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GOP lawmakers keep claiming falsely that Biden will raise taxes on the middle class

Republicans have cited a Tax Policy Center study that doesn’t support their claims.

By Josh Israel - July 08, 2021
Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO)

Congressional Republicans are trying to convince the American public that President Joe Biden’s economic plans would raise taxes on the middle class. It would not.

“Biden’s tax plan will raise taxes on 75% of middle-class families next year and that number increases to 95% by 2031. No thank you!” Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert tweeted on Thursday. “The American people can spend their hard-earned money better than a bloated federal government.”

Boebert is one of several Republican lawmakers who have been making the claim that Biden’s plan would raise taxes on people he promised would not see a tax increase.

“The ‘Big Lie’ in Washington is when Joe Biden says he won’t raise taxes on those making under $400K a year,” Missouri Rep. Jason Smith said on June 30.

“President @JoeBiden has repeatedly said that he wouldn’t raise taxes on the middle class, but his promise turned out to be empty,” claimed Arkansas Rep. French Hill on June 23. “Even many households making $75k a year will be hit. Arkansas families never asked for Biden’s tax-and-spend agenda.”

The minority staff on the House Ways and Means Committee put out a press release on June 21 under the headline “Liberals: Biden Breaking Tax Pledge” and the subheading “Biden Tax Plan Raises Taxes on 75% of Middle Class, Says Liberal Tax Policy Center.”

“The Biden budget will raise taxes on middle-income families – even though they refuse to admit it,” Pennsylvania Rep. Lloyd Smucker wrote June 17.

“The economy is struggling, there is a crisis at the border, and prices are skyrocketing for middle class families,” Colorado Rep. Ken Buck said June 6. “Joe Biden’s response? Spend trillions of dollars and raise taxes on middle class families.”

A spokesperson for Boebert said in an email to The American Independent Foundation that her source was “an analysis from the left-leaning Tax Policy Center.” Hill’s tweet and the press release issued by the Ways and Means Committee staffers all refer back to the same model estimate by the Tax Policy Center assessing the tax provisions of the Biden administration’s fiscal year 2022 budget proposal.

But that analysis does not actually say that middle-income families will see their taxes go up. Instead, it assumes that higher corporate tax rates will result in companies providing less income to investors and lower salaries to workers, reducing overall pretax income, or what the nonpartisan Center calls “expanded cash income.”

And as a Fox Business story shared by Hill in his tweet acknowledges, even that does not take into account the tax credits included in Biden’s plans. That story, published on June 19, says, “Factoring in the tax credits and the tax hikes, those earning between $100,000 and $200,000 a year would on average pay about $110 less to the government. Americans earning between $75,000 and $100,000 would pay about $240 less on average, while those earning between $50,000 and $75,000 would pay about $540 less.”

Biden ran in 2020 on an explicit promise not to raise taxes on anyone making less than $400,000 — but also to raise taxes on the rich and corporations. He has kept that promise in both his American Jobs Plan and his American Families Plan proposals.

Some Republican lawmakers urged Biden to replace the corporate tax increases in the jobs package with a gasoline tax increase, but he rejected the idea as a violation of his promise.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy have vowed to oppose any tax increases for businesses or the richest Americans, calling them “our red line.”

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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