House Republicans falsely claim Biden's tax hikes on the rich will 'cripple' middle class


House Republicans are outraged that President Joe Biden plans to roll back parts of the 2017 Trump tax cuts.

As the Democratic majority in Congress prepares to enact President Joe Biden's Build Back Better plan, Republicans are falsely claiming its tax cuts will be calamitous for middle-class Americans.

"Next week House Democrats start to ram thru crippling tax hikes hurting small biz, middle class workers, family owned farms/biz, American-made energy….sending jobs overseas," tweeted Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), the top minority party member on the House Ways and Means Committee, on Thursday.

He also shared a clip of then-candidate Biden in 2019, vowing to "repeal those Trump tax cuts," a reference to the 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act which Brady authored. That legislation significantly reduced taxes for the wealthiest Americans and businesses — but raised them on about 10 million families.

In recent days, several of his GOP colleagues have made similar false claims about Democrats' proposed budget reconciliation plan.

"Working families are about to be hit with trillions in new tax increases as a result of President Biden's $3.5 trillion budget resolution," claimed Kansas Rep. Ron Estes on Wednesday.

"Nancy Pelosi – with no debate – passed a $3.5 TRILLION budget complete with green new deal priorities, enough debt to cripple us for generations, and tax hikes that will destroy the middle class," complained Texas Rep. Beth Van Duyne.

Biden's proposal would not raise tax rates at all on middle-class families, according to an analysis from the Treasury Department.

His recent proposal would raise marginal rates only for individual taxpayers earning more than $452,700 in taxable income and for married couples who file jointly earning more than $509,300, the Treasury analysis makes clear.

Some Republicans have pointed to forecasts, such as one by the Tax Policy Center, that suggested that while tax rates would not go up, middle-class families might make less because higher corporate tax rates would reduce wages and dividends. But that would impact middle-class families by at most a few hundred dollars a year, on average — hardly decimating them.

Contrary to Brady's tweet, only a tiny fraction of small businesses would pay any more in taxes either. The Treasury Department's report found only 3% of small business owners who file taxes S corporations, partnerships, and individuals would see their tax rates go up.

Biden ran in 2020 on an ironclad promise not to raise taxes for anyone making less than $400,000 a year — but to increase rates for those above that threshold and for corporations, as Brady's tweet shows.

"Nobody making under 400,000 bucks would have their taxes raised, period. Bingo!" he told CNBC that year. Biden went on to win the 2020 election by more than 7 million votes.

Polling has shown that strong majorities of Americans want the Democrats' tax proposals to become law. A survey released in June by ALG Research and Hart Research found 69% of registered voters back raising taxes on "the wealthy and corporations," compared to 27% opposing.

Still, congressional Republicans have unanimously opposed any rollback of the Trump tax law, calling it a "red line."

Under Biden's proposal, the additional tax dollars would go to fund popular investments in climate, clean energy, paid leave, health care, child care, and human infrastructure.

The Democratic majorities in the House and Senate approved a budget resolution last month that will allow them to pass some version of the roughly $3.5 trillion legislation under reconciliation rules. That means Democrats can pass it with simple majority votes in the House and Senate — if they stay united.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.