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Paid in full? Biden, GOP struggle over infrastructure costs

42 Comments
By KEVIN FREKING and LISA MASCARO

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Biden wants to increase taxes for corporations and those households making more than $400,000 a year. Republicans have ruled that out, putting forward alternatives that Democrats find unacceptable. 

Republicans protecting their rich friends to the detriment of normal folks, again and again. Shameful.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I don’t blame any of the mega-rich. They can always relocate and move their money. Makes perfect sense. Robbing Paul to give to Peter is the Dems quick fix to all solutions. The rich pay the majority of taxes overall and instead of lowering taxes and giving bigger incentives to hire, train and expand they seek a temporary solution and want a short cut fix for their lack of creating stable jobs, the cost of food, gas and living are going up, they want greater pay wages, then these companies have to compensate by raising prices or going full automated and cutting staff.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

The rich pay the majority of taxes overall

But their tax burden as a percent of their income is lower than those of lesser incomes. The 99th percentile income is just under $400,000 per year. That same top 1% own 30.4% of the total household wealth while the bottom 50% of income earners own only 1.9% of total US wealth.

Income taxes are not the whole story, The bottom 50% pay a lot more of their income in total taxes because more of their income is spent on things that incur sales taxes and their property tax bill is a much larger proportion of their income than it is for the rich. Effectively the bottom 50% live from paycheck to paycheck with a very large proportion of their incomes going to sales and property taxes (renters pay property taxes through their high rents) while the proportion of income the upper 1% pays in these taxes is a vanishingly small proportion of their prodigious incomes.

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In 1999 and again in 2000 there were small but positive budget surpluses. In 2000 there was even talk of splitting future surpluses between paying down the national debt and adding money to the Social Security Trust Fund to deal with the retirement of the Baby Boomer generation. The economy was showing steady positive growth and it as a good time for business. When a Republican administration was sworn in in 2001, their first act was to cut taxes and begin again to deficit spend. Not long after there were cries to cut social spending to "balance the budget". It strikes me that the Republican Party wants to cut taxes not for any good reason grounded in any kind of sound economics, but rather to have an excuse to cry poor and leverage this deliberately made "budget crisis" as an excuse to gut programs for working families and the poor, and especially to cut Medicaid and privatize Social Security. What amazes me is how so many fall for this flim-flam year after year.

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They can always relocate and move their money.

Can you tell us how many corporations moved out of America and "relocated" before the Trump tax cuts, exactly? Also, can you give any argument that isn't easily refuted by reality, facts and logic?

https://www.npr.org/2019/12/20/789540931/2-years-later-trump-tax-cuts-have-failed-to-deliver-on-gops-promises

https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/economy/news/2019/09/26/475083/trumps-corporate-tax-cut-not-trickling/

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Um, Gas prices are determined by the demand for and supply of gasoline.

You cannot claim to be the party of economic populism and not want to tax the largest corporations or the mega wealthy.

You cannot claim to be the party of growth and consistently be against free-trade which absolutely benefits American workers in higher value-added jobs such as manufacturing.

And this claim to be fully paid for is both economically and politically laughable. The GOQ had no qualms giving a multi-trillion dollar tax cut (over 1/2 of which went to the top 1%) without ANY proof that it would be paid for. And infrastructure is an investment. Did you not go to college because you didn't have enough money to pay for it all on Day 1 (Looking at some of the comments, I am beginning to think the answer is "yes"".)? Did you decide not to purchase real estate because you couldn't pay cash?

Both of these purchase decisions are (at least in America) 2 of the single best wealth-building decisions one can make and taking on debt to fund them is not lavish spending. It's an investment in the future. Unlike say a night in the strip club or a tax cut for the already wealthy, both of these things ARE likely to pay for themselves over time. So to is it with infrastructure.

GOP arguments to the contrary are just non-sensical. But then so too is the GOP circa 2021.

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Bass: They can always relocate and move their money.

Sounds like a problem that needs to be fixed in a global scale, or else countries will keep racing to the bottom to lower corporate taxes to the point where they pay nothing everywhere.

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Sounds like a problem that needs to be fixed in a global scale, or else countries will keep racing to the bottom to lower corporate taxes to the point where they pay nothing everywhere.

I agree.

That said, even right now, places that are nicer are in higher demand for rich people, and therefore have more leeway to tax them before the rich people will leave. This is why so many rich people live in California, because it's one of the most appealing places in America to live. Taxes are higher in California than other states, and yet rich people have always flocked there. Smart leaders recognize this and don't get scared by threats of leaving, when they are in a place that people want to be.

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The GOP want a trillion dollars of spending, but don't want to pay for it.

Conservatives always want something for nothing.

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Sounds like a problem that needs to be fixed in a global scale,

I disagree. Why should people of wealth have to cover the mistakes of big government?

or else countries will keep racing to the bottom to lower corporate taxes to the point where they pay nothing everywhere

Then maybe the government should intrude less on private business practices and allow the market to flourish, give incentives and create more wealth by training for the next generation of powerful entrepreneurs, the job creators.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

I disagree. Why should people of wealth have to cover the mistakes of big government?

Because they are the primary beneficiaries of the existence of government.

Then maybe the government should intrude less on private business practices and allow the market to flourish, give incentives and create more wealth by training for the next generation of powerful entrepreneurs, the job creators.

This has been tried. It doesn't work.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The super-rich does not pay a fair share of taxes while the guy in the street gets hit for every dollar. Wealth tax. Increased Capital Gains. Increase company tax.

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Trump added $7 trillion to the national debt during his single term and the greatest amount by any president.

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The super-rich does not pay a fair share of taxes while the guy in the street gets hit for every dollar. Wealth tax. Increased Capital Gains. Increase company tax.

Yes.

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Why should people of wealth have to cover the mistakes of big government?

They get more from society, therefore they should give back more.

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disagree. Why should people of wealth have to cover the mistakes of big government

They're not paying for big government's "mistakes," government's mistake is not taking the rich highly enough. Why should anyone be allowed to make so much money they can actually bend laws in their favor, to the detriment of society?

give incentives and create more wealth by training for the next generation of powerful entrepreneurs, the job creators.

That was all supposed to happen with the Trump tax cuts, and none of that happened. If you cut tax rates and provide even incentive, it still won't happen. The rich don't care about the rest of society, they only care about their money and hoarding more of it.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

bass4funk: give incentives and create more wealth by training for the next generation of powerful entrepreneurs, the job creators.

So let's give the tax cuts to small business who create most of the jobs in the US, not large corporations. You're just giving free money to Home Depot for their execs to buy back stocks to enrich themselves, and at the same time you are helping Home Depot crush the local lumber store, local plant shop, local hardware store, etc.

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Its not clear to me what rich people get FROM society.

Most rich people have actually created something that bettered society. or have provided members of society with employment or entertainment.

They get more from society, therefore they should give back more.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Its not clear to me what rich people get FROM society.

Roads to move their goods, education for the founders and workers, a robust legal system which protects IP rights, police which protect physical property.

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Because they are the primary beneficiaries of the existence of government.

Sure, but it has nothing to do with trying to reshape or undermine the financial goals of the company to redistribute wealth.

This has been tried. It doesn't work.

As Robert Kiyosaki said, that’s what government tells you, it’s a state of mind and if you believe that, then it’s true. My father built a cooperation and grew up in the worst poverty back in the early 1940s left school in the 6th grade and worked his way up, growing in filth and poverty is what motivated him to not accept anything less but wealth. We were raised never to depend on government for anything, so with all do respect, I’m not buying it, if people want to spoon off the government and think in the US it helps them, they can think that and look at California and New York as the richest poorest States, where the poor want more government assistance but finding it harder to attain the assets of people and the rich moving their money and diversifying it so that Biden and his minions can’t get to it.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

road usage paid by their own taxes/fees.

education paid by their own money. education for workers same, or paid from company profits.

legal system provided by the government to imprison criminals, with a side job to protect some things too in their free time.

police that are available to all, who in fact arent provided by society but protect it.

none of this is from "society".

most of it is irrelevant until after they already become rich.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Obviously part of the issue is that some conservatives think if you're rich then you must have created jobs. At least that's what I'm seeing from the comments.

But what if I'm a real estate speculator? I buy a piece of land, hold it for a year, and make $50,000. Another guy drives a taxi for a year and makes $50,000.

Why does the real estate investor pay less tax? Did he create jobs by driving past his land and looking at it? No, we just have a system that says if you earn money one way you pay less tax then when you earn it a different way. No job contingencies are involved.

Or how about situations where both businesses create jobs. Take a local restaurant that, like a vast majority of businesses, aren't corporations. The restaurant hires 10 people. Next door is a McDonald's. They also hire 10 people. Why does McDonald's pay less tax when they created the same number of jobs?

It's illogical to have 2 different systems for companies that do the same thing.

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Roads to move their goods, education for the founders and workers, a robust legal system which protects IP rights, police which protect physical property.

As well as employees.

Rich people don't exist without society. They literally get EVERYTHING from society. Every single thing they have they get from society.

Which is the same for all of us. And therefore why we all need to contribute, or move to a country of anarchy with no government and only individual rights/responsibilities.

The rest of you who want to live with the rest of us need to understand that you're all here because of and with us. And we're all here because of and with you.

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I also find it curious that "rich" people never seems to include entertainers, rappers, movie stars, athletes.

Who are disproportionately people of color more often than not.

This "societal" burden always seems to be focused right on white, male business owners to provide for everyone else.

Maybe Jay-Z and Beyonce can throw in some cash to this infrastructure effort.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

blacklabel: This "societal" burden always seems to be focused right on white, male business owners to provide for everyone else.

Save it for your manifesto.

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Its not clear to me what rich people get FROM society.

That is because your understanding of how a society works is clearly lacking. Nobody gets legally rich in a country with a dysfunctional society. If you invent a great product but nobody in your country has enough money to buy it, you will never get rich. If you create an amazing start-up but noone in your country has internet access, you will never get rich. The greatest ideas in the world are entirely useless if you live in a country where there are no roads or schools and people struggle to eat. The republican myth of the "self-made man" is cute, but entirely preposterous.

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Infrastructure trillion dollars aside:

Now 52% in US want all student-loan forgiven, new survey says.

In the final analysis, why not just make everything free for all - free education free healthcare, free food, free lodging, free entertainment, etc..

Never mind where the money comes from to make everyone happy..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This "societal" burden always seems to be focused right on white, male business owners to provide for everyone else.

And you say that as an awoved "black man who voted for Obama twice", right?

Maybe Jay-Z and Beyonce can throw in some cash to this infrastructure effort.

They should pay their fair share too, like anyone earing above 400.000$ per year. But please do show us examples of democratics leaders claiming that rappers shouldn't be taxed.

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you certainly could. by building the internet. THEN you build your app.

but noone in your country has internet access, you will never get rich. 

No schools? build them. no roads? build them? no food, make it and sell it.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

road usage paid by their own taxes/fees.

You mean the income taxes the rich don't pay or the taxes that everyone, regardless of income pays?

most of it is irrelevant until after they already become rich.

No, they became rich because the IP protections etc., which is precisely why people are saying the rich don't pay their fair share.

Who are disproportionately people of color more often than not.

Disproportionately people of color? Says who?

Maybe Jay-Z and Beyonce can throw in some cash to this infrastructure effort.

Or maybe Jeff Bezos, and Mark Zuckerberg etc. can pay their fair share? Why is that?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Have you ever seen the NFL and NBA.

the rap game? Come on man.

yeah I would love it if someone changed the law where Bezos and Zuckerberg pay more tax than I do. All for that!

Disproportionately people of color? Says who?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I would like to hear a concrete definition of "fair share" of taxes. I hear this phrase bandied about constantly, just like "living wage", yet nobody can tell what it is.

How much tax is enough? Take the EU, taxation eats well over 40% of GDP. In the US, it is about 27%.

Denmark, for example, has a tax burden of 45% on middle income earners (around $50,000 a year). It goes up over 50% if your income is $70,000. I don't think Americans would put up with those rates.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Liberals love thus idea of “fair share”.

then add their own definition and version of “fair” to it when determining “the share”.

like fair share of a Trump is somehow less than a fair share of a Bezos. Why is that?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The majority of the super-rich didn't "earn" their wealth. They got it by exploiting people and earning profits from the labors of others.

The mega-rich and the mega-companies will always try to find ways of not paying a fair share of taxes. Like going to dinner with some people who never want to pick up the tab.

Jeff Bezos didn't get rich by selling products on a street corner. He exploited working people who don't receive a fair share of the profits. Instead their working conditions are not very good. Bezos, instead of taking a high salary and paying the highest tax bracket takes stock in the company. Then borrows money against the stock and pays less tax with capital gains.

Its the guy in the street who ends up picking up the tab.

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Blacklabel

This "societal" burden always seems to be focused right on white, male business owners to provide for everyone else.

Maybe Jay-Z and Beyonce can throw in some cash to this infrastructure effort.

Both comments are pure racist.

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Oh but I am just asking “rich” people to pay their “fair share” just like others that are always mentioned.

plus identity politics doesn’t allow me to be called racist. Sorry.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Have you ever seen the NFL and NBA.

Lol that isn't a logical inference from watching a game or show on TV. Besides, there's a large disparity between pro athletes and the ultra-rich like Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg etc.

like fair share of a Trump is somehow less than a fair share of a Bezos. Why is that?

Who mentioned anything about Trump? I certainly didn't.

I would like to hear a concrete definition of "fair share" of taxes. I hear this phrase bandied about constantly, just like "living wage", yet nobody can tell what it is.

Simple. Warren Buffett should be paying a higher tax rate than his secretary. Simple question for you: Do you think it's fair for the ultra rich to pay no income tax? Honestly, does anyone think it's fair?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Obviously part of the issue is that some conservatives think if you're rich then you must have created jobs. *

In the private sector, yes.

But what if I'm a real estate speculator? I buy a piece of land, hold it for a year, and make $50,000. Another guy drives a taxi for a year and makes $50,000.

Why does the real estate investor pay less tax? Did he create jobs by driving past his land and looking at it? No, we just have a system that says if you earn money one way you pay less tax then when you earn it a different way. No job contingencies are involved.

Re-institute the flat tax, problem solved I would before that, I think that would be the best thing for the entire nation.

Or how about situations where both businesses create jobs. Take a local restaurant that, like a vast majority of businesses, aren't corporations.

Mr. Biden’s budget assumes that the capital gains tax hike took effect in late April, making it a retroactive tax. Capital gains and dividend tax hikes are among the most damaging tax hikes. The Biden proposals will make America globally uncompetitive, reduce new investment and threaten access to capital for startups. It will suppress economic growth and even result in less, not more revenue as investors sit on the sidelines. 

-Washington Times

That are getting crushed under a new proposed and aggressive tax system, but Dems don’t seem to care and why would they?

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Then pass a law. Most rich people these days seen to be liberal. They won’t mind if Biden increases their taxes.

Do you think it's fair for the ultra rich to pay no income tax?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

If it was a two trillion dollar tax cut for the top one percent, the republicans would be salivating & drooling all over themselves.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Then pass a law. Most rich people these days seen to be liberal. They won’t mind if Biden increases their taxes.

Lol that's exactly what I'm saying. We should pass a law so that the rich pay their fair share. Get it now?

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In tax year 2020, the IRS is also raising the standard deduction to $12,400 for individuals (from $12,200) and to $24,800 for married joint filers (from $24,400). The standard deduction has become more important than ever since 2018, when it rose to a high enough level that many taxpayers chose to stop itemizing.

Joe in the street got an extra $200 if single and $400 if married.

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