If there’s been one consistent talking point that President Joe Biden and his allies have employed in pushing Build Back Better, it has been the promise that the wealthy would fund it by forcing them to pay their “fair share.”
“I think it’s about time we started giving tax breaks and tax credits to working-class families and middle-class families, instead of just the very wealthy,” Biden said while pitching his social spending proposal in May.
“I plan on giving tax breaks to the working-class folks and making everybody pay their fair share,” he added.
In September, he tweeted, “I’m sick and tired of the super-wealthy and giant corporations not paying their fair share in taxes. It’s time for it to change.”
I’m sick and tired of the super-wealthy and giant corporations not paying their fair share in taxes.
It’s time for it to change.
— President Biden (@POTUS) September 22, 2021
Well, it turns out the second-costliest item in Build Back Better is a tax break that benefits the wealthiest Americans, primarily in blue states.
The Washington Post reported the $285 billion tax cut would come in the form of increasing the amount people can deduct from their federal income tax bill, based on state and local income taxes paid.
These are known as SALT deductions.
The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed under former President Donald Trump set a SALT cap at $10,000 and the Democrats want to raise it to $80,000.
Who would benefit from this? People in high tax blue states like New York, New Jersey and California.
— Byron York (@ByronYork) November 17, 2021
The Tax Policy Center calculated that 94 percent of the tax break that would come from the new higher SALT cap would go to the top 20 percent of wage earners.
And broken down even further, the top 5 percent would get approximately 70 percent of the benefit.
Further, an analysis by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget determined a Washington, D.C., household of four “making $1 million per year will receive ten times as much from SALT cap relief as a middle-class family will receive from the child tax credit expansion” proposed in Build Back Better.
“We’re debating about whether to give lower- and middle-class families a thousand dollars more a year through the child tax credit, while giving upper-class families $10,000 or more through SALT,” Marc Goldwein, senior policy director at the CRFB, told the Post.
“That’s counter to everything the Democrats have been saying Build Back Better is about and everything they said about the Trump tax cuts.”
Democrats like Biden, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer constantly and falsely berated the Trump tax cuts as a giveaway to the rich, despite provisions like the SALT cap and generous tax breaks for lower- and middle-income families.
Here’s another Build Back Better kicker: Taxes will in fact go up for a significant number of middle-income families, contrary to Biden’s claim only the wealthy will pay.
In Scranton, Pennsylvania, last month, Biden said, “I guarantee you that no one making under $400,000 a year will see one single penny in tax go up. Not one.”
In fact, he described his plan as “a tax cut for working-class people.”
Biden: “The cost of the Build Back Better bill in terms of adding to the deficit is zero, zero, zero. Because we’re going to pay for it all.” pic.twitter.com/sRqBLeD6sA
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) October 20, 2021
The left-leaning Tax Policy Center determined “roughly 20 percent to 30 percent of middle-income households would pay more in taxes in 2022,” if Build Back Better became law.
The group estimated that the tax increase for low- and middle-income Americans would not be substantial — $100 or less per year. Those making $200,000 to $500,000 would pay an additional $230 per year.
That, of course, is an increase of more than a penny and certainly isn’t a tax cut.
With the U.S. already flooded with debt, spending unknown trillions to launch open-ended entitlement programs under Build Back Better has been an unappealing prospect from the outset.
And the more we learn, the less appealing, or more accurately, the less acceptable the legislation becomes.
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