Sen. Joe Manchin III expressed skepticism on Tuesday about President Biden’s plan for a 20% minimum tax on households worth more than $100 million.
Mr. Manchin, West Virginia Democrat, said it was a “tough one” to support, and it would prove difficult to implement.
You can’t be taxed “on things you don’t have,” he said. “You might have it on paper. There are other ways for people to pay their fair share, and I think everyone should pay.”
The criticism is echoed by Republican and other tax hike opponents.
Mr. Biden wants wealthy individuals to pay taxes on assets, including stocks and real estate. It would be a significant reorienting of the tax code. Currently, individuals only pay a tax, known as capital gains, when they sell an asset.
“Biden‘s tax on unrealized gains would empower the IRS, encourage taxpayers to move assets overseas, and could grow to hit millions of Americans over time,” said Grover Norquist, the president of the low-tax group Americans for Tax Reform. “It would harm the economy, impose retroactive taxation, and has failed everywhere it has been tried.”
The White House says the “billionaires tax” will raise more than $360 billion in new revenue over the next decade by only targeting the wealthiest 20,000 households.
“A firefighter and a teacher pay more than double the tax rate that a billionaire pays. That’s not right,” Mr. Biden said when introducing the new tax as part of his 2023 budget.
The budget has virtually no chance of becoming law, as has been the case for every budget rolled out by presidents in recent years. However, it’s a marker for Mr. Biden’s policy goals and the idea of a wealth tax or billionaires tax resonates with the leftwing of the Democratic Party.
Mr. Manchin’s unease does not bode well for the plan given the difficulty in getting Democrats’ priorities through a Senate that’s split 50-50 between the two parties.
• Haris Alic can be reached at email@example.com.
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