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Democrats' 'Build Back Better' agenda is a payback to wealthy allies

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 10/5/2021 Rep. Jason Smith
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Inflation has reached its highest level in nearly 40 years, eating away at paychecks and straining family budgets. The border crisis continues to rage, with the highest number of crossings in over two decades. Americans are still trapped in Afghanistan, living under Taliban rulers armed with billions of dollars worth of American-bought military equipment.

But what concerns Washington Democrats these days is not how to address these crises. Instead, their sole focus is on how to convince each other to go along with a massive tax-and-spend agenda that helps their political allies while doing very little for workers and families.

Democratic leaders in Congress and the White House are twisting arms, cutting backroom deals, and otherwise shaming fellow members of their own party in an attempt to hold their narrow majority together long enough to enact a $4.3 trillion socialist tax and spending spree — the most expensive piece of legislation in American history, which will undoubtedly add more fuel to the inflation fire. It does not help that the bill also includes the largest tax increase in U.S. history and would add $2.4 trillion to the nation’s debt despite President Joe Biden’s bizarre claim that the bill will cost “zero.”

At the same time, the pledge Biden repeatedly made not to raise taxes on those making less than $400,000 is broken beyond repair in this agenda. Of the $2.1 trillion in proposed tax increases, $1.1 trillion will hit families and small businesses. The nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation, an official congressional scorekeeper, has confirmed that the bill will increase taxes on those earning under $100,000. Meanwhile, two-thirds of the tax burden, which Democrats claim is part of their plan to make wealthy corporations “pay their fair share,” will fall on low- and middle-income earners, according to the JCT. Never mind the fact that it will also mean U.S. companies face a higher tax rate than they would in Communist China.

The Democrats’ attack on working families ranges from the inexcusable, such as a $54 billion tax increase on grieving families through an enhanced death tax, to the absurd, such as a tax on methane emissions that could leave dairy farmers paying an additional $6,504 per cow per year. They have even floated a proposal that would deputize local banks to report any inflows or outflows of $600 or more over the course of a year, including from third-party applications such as Venmo or PayPal. Of course, setting a $600 reporting threshold is clearly not about making millionaires and billionaires pay what they owe to Uncle Sam. This policy is another chance for Washington Democrats to score a quick buck off lower- and middle-income workers at the same time they want to send $80 billion to the Internal Revenue Service to double the number of agents and target more taxpayers.

But perhaps the most disturbing part of all is that while working families are paying higher taxes and fighting to afford higher prices for everything from gas to food to clothes, the wealthy patrons of the Democratic Party will reap the benefits. Their tax-and-spend plan throws billions in tax breaks and handouts to the wealthy. To those paying attention for the last few years, this should not come as a surprise. The Democratic Party has become the party of the wealthy and affluent. Democrats control the 10 wealthiest congressional districts in America. Last year, Wall Street spent over $74 million supporting Biden’s presidency, more than was spent to elect President Barack Obama.

There are $42 billion in tax credits for the wealthy to buy luxury electric vehicles — a particularly targeted approach to rewarding Democrats' wealthy friends, given that nearly 80% of electrical vehicle credits are claimed by those making $100,000 or more per year. Their plan would allow an individual earning $200,000 per year to qualify for a subsidy worth $82,000 to buy a home while distributing $28,000 in taxpayer-funded paid leave benefits to households that are pulling in $500,000 per year. They even include $50 billion to award “free” college to any student, including those from millionaire families.

Of course, no massive Democratic spending bill would be complete without throwing in an earmark for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the $200 million for her favorite park and golf course in her district, or a massive $630 billion down payment on the radical Green New Deal agenda. The aim here is to turn traditional, affordable energy resources into a thing of the past. The bill even includes $100 million for endangered plants in Hawaii, butterflies, freshwater mussels, and desert fish in the Southwest.

The Democrats’ agenda is a giveaway to the wealthy at the expense of working families — all wrapped together in a bill that numbers 2,400 pages and counting.

Jason Smith represents Missouri's 8th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.


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Tags: Opinion, Op-Eds, Democratic Party, Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, Congress, Legislation

Original Author: Rep. Jason Smith

Original Location: Democrats' 'Build Back Better' agenda is a payback to wealthy allies


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