Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Biden visits Illinois college to push investment as tax battle builds By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the administration’s coronavirus disease (COVID-19) response and the vaccination program from the Eisenhower Executive Office Building’s South Court Auditorium at the White House in Washington U.S.,

By Trevor Hunnicutt

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Joe Biden will make the case for spending trillions of dollars on U.S. infrastructure, paid for by higher taxes on corporations, at an Illinois community college on Wednesday, as opposition builds from U.S. business groups.

Biden’s focus will be on what the White House calls “human infrastructure” that did not make it into a $1.2 trillion bipartisan deal struck with Republicans.

The policies include tax rebates for parents, free preschool and community college, healthcare and clean energy subsidies as well as paid medical leave, financed by raising corporate taxes on U.S. companies.

Corporations currently supply less than 10% of U.S. tax revenue, down from nearly 40% in the 1940s.

The Biden administration’s bedrock economic argument is they and wealthy Americans are not paying their “fair share” to support research, education, infrastructure and workers in the world’s largest economy.

See a graphic of Biden’s proposed tax and spending overhaul and U.S. tax history. https://graphics.reuters.com/USA-BIDEN/INVESTMENTS/xlbvgkbxlvq

The International Monetary Fund projects 2021 U.S. growth at 7.0%, one of the strongest recoveries worldwide from the recession induced by the COVID-19 pandemic, if Biden’s plans are enacted.

Biden will speak at McHenry County College in Crystal Lake, Illinois, near Chicago. He will note that Illinois has 2,374 bridges and more than 6,200 miles of highways in need of repair and that one of every 10 people in the state lacks access to high speed internet.

Democrats hope that most of the proposals not in the bipartisan bill will pass under a budget mechanism that would require only a simple majority in the U.S. Congress, bypassing Republicans, who oppose any new corporate taxes.

Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday vowed a “hell of a fight for what this country ought to look like in the future” over the tax and spending issue.

U.S. business lobbying groups who backed the bipartisan plan are gearing up to fight https://www.reuters.com/legal/government/us-lobby-groups-write-battle-plan-beat-biden-tax-hikes-2021-07-06 looming corporate tax hikes, using the same argument they employed in 2017 to secure huge tax cuts from Republicans: higher corporate taxes equal fewer jobs.

“We don’t know what’s in that package,” Rachelle Bernstein, chief tax counsel for a retail lobby group, said of the Democrats’ bill. “But we don’t think it is good to use a corporate tax increase to finance spending.”

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