Finance

Biden proposes tax increases for wealthy as part of health care plan

Former Vice President Joe Biden on Monday released a health care plan that his presidential campaign says would be paid for by raising taxes on the wealthy.

“The Biden Plan will make health care a right by getting rid of capital gains tax loopholes for the super wealthy,” the former vice president’s 2020 campaign said in an outline of the plan.

Biden’s health care plan is designed to build on ObamaCare and create a public option. Campaign officials told news outlets on Sunday that the plan is estimated to cost about $750 billion over a decade, and that Biden is calling for several tax changes to offset the cost.{mosads}

The 2020 front-runner is proposing to raise the top individual income tax rate to 39.6 percent, which is where the top rate was set before President Trump’s tax-cut law was enacted. The top individual rate is currently 37 percent.

Additionally, Biden is proposing to increase taxes on wealthy people’s capital gains, which people pay when they sell investments. The top rate on long-term capital gains is currently 20 percent, and Biden is proposing to roughly double that for those making over $1 million.

Biden’s campaign also said that his “capital gains reform will close the loopholes that allow the super wealthy to avoid taxes on capital gains altogether.” 

This isn’t the first time Biden expressed an interest in increasing capital gains taxes. He has repeatedly said in campaign events that he thinks capital gains taxes are too low. He has also called for ending a tax break known as “step-up in basis” that reduces capital gains tax liability on investments people pass on to their heirs.

Biden is one of a number of 2020 Democratic presidential candidates who are calling for higher capital gains taxes. Others who have called for raising tax rates on investment gains include Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D), former Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) and Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.).

Democrats argue that raising capital gains taxes would make the tax code more fair. But Republicans generally oppose raising capital gains taxes, arguing that doing so would reduce incentives to invest and save money.

Trump’s tax law did not make changes to capital gains tax rates, but Trump has said that he’s considering acting unilaterally to cut capital gains taxes by indexing gains to inflation. 

Tags Amy Klobuchar Bernie Sanders Beto O'Rourke Capital gains taxes Cory Booker Donald Trump Joe Biden John Delaney John Hickenlooper public option Seth Moulton

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