Joe Manchin says he's open to slapping new taxes on billionaires to pay for Biden's social spending package

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Joe Manchin
Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia. AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
  • Manchin says he's open to imposing new taxes on billionaires to cover the Democratic safety net package.

  • "I'm open to any type of thing that makes people pay," Manchin told reporters on Monday.

  • Democrats are eyeing alternative plans after Sinema quashed corporate tax rate increases.

Sen. Joe Manchin said he was open to a nascent Democratic proposal aimed at imposing fresh annual taxes on gains in billionaires' assets.

"I'm open to any type of thing that makes people pay," Manchin told reporters on Monday. "So people don't report income like you and I do, earned income, there has to be a way for them to pay their fair share."

Manchin was referring to a new "Billionaires' Tax" from Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, chair of the Senate Finance Committee. The proposal, slated to be released in the coming days, is poised to target unrealized gains on assets such as stocks. Assets that increased in value without being sold would be taxed annually. It's based on an proposal that has been under development since 2019. It will also reportedly allow billionaires to take deductions on their losses.

Currently, assets are taxed only when a person sells, which acts as an incentive for them to remain unsold until death and then passed on to heirs.

Democrats are eyeing the proposal as an alternative method of raising money after Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona quashed efforts to raise corporate tax rates. In a 50-50 Senate, Senate Democrats can't lose either Manchin or Sinema, providing them with massive influence to shape what's meant to be the centerpiece of Biden's economic agenda. The safety net plan is meant to expand access to healthcare and childcare, renew child tax credits, and more.

Sinema's opposition to lifting corporate tax rates all but ensures that a key part of President Donald Trump's 2017 corporate tax cuts will survive a period of Democratic control of Congress and the White House.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell ripped the billionaire tax plan on Monday, assailing it as a "hair-brained scheme [that] would have the IRS penalizing people who invested wisely and compensating people who have invested poorly."

Read the original article on Business Insider

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