There seems to be something for everyone in the massive spending packages working their way through Congress. And with a price tag of $4.6 trillion, or $37,400 per household, offering something for everyone—government-paid family leave, monthly child payments, free community college, union dues write-offs, a $12,500 electric vehicle tax credit, or new bike paths—is easy.
Politicians who want to grow government like to talk about how great this grab bag will be for workers, families, and the economy. And they promise that only big corporations and really wealthy people will pay higher taxes.
But that’s like selling a souped-up Lincoln Navigator to a family that wants a minivan, reasoning that both require the same down payment.
Families deserve to know how much big government policies will cost them—not only in taxes, but in how those policies will affect their paychecks and the prices they pay for everything from gas and groceries to utilities and child care.
President Joe Biden promised that he wouldn’t raise taxes on anyone making less than $400,000, but Congress’ official nonpartisan scorekeepers said his plan would raise taxes on millions of middle-class families.
Beginning in 2023, taxes would rise for almost 6 million taxpayers that make less than $100,000. By 2027, more than half of all families earning between $75,000 and $100,000 would pay more in taxes. Taxes would even rise on hundreds of thousands of families making less than $20,000 a year.
Of course, taxes aren’t the only thing that affect families’ budgets. The income that workers earn, and the prices they pay for goods and services, also determine a family’s bottom line.
The proposed corporate tax rate of 26.5% would put the United States at a competitive disadvantage. Even China’s Communist Party only levels a 25% corporate tax rate.
Corporations seem like an easy target for tax hikes because we think of them in abstract ways—as corporate logos and big buildings. But logos and buildings don’t pay taxes.
Across the country, companies would be hit with large tax hikes that economists agree would mostly be paid for by employees of those businesses through lower wages, less work, and fewer benefits.
If higher taxes and lower incomes weren’t bad enough, higher prices also will put a squeeze on families’ budgets.
After $6.5 trillion in COVID-19 spending, and the Federal Reserve buying more than half of the massive increase in U.S. debt during the past year, the risks of inflation are high. Another $4.6 trillion in spending between the $1.1 trillion infrastructure package and the $3.5 trillion big government package would further stoke inflation and fiscal crisis risks.
And finally, so-called green energy policies will drastically increase costs for ordinary Americans, while creating special benefits for wealthy Americans and corporations. For example, the current $2,500-$5,000 electronic vehicle tax credit that overwhelmingly benefits corporations, California residents and individuals with more than $100,000 of income would be increased to as much as $12,500, even as ordinary Americans receive zero tax credits—and higher energy bills.
While the Green New Deal is not included whole cloth, one of the deal’s sponsors, Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., said, “The Green New Deal is in the DNA” of the $3.5 trillion reconciliation spending package.
According to an analysis from The Heritage Foundation, the Green New Deal would cost every American $1,991 per year over the next decade, or nearly $8,000 per year for a family of four.
Combined, higher taxes, lower incomes, higher prices, and added energy costs could cost the typical American household $100,000 over the next decade. Compared to $37,400 per household in new government spending, that’s a pretty raw deal for ordinary Americans.
Instead of trying to sell Americans on policies that redistribute workers’ earnings and redirect families’ choices, lawmakers should seek policies that help all Americans achieve rising incomes and greater freedom to pursue the choices that are best for them.
Originally distributed by Tribune Content Agency
Have an opinion about this article? To sound off, please email [email protected] and we’ll consider publishing your edited remarks in our regular “We Hear You” feature. Remember to include the URL or headline of the article plus your name and town and/or state.