government programs that actually help those desperate crumb-seekers. But Trump went out of his way to pretend his tax reform bill was focused on helping the little guy, which it wasn’t. Unless you specifically mean Barron Trump, who’s actually a giant now.
Of course, Trump fans aren’t likely to believe any of this—unless they can see and feel it in their own lives. And that’s just what President Biden is hoping to accomplish with his American Families Plan.
And it’s no wonder Republicans want to have nothing to do with the Biden plan, because it has the potential to forever pull the curtain back on the party’s sausage-making. And by “sausage” I mean horrible, plutocrat-friendly legislation, not Ted Cruz’s line of Spicy Zodiac Chorizo Links.
Now that we’re starting to see more details from Biden’s plan, it’s becoming more and more clear that this is actually the sort of middle-class-supporting plan that Trump only pretended to embrace. A new study from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy shows that Biden’s tax proposals—which he’s insisted all along would overwhelmingly target wealthy taxpayers—would actually (surprise, surprise!) do exactly that. Go figure.
“The vast, vast majority of the population will not see any tax increases,” Steve Wamhoff, director of federal tax policy at the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy and co-author of the report, told Yahoo Money. “This plan would really just ask the people who’ve been very, very successful and have done very well throughout recessions and pandemics… ask those lucky few to pay more.”
These Americans would see their tax bill increase by $159,000 on average in 2022 because of Biden’s main proposals to increase the capital gains rate and raise the top income tax rate, according to the analysis by ITEP. By contrast, the bottom 95% of taxpayers would see no change to their tax bill in 2022 if the proposals are implemented.
There’s the kicker: “By contrast, the bottom 95% of taxpayers would see no change to their tax bill in 2022 …”
Also significant? Yahoo! notes that folks in red states will generally be less burdened by these laser-focused tax hikes than taxpayers in some of the wealthier blue states—because Joe Biden isn’t a vindictive prick who wants to punish and humiliate everyone who didn’t vote for him.
A higher share of residents in New Jersey, Massachusetts, New York, California, and Connecticut would shoulder the tax burden, with just above 1% of each state’s population potentially seeing a tax increase if Biden’s plans are enacted.
Residents in states including Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, West Virginia, are the least likely to see a tax increase under Biden’s proposals. Just 0.3% or fewer people in those states face a potential tax hike in 2022, the analysis found.
In addition, Biden proposes stricter IRS oversight of wealthy taxpayers—and only wealthy taxpayers.
So that’s the tax portion of Biden’s planned paradigm shift. What do the poor and middle class get out of the bargain? Holy shit, what don’t they get? Just look at the American Families Plan, as summarized by ITEP:
“In addition to the groundbreaking education and childcare improvements, the American Family Plan makes the Child Tax Credit available to nearly all children, correcting a past inequity and dramatically slashing child poverty. It also increases the size of that credit until 2025 and boosts the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit, while unfortunately leaving children who lack social security numbers out of the CTC. The tax credit expansions will relieve poverty and dramatically improve the lives of children and parents, particularly for those who struggle financially.
And then there are the long-term investments detailed in Biden’s infrastructure plan, which will create thousands of blue collar jobs and prepare us all for a green energy future.
In other words, bigly wins for regular Americans. But you won’t hear that from Republicans, who have finally moved on glom on to Dr. Seuss and Mr. Potato Head long enough to whine about the deficit they recently blew up like a beached Oregon whale.
You see, deficit spending is only a “socialist” move when poor people benefit. When the rich sit on their hulking dragon hoards, while struggling single mothers are forced to choose between clothing, food, or medicine, it’s called “patriotism.”
No longer: If Biden passes his ambitious spending packages, Republicans will have to come up with even sillier diversions than Mr. Potato Head’s hollow genderless cranium. Otherwise, their dwindling base might actually start to notice they’ve been had.
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