'I want every American to know that I am taking inflation very seriously,' President Joe Biden said.
President Joe Biden on Tuesday said the way to push back against the inflation Americans are dealing with is by making the ultra-wealthy and large corporations pay "their fare share in taxes" and calling on Congress to pass legislation addressing drug costs, food prices, and child care costs.
"The President's top economic priority is tackling inflation and reducing costs for American families – so we can sustain this historic economic recovery in a way that benefits all Americans. President Biden has a plan to tackle inflation – by lowering costs that families face and lowering the federal deficit by asking the large corporations and the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share," the White House said in a statement.
Biden reiterated his call for a minimum tax of 20% on the income and assets of households worth more than $100 million dollars. Such a tax would affect fewer than 20,000 households and would reportedly generate $350 billion in revenue for the United States. Biden first proposed the tax in his annual budget, which was released in March.
In a speech on Tuesday, Biden contrasted his proposal with a plan offered by Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), who chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
"My plan is to lower everyday costs for hardworking Americans and lower the deficit by asking large corporations and the wealthiest Americans to not engage in price gouging and to pay their fair share in taxes," said Biden.
"The Republican plan is to increase taxes on middle-class families, let billionaires and large companies off the hook as they raise prices and reap profits in record amounts. And it's really that simple."
Scott's "Rescue America" plan calls for a tax increase for low-income families, arguing that "all Americans should pay some income tax to have skin in the game." The plan also calls for cuts to the IRS and would require all federal legislation to expire every five years and be reapproved by the Congress, putting programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid at risk of elimination.
In a March poll conducted by Morning Consult/Politico, only 33% of voters said they strongly or somewhat support Scott's tax proposal, while 51% said they strongly or somewhat oppose it.
In addition to a tax increase for the wealthy, Biden called on Congress to pass tax credits for clean energy initiatives that would reduce U.S. energy dependence on foreign countries.
He also called for lower prescription drug prices by allowing Medicare to negotiate the price of drugs and to cap insulin costs. In April, legislation to reduce insulin prices passed the House but was opposed by most Republicans.
Biden also noted actions his administration has already taken to address inflation-related issues. For instance, in March the administration began the release of 1 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve over the next six months to reduce gas prices.
The Biden administration also highlighted stronger fuel economy standards in concert with the ongoing nationwide rollout of electric car charging infrastructure as stipulated in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
In a direct contrast to possible cuts to health care that could occur if Scott's proposal were enacted, the administration pointed to the federal rule it put in place to fix the so-called "family glitch" in the Affordable Care Act, which prevented some family members from getting subsidized health care under the 2010 law.
"I want every American to know that I am taking inflation very seriously," Biden said. "It is my top domestic priority."
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.