It’s easy to tell when it’s an election year: If the political mudslinging doesn’t provide a clue, then the agenda reversals should do the trick. And this, folks, is definitely a presidential election year like none other. True to form, the Democrats have flip-flopped on one of their main talking points: doing away with President Donald Trump’s tax initiatives.
Senate Democrats had implied they were going to reverse Trump’s taxes, and quickly, but now they will delay if Joe Biden is elected and the party controls the House and Senate. Their focus has switched to raising wages and climate control, with stimulus bills that could include tax incentives for green technology. They still haven’t taken their eyes off a wealth tax but are prudently tabling that until a later date. Apparently, the president’s tax plans aren’t as evil as the Dems proclaimed.
The real reason behind the about-face has more to do with the election and seeking voter approval than anything else. Talk of raising taxes is never a good strategy when running for office, and especially not during a pandemic that has crippled the nation’s economy (which lately is starting to bounce back) and when so many Americans have been left without jobs and have lost businesses.
The Dems are also divided on just how to tax the wealthy and the corporations. “I think we ought to make the decision when we have a better sense of where the economy is going,” said Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and who wins the election, of course. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) put the focus on the virus, saying:
“We have so much on our plate. We’ve got to deal with COVID and testing. We need to put in place a whole thing to get our arms around the virus and a recovery act. I’m sure a tax piece will be in there somewhere, but No. 1 priority will be COVID.”
However, some diehard Dems still want to push higher taxes on the rich. Charles Chamberlain, the executive director of Democracy for America, said it would be a “terrible idea” to wait to tax millionaires:
“Over the course of the pandemic, we’ve seen billionaires make $600 billion since March while the minimum wage hasn’t been raised in over 10 years. I think the billionaires and millionaires, they have benefited from the [Trump] tax cuts and many of them have benefited from the pandemic itself.”
Biden’s tax plans would raise the tax rate from 37% to 39.6% for individuals. For corporations, he proposes a tax rate change from 21% to 28%. If elected, the former vice president promised to make the corporate tax changes “on day one.” Whether that is a good move during campaign time, we will just have to wait and see.
Still, it’s politics over people as usual, and even more so during a presidential election when promises are made (and rarely kept), opponents are verbally slashed to ribbons, and ideals and platforms are like a current, changing with every whisper of a breeze.
Read more from Kelli Ballard.