Biden tax plan would raise $4 trillion over 10 years: analysis

Tax proposals from former Vice President Joe Biden would raise about $4 trillion over 10 years and lead to the largest tax increases for high-income people, according to a paper released Thursday by the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center (TPC).

“Under his plan, the highest-income households would see substantially larger tax increases than households in other income groups, both in dollar amounts and as a share of their incomes,” TPC, which is led by a former Obama administration official, said in its report.

The release of the paper comes after Biden won the majority of the Super Tuesday primaries earlier this week, making him the Democratic presidential front-runner.

Raising taxes on rich people and businesses has been a key priority for White House hopefuls on the Democratic side. Biden has offered a number of tax proposals focused on raising taxes on wealthy individuals and corporations, though his proposals are not as aggressive as those put forth by fellow candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

The former vice president has proposed rolling back President Trump’s tax-rate cuts for individuals making more than $400,000, capping the value of itemized deductions at 28 percent, taxing capital gains at the same rate as ordinary income for people earning more than $1 million a year, taxing unrealized capital gains at death and making earnings above $400,000 subject to Social Security payroll taxes.

When it comes to businesses, Biden would raise the corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 28 percent, create a 15-percent minimum tax on the income companies report on their financial statements and raise a minimum tax on corporations’ foreign earnings from 10.5 percent to 21 percent.

Biden also would curb tax breaks for the fossil-fuel and real-estate industries and boost tax incentives for renewable energy and retirement savings.

TPC estimated that Biden’s proposals would raise $4 trillion, or 1.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), from 2021 to 2030, and another $6.2 trillion from 2031 to 2040.

The group said that about half of the revenue gain in the first decade would come from the proposed tax increases for individuals, and the other half would come from the proposed increases for businesses. Biden’s proposed corporate tax-rate increase would generate about one-third of overall revenue.

His plan would raise taxes on all income groups on average, but the biggest tax increases would go to the highest-income taxpayers. Slight tax increases for non-high earners would mainly occur due to indirect effects of the corporate tax increase, TPC said.

In 2021, people in the top 1 percent of income would on average see a tax increase of nearly $300,000, or 17 percent of their after-tax income, while those with income between $52,000 and $93,000 would see an average tax increase of about $260, or 0.4 percent of after-tax income, TPC said.

An economic adviser to Biden said the candidate is committed to not raising taxes on the middle class, and that the experience with Trump’s tax law, which slashed the corporate tax rate, raises questions about the idea that part of the corporate tax is ultimately paid by workers.

TPC’s analysis did not take into account any macroeconomic effects of Biden’s tax plan, but the group said it plans to release a macroeconomic analysis at a later date. TPC also did not analyze the spending proposals that Biden plans to finance with his tax proposals.

The Biden adviser argued that the former vice president’s spending proposals would boost productivity in the U.S. and lead to more, better-paying jobs.

TPC’s revenue estimate for Biden’s tax plan is significantly higher than the group’s estimate was for 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s tax plan. The group had estimated that Clinton’s plan would raise $1.4 trillion over a decade, or 0.5 percent of GDP. The group estimated that former President Obama’s last budget would have raised revenue by 1.2 percent of GDP.

TPC has not yet released a revenue estimate for the tax proposals from Sanders, whose tax plan is more expansive than Biden’s. The Vermont senator and self-described democratic socialist is calling for a bigger corporate tax rate increase, to 35 percent.

Updated at 2:07 p.m.

Tags Bernie Sanders Donald Trump Hillary Clinton Income tax Joe Biden Tax

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video