To Build Back Better, we need a tax system where everyone pays their fair share
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Democrats in Congress are hammering out the details of investments in American families and businesses that will make America more competitive, grow the economy, lift up American families and communities that have been left behind for too long, and address the crisis of climate change.

One of the key questions at the heart of the negotiations is how to pay for them. The president has laid out a common-sense tax reform proposal that not only pays for these investments, it also corrects for the excesses of the Trump tax cuts and brings our tax code in line with American values — a tax system that rewards work, not just wealth and ensures that those at the top and corporations pay their fair share. 

With these reforms on the table, corporate lobbyists have begun to swarm.  They are filling the airwaves — and my former colleagues’ ears — with falsehoods. 


I urge my colleagues to see the lobbying for what it is and apply some simple tests:

First, do you want a tax system where the super wealthy don’t pay their fair share and never have to pay tax on their vast fortunes? 

Second, do you want a tax system the lets corporations hide profits overseas and pay lower effective rates than middle-class Americans?

Third, do you want a tax system that lets the wealthy and corporations get away with not paying the tax they owe?

The answer to each of these questions should be simple: no.

President BidenJoe BidenGrant Woods, longtime friend of McCain and former Arizona AG, dies at 67 Sanders on Medicare expansion in spending package: 'Its not coming out' Glasgow summit raises stakes for Biden deal MORE has put forward common-sense measures that meets the mark and finances these key investments in America’s future — and without raising taxes a single dime on anyone making less than $400,000 a year and Americans agreed with him.

It’s time to close the loopholes that allow the very richest Americans to escape tax. That means finally ending the carried interest loophole. It means closing the loophole that allows some of the greatest fortunes in this country to entirely escape tax, and that can be done while fully protecting wealth built up in small businesses.

Here’s where you can see Washington cynicism work its way in. There are those who say you can’t get the very richest Americans to pay tax without hurting family farms. That’s just wrong-headed. We can get millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share and fully protect real family farms. We shouldn’t let the wealthiest Americans hide behind family farms that are fully protected in these reforms. 

On corporate taxation, we can raise the rate — and still have the lowest corporate tax rate this country has seen since World War II and until President TrumpDonald TrumpGrant Woods, longtime friend of McCain and former Arizona AG, dies at 67 Super PACs release ad campaign hitting Vance over past comments on Trump Glasgow summit raises stakes for Biden deal MORE’s giant corporate giveaway. And we can reform the tax code so that it no longer encourages our biggest corporations to shift profits and jobs overseas. Again, the lobbyists will complain. After all, this will ask their corporate clients to contribute more.

But, let’s be clear: these reforms and investments will make the United States more competitive, not less. It will address the climate change crisis where so many corporate leaders have spoken out.


Lobbyist opposition is just putting short-term corporate profit over this country’s long-term economic health.

Finally, on tax enforcement, President Biden is working to get the IRS the resources and information it needs to ensure that the law is enforced fairly.  Typical workers pay what they owe under the law. There is a 99 percent compliance rate on wages.  Ninety nine percent. The same isn’t true for the super wealthy and the largest corporations. The rich can much more easily hide their income, and right now, the IRS can’t keep up. The president is fighting to give the IRS the resources to go toe-to-toe with the armies of lawyers and accountants that help corporations and the rich avoid paying the tax they owe. My former colleagues should ignore the lobbyists who will try to claim that just getting the wealthy to pay the tax they owe will hurt typical Americans who already follow the law.

In order to truly Build Back Better, we need a tax system where corporations and the wealthy pay their fair share. It’s as simple as that.

Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidHarry Reid calls on Democrats to plow forward on immigration Democrats brace for tough election year in Nevada The Memo: Biden's horizon is clouded by doubt MORE is the former Senate majority leader.