(FiveNation.com)- During his State of the Union address on Tuesday, President Biden once again called on Congress to pass a “billionaire minimum tax,” saying that the current tax system is “not fair.”
In pushing his climate change initiatives, Biden said funding for his green agenda would come from “finally making the wealthiest and biggest corporations begin to pay their fair share.”
Biden boasted about signing the so-called “Inflation Reduction Act” which set the minimum corporate tax rate at 15 percent, and called on Congress to “finish the job” and pass his “billionaire minimum tax” to “reward work, not just wealth.”
Biden claimed that the number of billionaires in the country rose from “about 600” when he first took office to a thousand today. He declared that no billionaire should be paying a “lower tax rate than a school teacher or a firefighter.”
But as the New York Post fact-check explained, in order to claim that billionaires pay less in taxes than a school teacher or firefighter, the White House included as “income” unsold stock. But people only pay taxes on stock if they sell it.
According to the Post, independent tax analysis found that the wealthiest Americans pay between 22 percent and 25 percent a year in income taxes, which is not less than what a school teacher or firefighter pays.
Biden previously pushed for a 20 percent minimum tax on “total income” earned by billionaires in his 2023 budget, but the plan stalled in Congress, CNBC reported. Included in “total income” were “unrealized gains” like capital gains and investment growth.
Now that Republicans control the House, it is even less likely Biden’s “billionaire minimum tax” pipe dream will go anywhere, especially considering that a similar billionaire tax proposed by Senate Democrats in October 2021 failed to gain the support of even some Democrat senators, according to CNBC.
Steve Rosenthal, a senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, told CNBC that Biden’s billionaire tax plan would likely face “very complicated” legal issues.