Since Joe Biden took office nearly two months ago, Republicans and their associates in conservative media have struggled to come up with ways to attack him 24 hours a day, seven days a week. While the GOP was certainly unenthused about the $1.9 trillion relief bill the president signed last Thursday—because it treats poor people like humans—the legislation didn’t animate them in the same way as, say, attacking Obamacare for almost a decade, or devoting weeks to the alleged cancelation of Dr. Seuss and a rape-y, French, animated skunk. Luckily for both Fox News and lawmakers who think they were elected to scream “socialism” all day long, they may have a fresh target to rally around soon.
Bloomberg reports that Biden is planning “the first major federal tax hike since 1993” in order to fund a long-term economic program designed to be the follow-up to his COVID relief bill. Whereas the bill passed last week relied solely on government debt, the next one will likely include a tax increase on both individuals and corporations, the latter of which the GOP famously regards as people. According to reporters Nancy Cook and Laura Davison, the proposals currently planned or under consideration include but are not limited to:
- Increasing the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%
- Reducing tax preferences for pass-through businesses, which became a major windfall for the wealthy under Donald Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
- A higher capital gains tax rate for individuals who make a minimum of $1 million a year
- An expansion of the estate tax’s reach
- Raising the tax rate on individuals earning more than $400,000
For Biden, these moves would not just help pay for important initiatives like dealing with climate change and developing infrastructure, but, per Bloomberg, “address what Democrats argue are inequities in the tax system itself.” For Republicans, they’ll no doubt be dubbed an assault on democracy and a short trip to America becoming the socialist hellhole Trump warned everyone about. Last month, Kevin Brady, the top Republican on the House Ways & Means Committee, said, “There seems to a be a real drive to tax investment of capital gains at marginal income rates,” calling that a “terrible economic mistake.” On Monday, former Fox Business host Trish Regan—booted from the network last March after calling the coronavirus a conspiracy designed to take Trump down—warned, “Get ready, America. The socialists have taken over.” Conservative columnist Ken Blackwell tweeted, “A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have,” a quote often falsely attributed to Thomas Jefferson. Known crackpot Randy Quaid wrote: “So Biden is planning to raise taxes to the highest level in 28 years to pay for Pelosi’s 1.9 trillion favors to her friends. No wonder she needs that razor fence around the Capitol. Our money’s on the other side of it.”
The measures, which would likely go into effect in 2022, mirror many of the tax proposals Biden put forward on the campaign trail, which the Tax Policy Center estimated would raise roughly $2.1 trillion over a decade. (The actual program has not yet been revealed, but analysts generally except it to range between $2 trillion and $4 trillion.) To get it passed under regular Senate rules, Democrats would need the support of at least 10 Republicans, an extremely heavy lift given the GOP’s historic feelings about tax hikes (which is that they’re the devil incarnate).