Joe Biden is set to announce a tax aimed at US billionaires as part of his 2023 budget plans on Monday in a move that will likely delight many progressives in his party but could meet opposition from conservative Democrats who have already stymied his domestic agenda.
The Washington Post, citing five sources and an internal administration document, said the “billionaire minimum income tax” plan would establish a 20% minimum tax rate on all American households worth more than $ 100m.
That would mean the majority of new revenue would come from billionaires, who are a frequent target of public and political ire for tax avoidance schemes. The paper said it would be “a tax on the richest 700 Americans for the first time”.
The Post said that the White House Office of Management and Budget and the council of economic advisers estimated some 400 billionaire US families paid an average federal tax rate of just about 8% of their income between 2010 and 2018 – much lower than millions of Americans who are far less wealthy.
The newspaper quoted the administration document as saying: “The billionaire minimum income tax will ensure that the very wealthiest Americans pay a tax rate of at least 20% on their full income… This minimum tax would make sure that the wealthiest Americans no longer pay a tax rate lower than teachers and firefighters. ”
Biden has surprised many progressives in his party by pursuing an ambitious domestic agenda to the left of his campaign for the party’s presidential nomination. However, opposition from key centrists, notably West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin and Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema, have largely put paid to those plans as they failed to garner enough support in the tightly split Senate.
Although Biden is looking for ways to motivate his party’s activists, and appeal to voters, ahead of widely expected losses in November’s midterm elections, there is little sign that the party’s centrists will now support a more progressive agenda.