Since the 2020 campaign, President Joe Biden has often vowed that he will not raise taxes on any American families earning less than $400,000 annually, even as he has been equally insistent that taxes will be increased for the wealthy and corporations.
Biden appeared to reiterate both of those pledges in a speech on Tuesday but also stated bluntly to corporations and the wealthy, "I wanna make it clear: I'm gonna raise some taxes," according to the Washington Examiner.
What the president fails to acknowledge or understand, however, is that tax increases on corporations are inevitably passed on, at least in part, to the poor and middle-class consumers, while the wealthy already shoulder an outsized share of the tax burden.
President Biden delivered a speech on Tuesday in Virginia that was ostensibly about protecting the Affordable Care Act but was peppered throughout with partisan attacks on his political opponents, primarily those who he derisively refers to as "MAGA Republicans."
The president also devoted a portion of his remarks to discussing his upcoming White House budget proposal, which he said will be publicly released on March 9, and challenged Congress to swiftly put forward their own proposed budget so that the plans could be reconciled.
"But, by the way, I want to make it clear: I’m going to raise some taxes," Biden said. "Many of you are billionaires out there. You’re going to stop paying at 3 percent. Not a joke."
He then added that it was "bizarre" that billionaires were paying tax rates lower than those paid by nurses, police officers, and teachers, and once again stated, "You’re going to see the people making less than $400,000, as I said from the very beginning, will not pay an additional single penny in any tax."
CNBC reported just a few weeks ago that one of President Biden's top economic advisers, Jared Bernstein, trotted out that same dubious claim about billionaires paying less in taxes than middle-class workers as he gave a peek at the president's tax increase proposals and sought to preemptively defend them.
"The days of the top 1 percent paying less than teachers and nurses," Bernstein told the outlet, "those have got to be behind us as we inject fairness into the tax code to achieve fiscal rectitude."
Biden recently signed into law a 15 percent minimum corporate tax rate for businesses earning more than $1 billion in profits and a 1 percent excise tax on stock buybacks. He is also proposing a so-called "billionaire's tax," which is actually a millionaire's tax that would increase the minimum tax rate from 8 percent to 20 percent for those with a net worth over $100 million, as well as a 48.6 percent tax on unrealized capital gains.
All of that and more is obviously designed to soak the wealthy for all that they are worth, but CNBC noted that according to the Tax Foundation, the clearly targeted top 1 percent are already paying more than 42 percent of the entire nation's federal tax burden, per 2020 figures.
As for President Biden's equally dubious claim that he will not raise taxes one bit on those earning less than $400,000 annually, The Washington Post fact-checked Republican counter-claims on that issue in August 2022 and found that arguments could be made to support both sides of the debate.
While Biden "technically" hasn't raised rates on Americans making less than $400,000 per year, those same Americans are, in effect, paying slightly more in taxes due to tax hikes imposed on corporations, as economists have shown that the burden of those increases are generally split among owners and shareholders, employees, and consumers.
And, left unmentioned in all of this, is how the price inflation that has run rampant throughout Biden's tenure also serves as an insidious sort of "hidden" tax on the wallets of all Americans, poor and wealthy alike, which would quite clearly violate the president's oft-repeated pledge to protect middle-class Americans from having to pay more.