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Biden willing to negotiate on corporate taxes, but 'sick and tired' of non-payers

EconomyApr 07, 2021 08:05PM ET
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© Reuters. U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the state of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccinations

By Trevor Hunnicutt and Jeff Mason

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -President Joe Biden on Wednesday made a fiery appeal for U.S companies to foot most of the bill for his $2 trillion-plus infrastructure plan, but signaled an openness to negotiate over exactly how much they would have to pay.

"I'm willing to negotiate that," he told reporters. "But we've got to pay for this."

Biden faces stiff opposition from Republicans, major corporations and even some in his own Democratic Party to elements of the proposal he laid out a week ago, which must be approved by Congress to become a reality.

The president argued that the United States' position as a pre-eminent global power was under threat from China if the investments he outlined were not made, saying it would be unacceptable not to move forward.

"America is no longer the leader in the world because we're not investing," Biden said. "I don't know why we don't get this."

China, he said, is "counting on American democracy to be too slow, too limited and too divided to keep pace" and "we can't afford to prove them right."

The president has proposed making investments over eight years in building roads and bridges, retrofitting homes, expanding broadband internet access, caring for the elderly, financing domestic manufacturing and building high-speed rail.

Biden's plan would not add to the country's debt in the long run, the White House says. The largest share of funding would come from an increase in the corporate tax rate to 28% from the 21% levy set by then-President Donald Trump's 2017 tax cut.

The administration released more details on Wednesday about the tax components of the plan, which also includes higher levies on companies' overseas earnings, a new minimum tax on the profits companies report to investors and funding for more Internal Revenue Service enforcement officials.

Those efforts, dubbed the "Made in America Tax Plan," would raise $2.5 trillion over 15 years, the Treasury Department said.

Reuters interviewed more than a dozen corporate and White House officials engaged in the infrastructure push. Most expect the White House and business groups to compromise on a 25% corporate tax rate.

WITHERING CRITICISM

The business lobby and Republicans have been withering in their criticism of the funding side of the proposal.

Still, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell left open the possibility of compromise. He told reporters in Kentucky on Wednesday that an infrastructure bill could win Republican support if it targets traditional projects involving roads, bridges and broadband without "completely revisiting" the 2017 tax cut.

One of Biden's closest allies in the Senate, Democrat Chris Coons of Delaware, issued an ultimatum to Republicans on Wednesday. He said they would have until the end of May to negotiate a compromise bill before Democrats move sweeping legislation on their own.

A ruling by the U.S. Senate parliamentarian on Monday would allow Democrats to pass the bill even in the face of a Republican filibuster, relying on a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Kamala Harris in the 50-50 chamber. Sixty votes are usually needed to overcome filibusters.

Coons told Punchbowl News that several senior Senate Republicans have privately signaled they would support a package of up to $1 trillion that targets roads, bridges and other typical infrastructure areas and includes some tax increases to pay for legislation.

'SICK AND TIRED'

U.S. Chamber of Commerce chief policy officer Neil Bradley said the need for infrastructure was no excuse for passing "tax hikes that will hurt American businesses and cost American jobs."

Biden countered by taking aim at companies paying little to nothing in federal taxes.

"I'm not trying to punish anybody, but damn it - maybe it's because I come from a middle-class neighborhood - I'm sick and tired of ordinary people being fleeced," he said.

Individual taxpayers, whose taxes are deducted from their paychecks, make up a big chunk of U.S. federal government funding.

Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) Chief Executive Jeff Bezos said on Tuesday that he supports hiking the U.S. corporate tax rate as part of an infrastructure overhaul.

But the carefully worded statement stopped short of endorsing any specific tax or spending proposal made by Biden.

Biden willing to negotiate on corporate taxes, but 'sick and tired' of non-payers
 

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Comments (26)
Benjamin McIntire
Benjamin McIntire Apr 08, 2021 8:45AM ET
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Republicans are dragging us down with their antiquated tactics.
jonathan seagull
jonathan seagull Apr 08, 2021 3:01AM ET
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U paid any tax for black incomes from black sea countries and your old friend china??
Options Trader
Options Trader Apr 08, 2021 12:51AM ET
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I'm sick and tired of Joe's babbling already. going to be a long 4 years
Marco cuevas
Marco cuevas Apr 07, 2021 9:01PM ET
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Too easy if they don't want to negotiate dems will just use reconciliation. We OWN the WH republicans ...TAX THE RICH!
milena villa escobar
milena villa escobar Apr 07, 2021 8:44PM ET
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Corporations don't care what the tax rate is. Their profits are shuffled off too tax-free jurisdictions anyway
Allatra Yiveh
AllatraYiveh Apr 07, 2021 8:44PM ET
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And we are sick and tired with all these heavy taxes Joe! Just 100 years ago in America before FED, tax was just for rich and just less than 3%. Nowadays taxes are everywhere and above 20%!
Chief Redrum
Chief Redrum Apr 07, 2021 8:44PM ET
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Try 34-36% for middle class
milena villa escobar
milena villa escobar Apr 07, 2021 8:43PM ET
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Good job Reuters on using pictures of Biden that make him look like he doesn't have complete dementia and is somehow in control of his mental facilities
Patron Silver
Patron Silver Apr 07, 2021 5:48PM ET
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don't bend to the crooked gop
Michael Kaoud
Michael Kaoud Apr 07, 2021 5:30PM ET
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Delaware is particularly attractive to financial companies, due to its business-friendly usury laws and light taxation. A Delaware corporation can base their headquarters in any U.S. state, where they are then exempt from state corporate income tax in many cases. Biden held senate in Delaware from 1973 to 2009. Interesting.
Klaus Weyers
Klaus Weyers Apr 07, 2021 5:02PM ET
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made in america tax plan.. a euhemism for mote gov sanctioned theft
Shawn Gachassin
Shawn Gachassin Apr 07, 2021 5:02PM ET
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Are you going to pay for the potholes on your road with your own money, Klaus? Just curious?
danny Levine
danny Levine Apr 07, 2021 5:02PM ET
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are you going to pay 1mm for a pothole fix?
Klaus Weyers
Klaus Weyers Apr 07, 2021 5:02PM ET
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user pays.. lets have more toll roads.. and less government
Trat Nguyen
Trat Nguyen Apr 07, 2021 5:02PM ET
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Klaus Weyers  Fraud, failure, embarrassment to your parents.   Three things that describe you
Klaus Weyers
Klaus Weyers Apr 07, 2021 5:01PM ET
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cut gov spending by half and reduce Corp and Individual rax rates dramatically
John Raymond
John Raymond Apr 07, 2021 4:38PM ET
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biden and his wife are personally using the tax loop holes of an s corporation to avoid tax on 13 million of income and avoid contributions to medicare. he is a corrupt hypocrite
Connecticut Yankee
A_Jaundiced_Eye Apr 07, 2021 3:12PM ET
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Raise taxes on corporations to 100% - still won't be enough to pay for the Dems' kid-in-a-candystore spending.  Eventually, they're going to HAVE to go after IRAs and 401Ks.  THEN, the seniors in America are going to have a march on the Capitol that will make the Proud Boys riot seem like a Sunday picnic.
Steve Lora
Steve Lora Apr 07, 2021 2:19PM ET
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Kamala Harris is running the USA. Remember to vote socialist Democrats next midterms. Invoke the 25th amendment
Mox Mox
Mox Mox Apr 07, 2021 2:18PM ET
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Big corporations who share bed with Biden don't care. they don't pay tax anyway. The little local entrepreneur will bear the burden.
Wayne Gillispie
Wayne Gillispie Apr 07, 2021 2:17PM ET
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If thousands of CEO’s/corporations can afford $2-20M private jets to fly their executives, families and side chicks, they can afford to pay more taxes and pay a fair wage. They’ve already outsourced most US manufacturing jobs to China, Vietnam, Korea, India and others. Healthcare and benefits now cost the employees a fortune because companies don’t participate as much and due to greedy, overpaid healthcare executives.
Rick Baier
Rick Baier Apr 07, 2021 1:43PM ET
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How much do we give away to foreign countries again joe?
Feren Nika
Feren Nika Apr 07, 2021 1:29PM ET
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amazon trash company he support biden opinion, amazon not production company. production company have a bigger impact if rise tax or minimum standar tax.
Feren Nika
Feren Nika Apr 07, 2021 1:25PM ET
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minimum tax = wrong action to make a budget infra.company cannot competitive.make a minimum budgetmake a new price upmake a minimum cost product.amazon look he accept. amazon not production, production company a bigger impact to competitive price.you wrong biden if you think this good
Butch Einsel
Butch Einsel Apr 07, 2021 1:11PM ET
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Tax e-mail plain and simple DUH JOE, think outside the box for once
danny Levine
danny Levine Apr 07, 2021 12:49PM ET
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lol when companies start fleeing America you know who to blame
mohamed alhajri
mohamed alhajri Apr 07, 2021 12:49PM ET
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Lol flee to?!
Butch Einsel
Butch Einsel Apr 07, 2021 12:49PM ET
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Connecticut Yankee
A_Jaundiced_Eye Apr 07, 2021 12:49PM ET
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mohamed alhajri  Luxembourg, Ireland, Cayman Islands.  All they need is a post office box for an address.
Alison Boxxer
Alison Boxxer Apr 07, 2021 12:47PM ET
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good trickle down was a huge scam and they got away with 30 TRILLION dollars over the past 40 years Republicans absolutely stink with the economy and everything else
Atlantic Coast Money
Atlantic Coast Money Apr 07, 2021 12:45PM ET
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This is the governments way of getting bank money from all of the bonds, including junk bonds, that the Fed bought. Rob from Peter and give to Joe scenario. Classic corruption shell game in broad daylight. Should have just left it alone from the beginning. At minimum pull the plug on bond buying 6 months ago.
Atlantic Coast Money
Atlantic Coast Money Apr 07, 2021 12:42PM ET
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If only it was that simple. All corporations should pay taxes, but to increase taxes on ALL corporations to 28% is abdurd. You can deduct a solid 7%, more like 10+ with compounding, off of all company growth and earnings. Essentially should create a 7-10% correction on the S&P minimum.
Show previous replies (1)
Atlantic Coast Money
Atlantic Coast Money Apr 07, 2021 12:42PM ET
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Tony Huynh corporate tax rate for ALL increased by 7%. More like thousands of companies. I believe you are referring to a few hundred companies that did not pay federal taxes.
Tony Huynh
Tony Huynh Apr 07, 2021 12:42PM ET
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atlantic coast money, No he just soften his tax proposal today. So not all corporations will be affect, it was 100 millions revenue to 2 billions a year.
Connecticut Yankee
A_Jaundiced_Eye Apr 07, 2021 12:42PM ET
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Tony Huynh  i'm pretty sure those corporations (110m - 2b revenue) are listed on the stock market.  And owned by pension funds. And by retirees. And by banks and insurance companies. And by....
Darren Ikin
Darren Ikin Apr 07, 2021 12:42PM ET
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Connecticut Yankee the richest 10% of Americans. They own 90% of the market
Connecticut Yankee
A_Jaundiced_Eye Apr 07, 2021 12:42PM ET
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Darren Ikin  But $100K to someone with a million$ IRA is more than 100million$ to someone with 2Billion$ in stocks, real estate, artwork, their own company.
Red Riley
Red Riley Apr 07, 2021 12:40PM ET
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taxtaxtax. address the southern border. out of control
Connecticut Yankee
A_Jaundiced_Eye Apr 07, 2021 12:40PM ET
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That's exactly the trick.  Get everybody focused on Taxes, so they won't notice Dems opening the floodgates in south Texas!
 
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