Reuters – US President Joe Biden, in a speech on Wednesday, will sharpen the arguments for his new spending proposal of more than $ 2 trillion and challenge opponents of the plan and the taxes it would levy on it.
Biden faces fierce opposition from Republicans, corporations and even some members of his own Democratic Party to key elements of the proposal he tabled a week ago, which must be approved by Congress to become a reality.
The president will seek to put these opponents on the defensive in a speech in which he “challenges critics to explain why it is acceptable that 91 of the largest corporations did not pay federal taxes in 2019, or what parts of that package they did do not use”. I think it’s worthy, ”said a White House official who anticipated Biden’s remarks and refused to be named.
Biden will deliver the speech in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building across from the White House.
Biden plans a series of investments over eight years in spending on roads and bridges, home retrofitting, expanding broadband Internet access, caring for the elderly, building local manufacturers and building high-speed trains.
Most of the funding for the proposal would come from a sharp increase in the corporate tax rate to 28% after a 21% levy was set in then-President Donald Trump’s 2017 tax return.
Biden’s plan also increases taxes on overseas companies’ profits and introduces a new minimum tax on profits they report to investors.
On Wednesday, the Treasury Department released details of the tax elements of the proposal, including plans to improve auditing and enforcement, which it claims would raise approximately $ 2.5 trillion over 15 years.
“The world’s largest companies, including Amazon, took advantage of various loopholes to avoid paying a single penny in federal income tax,” said Biden when unveiling the plan. “I don’t want to punish her, but that’s just wrong.”
Jeff Bezos, chief executive of Amazon.com Inc, said Tuesday he was backing the increase in the US corporate tax rate as part of an infrastructure overhaul. However, the carefully worded statement did not confirm the full range of Biden’s tax and spending goals.
The business lobby and Republicans have withered their criticism of the proposal. The US Chamber of Commerce, the largest US group of companies, called Biden’s proposed corporate tax hike last month “dangerously misguided” and warned against “slowing economic recovery and making the US less competitive globally.”
(Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)