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Report: Biden planning first major tax increase in three decades

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President Joe Biden is reportedly planning the first major federal tax increase in almost three decades to help bankroll the long-term economic program set up to follow his $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package he signed last week, unidentified people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg in a Monday report.

The reported plans would be the first major tax increase since President Bill Clinton‘s 1993 overhaul.

The tax hike proposals reportedly either under consideration or currently planned include: raising the corporate tax rate to 28% from 21%; raising the income tax rate on individuals making over $400,000; paring back tax preferences for pass-through businesses, such as limited-liability companies or partnerships; expanding the estate tax; and establishing a higher capital gains tax rate for people making at least $1 million annually.

On the campaign trail, Biden had said he would repeal former President Donald Trump‘s tax cuts on “day one” of his administration, though he has yet to follow through a little over 50 days after taking office. Since becoming president, much of his and Democrats’ attention have been on Trump’s second impeachment trial, COVID economic relief, Cabinet confirmations, among many other things.

Since Trump’s massive tax cuts were passed in 2017, something Republicans overwhelmingly consider a major achievement for the former president, the cuts have been the target of many Democrats’ ire, becoming a boogeyman of sorts for them. “[T]he worst bill in the history” of Congress, then-House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) labeled the tax legislation in late 2017.

Seeing how Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan faced massive hurdles posed by moderate senators in his own party, in a chamber the Democrats control by the slimmest of margins, there are signs that a tax hike would face a rocky road to passage.

MORE ON COVID RELIEF: House approves $1.9T COVID relief bill, Biden set to sign Friday

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D), a moderate, told The Hill in January that repealing Trump’s 2017 tax cuts would be “ridiculous”. Though, as the publication noted, Manchin walked back his comments, saying, “Everything’s open for discussion.”

MORE ON SEN. MANCHIN: Sen. Sinema breaks with Democrats on $15 minimum wage

Any tax hikes that are passed would likely take effect starting in 2022, according to Bloomberg, which pointed out that some lawmakers have urged the administration to hold off due to pandemic-related unemployment remaining high.

Late last month for example, Montana Sen. Jon Tester (D) warned that lawmakers ought to be careful about raising taxes when the real unemployment rate at the time was estimated to be as high as 10%, per The Hill.

“I think there are some loopholes in the code that could be cut out. I don’t know that you want to do it right now,” he said.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Economy

No help at our border, but Biden announces $5 billion going to bike paths, wider sidewalks

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In the world of Democrat delusion, they think $5 billion is necessary, at this point in time, to make bike paths and widen side walks. You cannot make this up. They have approved $40 billion in aide to Ukraine in a heartbeat under President Biden, while having rejected former President Trump’s request for a mere $5 billion to secure our border.

The news also comes as fentanyl and the drug overdoses are the number one cause of death in the U.S. There’s also an increase in human smuggling and extortion to pay to cross the border. But no; let’s make some bike paths and widen sidewalks. That is an immediate emergency.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced Monday that money will be used over five years under his department’s new “Safe Streets & Roads for All” program. The $5 billion ini federals funds will be used “to slow down cars chia more speed cameras, carve out bike paths and wider sidewalks and urging commuters to public transit” reports Daily Mail.

“The aim will be to provide a direct infusion of federal cash to communities that pledge to promote safety for the multiple users of a roadway, particularly pedestrians and bicyclists.” The announcement also coincides with the six-month anniversary of President Biden’s infrastructure legislation, and the beginning of the 2022 “infrastructure week.”

The desire to fix roads is a noble one, as “road traffic injuries also are the leading cause of death among young people aged 5-29. Young adults aged 15-4 account for more than half of all road deaths” reports Daily Mail, which adds:

Still, much of the federal roadmap relies on cooperation from cities and states, and it could take months if not years to fully implement with discernible results – too late to soothe 2022 midterm voters unsettled by this and other pandemic-related ills, such as rising crime.

The latest U.S. guidance Monday invites cities and localities to sketch out safety plans in their applications for the federal grants, which are to be awarded late this year.

It cites examples of good projects as those that promise to transform a high-crash roadway, such as by adding rumble strips to slow cars or installing speed cameras, which the department says could provide more equitable enforcement than police traffic stops; flashing beacons for pedestrian crosswalks; new ‘safe routes’ via sidewalks or other protected pathways to school or public transit in underserved communities; and other ‘quick build’ roadway changes designed with community input.

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