Puzder: Democrats’ Fight for the Wealthiest One Percent

June 2, 2021 — Op-eds and Speeches    — Select Revenue Measures   

While pushing for higher taxes on America’s working families, Main Street Businesses, and blue-collar workers, Democrats are fighting for the wealthiest one percent, writes Andy Puzder.

In an op-ed for Real Clear Politics, Puzder describes the gains for America’s working families under tax reform, while outlining how the wealthiest earners paid a greater share of income taxes in 2018 than under Democrats’ 2013 tax hike.

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Excerpts appear below. CLICK HERE to read the full op-ed.

Biden and the 1 Percent

Real Clear Politics

Andy Puzder

June 2, 2021

In his first speech to a joint session of Congress, Biden described the TCJA as a “huge windfall” for “those at the very top.” To right that wrong, he proposes getting rid of loopholes and raising the top tax rate from its current 37% to 39.6%. Why? So that “the wealthiest 1% of Americans” will “pay their fair share,” a phrase that the president and his fellow Democrats repeat with abandon.

But there’s a big problem with Biden’s claims: They are simply untrue.

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“Fair” is in the eye of the beholder, but consider: The top 1%’s share of taxes paid nearly doubles its share of income. For more “fair share” perspective, consider that in 2018, the top 1% paid more in income taxes than the bottom 90% of taxpayers – combined.

 

Biden also might be surprised to learn that the top 1% actually paid a higher percentage of income taxes in 2018 under the TCJA than in any year since at least 2001 – when it paid 33.2%.

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You read that right. The highest earners paid a greater share of income taxes after the Republicans’ 2017 tax cuts than they paid after the Democrats’ 2013 tax increase.

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But Biden supports restoring the SALT deduction even though that deduction benefits mostly the upper-income taxpayers he so desperately wants to tax. Why would he want to do that?

 

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Repealing the cap President Trump put on the SALT deduction is a top tax priority for Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who want either to increase or eliminate the $10,000 cap as part of Biden’s infrastructure bill.

 

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So, the TCJA was not a windfall for the rich, and it did not result in the rich paying less than their fair share of income taxes. It closed loopholes – the largest of which Democrat leadership would like to restore – that primarily benefit wealthy taxpayers.

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