On The Money: Bipartisan Senate group rules out tax hikes on infrastructure | New report reignites push for wealth tax

On The Money: Bipartisan Senate group rules out tax hikes on infrastructure | New report reignites push for wealth tax
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THE BIG DEAL: Bipartisan Senate group rules out tax hikes on infrastructure

A bipartisan Senate group is taking tax increases off the table as lawmakers try to craft an infrastructure proposal after GOP talks with the White House collapsed Tuesday.

Raising taxes on high-income earners and corporations has been a key part of President BidenJoe BidenSchumer vows to advance two-pronged infrastructure plan next month Biden appoints veteran housing, banking regulator as acting FHFA chief Iran claims U.S. to lift all oil sanctions but State Department says 'nothing is agreed' MORE's infrastructure plan, making it nearly impossible to garner enough GOP support for legislation that can clear the Senate.

Sen. Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterWhite House digs in as infrastructure talks stall White House advisers huddle with Senate moderates on infrastructure Biden risks break with progressives on infrastructure MORE (D-Mont.), who is in the bipartisan group, said tax increases are not under consideration as senators attempt to reach consensus on how to pay for their plan.

When asked Wednesday if tax hikes were out, Tester responded: "That's my understanding. I think there's ways to do that; hopefully it won't be smoke and mirrors. Bottom line, this is probably the hardest part from my perspective, is how you get it paid for."


The state of play on infrastructure talks:

The Hill’s Jordain Carney has more here on the Senate infrastructure discussions.

In related news, the bipartisan House Problem Solvers Caucus on Wednesday unveiled an eight-year, $1.25 trillion infrastructure plan aimed at helping to break the impasse on the topic. The group will offer proposals on how to pay for the package in the coming days, but isn’t expected to endorse the tax increases sought by Biden and progressives, The Hill’s Scott Wong and Mike Lillis reported.


LEADING THE DAY: New report reignites push for wealth tax

A blockbuster ProPublica report on the taxes of the richest Americans is reigniting a push from progressives for a wealth tax.

The report, based on tax-return data ProPublica received from an anonymous source, details how prominent billionaires like Jeff BezosJeffrey (Jeff) Preston BezosDisney heiress slams billionaires, generational wealth: 'An upside-down structure' Civil rights groups urge lawmakers to crack down on Amazon's 'dangerous' worker surveillance The tax code's Achilles' heel is surprisingly popular — and that's a problem for taxing the rich MORE and Elon MuskElon Reeve MuskDisney heiress slams billionaires, generational wealth: 'An upside-down structure' NASA's sudden interest in Venus is all about climate change Press: Even Jeff Bezos should pay income taxes MORE have paid little-to-no-taxes in some recent years, particularly when compared to their wealth gains.

The article comes as President Biden has proposed raising taxes on the wealthy and corporations to pay for his major spending proposals. Democrats have increasingly made raising taxes on the rich a top priority in recent years, and some progressives have called for going even further than Biden’s proposals by establishing a wealth tax that would impose taxes on net worth rather than income.

Democrats said that ProPublica’s report underscores the need for action to increase taxes on the rich, who have most of their wealth tied up in stocks and real estate. Gains in the value of investments are not taxed until the assets are sold. 

“The ProPublica story reminds us again why we need a wealth tax,” Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenSchumer vows to advance two-pronged infrastructure plan next month Overnight Health Care: CDC panel meets on vaccines and heart inflammation | Health officials emphasize vaccine is safe | Judge rules Missouri doesn't have to implement Medicaid expansion Democrats urge Biden to extend moratorium on student loan payments MORE (D-Mass.) said Tuesday. “People all across this country know that the game is rigged, but the ProPublica story just mashes that right in folks’ faces.”

The Hill’s Scott Wong and I have more here on Democrats’ reaction to the ProPublica report.