Commentary By C. Douglas Golden | September 29, 2021
President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” agenda is supposed to tax the wealthy to help the middle class. If you don’t believe me, just ask Biden, who’s more than willing to tell you about it on his Twitter account.
To be fair, I’m assuming the messages aren’t written by Biden himself, a man who seems like his relationship with technology involves yelling at his phone, either asking Siri to find his slippers or telling Scotty to beam him up. However, whoever tweets for him stays on message when it comes to the president’s tax-and-spend plan.
“We’re going to pass a historic middle class tax cut — and we’ll do it by making those at the top pay their fair share,” one tweet from Sunday read. “I know the crowd on Park Ave might not like it, but it’s time we give people in towns like Scranton — the folks I grew up with — a break for a change.”
“From health care to child care, my Build Back Better Agenda will lower everyday costs for middle class Americans,” a tweet from this Monday read.
“I’m not looking to punish anyone, I just think it’s only fair that the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share once again. Then, we’ll use that money to invest in the middle class,” a tweet from last week reads.
“For me it’s pretty simple: It’s about time working people got the tax breaks in this country,” a tweet from the day before that read. “That’s the Build Back Better Agenda.”
If someone has to repeat themselves this much, it’s usually because they’re lying — and, lo and behold, the Joint Committee on Taxation seems to have confirmed that.
According to a media release from the Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday, the Joint Committee on Taxation — a non-partisan congressional tax scorekeeper — found that almost every income level below the threshold the Biden administration said would be immune would take a hit.
Furthermore, the committee’s analysis found the vast majority of taxpayers would see no benefit from the plan in its current form.
According to the analysis, by the calendar year 2023, nearly 5 percent of those making between $40,000 and $50,000 would see a tax increase. Nine percent of those making between $50,000 and $75,000 would see an increase, 18 percent earning between $75,000 and $100,000 would see their taxes go up and 35 percent of those earning between $100,000 and $200,000 would be subject to a hike.
The media release also noted that the benefit most people see will pretty much be nil.
In 2023, two-thirds of all taxpayers won’t get see any kind of real benefit from the legislation, either seeing their tax bill changed by less than $100 or getting a tax increase.
By 2027, this number would balloon to 85.5 percent, with huge swaths of the middle class seeing a sizable tax increase; these numbers are projected to stay mostly steady until 2031.
Meanwhile, the Joint Committee on Taxation also found that hiking corporate taxes would hit middle-class Americans hard, too.
“Within 10 years of a corporate tax increase from 21 percent to 25 percent, 66.3 percent of the corporate tax burden would be borne by lower- and middle-income taxpayers with income well below $500,000,” an August media release from the Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee read.
“This statistic becomes only more striking in absolute number of taxpayers. Of the more than 172 million taxpayers who would bear the burden of the increased corporate tax rate, 98.4 percent, or about 169 million, have incomes under $500,000.”
Of course, the charge from the left would be that this doesn’t take into account what the spending these tax hikes will pay for is going to buy for the middle class. Beyond the fact these “investments” never bring back the kind of returns that are promised, Biden promised a middle-class tax cut. At least in the plan’s current form, it doesn’t look like it’ll end up delivering — no matter what the president says.
Do you know who did lower taxes on the middle class? Former President Donald Trump.
Joe Biden may have spent much of the campaign whining about Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which slashed taxes across the board. Most of the outrage focused on the fact he didn’t soak the rich: “Tax experts estimate that over the long run, 83% of Trump’s tax giveaway will flow to the top 1% of earners in this country,” Biden’s campaign website read.
And yet, in March of 2020, MarketWatch reported that “Americans paid almost $64 billion less in federal income taxes during the first year under the Republican tax overhaul signed into law in late 2017 by President Donald Trump, with some of the sharpest drops clustered among taxpayers earning between $25,000 and $100,000 a year, even as the overall number of refunds dropped during a turbulent tax season” in 2019.
Biden plans on taking that away. In return, he’s offered nothing of substance — except, as promised, he’s soaking the rich. And the upper-middle class. And some people in the middle class, too. But mainly the rich. See, priorities!
Biden may not be giving people in towns like Scranton — the folks he grew up with — a break the same way Trump did. But at least they can watch as his administration takes (and then squanders) Park Avenue’s money. He’ll be squandering Scranton’s money, too, but at least they get the joy of class-based schadenfreude out of the deal.
C. Douglas Golden, Contributor
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he’s written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.