- The Washington Times - Friday, April 12, 2024

President Biden will head to Pennsylvania on Tuesday to make the case that the rich and corporations don’t pay the bulk of taxes in America. Still, his own Treasury Department refutes his numbers.

The president’s fiscal 2025 budget proposal calls for $4.9 trillion in tax hikes on businesses and individuals over the next decade, raising the U.S. rates to some of the highest in the developed world.
He wants to impose a 25% minimum tax on all income not currently taxed — including unrealized gains on assets — for Americans with a net worth of $100 million. Mr. Biden has also urged Congress to raise the corporate tax rate to 28% up from 21%.
As Mr. Biden tells it, the tax increases are necessary to address budget shortfalls and help reduce the deficit. He argues the revenue should come from the wealthy and corporations because they simply aren’t paying their share.

“You know what their average tax … for those thousand billionaires in America? 8.2%. Anybody want to trade that rate?” Mr. Biden asked a room full of wealthy donors at a campaign fundraiser last month.

“I’m serious. If they just paid the 25%, do you know how much money that would raise? Four hundred billion dollars over 10 years,” the president continued.
But Mr. Biden’s own Treasury Department disputes that. The top 1% in America pay over 20% in income taxes and more than 30% in all federal taxes, according to the department’s data.

Regardless, Mr. Biden intends to hammer his message that the rich need to pay more in taxes during this week’s campaign swing.

The trip kicks off Tuesday as Mr. Biden returns to his hometown of Scranton where he will deliver a speech focused on making the tax code work for the middle class, the campaign said.

Mr. Biden will then travel to Pittsburgh on Wednesday and hold a campaign event in Philadelphia on Thursday, the campaign said. During those appearances, Mr. Biden will contrast his economic vision with that of former President Donald Trump, the presumptive GOP nominee.

The campaign also plans to hold events in other battleground states this week as part of the blitz pitching Mr. Biden’s economic plans.

Mr. Biden’s Pennsylvania tour begins the day after Tax Day and less than two weeks after Mr. Trump told wealthy donors that he wants to extend his 2017 tax cuts if he’s elected to a second term.
The campaign hopes that by focusing on taxes, Mr. Biden will find an economic issue to hammer amid voter skepticism over his handling of the economy, one of the president’s biggest weaknesses.

Next week’s trip will be Mr. Biden’s fifth to Pennsylvania this year, underscoring how critical his campaign believes the Keystone State is. Since taking office, he has made 36 trips there, the most of any state outside of returning to his home in Delaware.
A recent Wall Street Journal poll found that Mr. Trump (47%) has a slight lead over Mr. Biden (44%), but that’s still within the margin of error. The same poll found that registered voters across seven battleground states believe Mr. Trump would handle the economy better than Mr. Biden, at 54% to 34%.

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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