Politicians debate how to fund Biden’s big plans

On May 2, Republicans balked at federally funding President Biden’s latest proposals while Democrats claimed taxes on the wealthy would cover the costs.

Video Transcript

JANET YELLEN: No family earning under $400,000 will pay a penny more in taxes, and we've been assiduous in sticking to that pledge. So the other part of paying for this comes from raising taxes back to the levels they were at 39.6% before 2017 for families making over $400,000. And for the tiny group, 3/10 of 1% of Americans making more than $1 million.

ROB PORTMAN: The $6 trillion in new spending, only about 20% of the jobs bill that the president has proposed goes to real infrastructure. And that part of it can be paid for. It can be paid for with user fees and it can be paid for with some of the COVID money that's already gone out, because states would love to use it for infrastructure. And of course, it can be paid for in different ways as we have in the past, like PPPs, Public Private Partnerships, but also an infrastructure bank, because these are long-term capital expenditures.

BERNIE SANDERS: So in terms of pay for, yeah, I do think we need progressive taxation, which says to the very rich, Biden says to capture, the floor should be $400,000. Nobody under that should pay more in taxes. But yes, the very rich and large corporations should start paying their fair share of taxes to help us rebuild America and create the jobs that we need.

SUSAN COLLINS: I would point out that if you look at all of the president's recent proposals, they total more than $4.1 trillion. That's the amount that we spent to win World War II. So this is an enormous package when you take both the traditional core infrastructure parts and the huge expansion of social programs that the president is advocating.

JOHN BARRASSO: Child care for everyone, college, free college for everyone, and ultimately, someone's going to have to pay for this. It's almost creating an addiction to spending. So it's either massive new debt to China, as well as massive taxing, probably the largest tax increase in 50 years. And anybody that says this is going to be on just the 1% or big corporations, I mean, that's just phony math.

RON KLAIN: As the president said, there's only two red lines for him in this entire process. He's not going to raise taxes on people making more than, making less than $400,000 a year, the middle class are not going to see their taxes go up. And two, that everything is on the table and that the only other red line is that inaction is not an option.