President Joe Biden will unveil on Wednesday a sweeping $1.8 trillion plan to expand educational opportunities and child care for families, funded in part by the largest tax increases on wealthy Americans in decades — the centerpiece of his first address to a joint session of Congress. Called the American Families Plan, Biden’s third major legislative proposal combines $1 trillion in spending with $800 billion in tax cuts and credits for middle- and lower-income families.
The plan would make pre-kindergarten and community college free across the country, extend the child tax credit through 2025 and make permanent an expansion of the earned income tax credit to childless adults with low incomes, provide direct support to families for child care, finance teacher training and create a national paid family leave program.
The proposal follows on the heels of a $2.25 trillion infrastructure plan that has yet to be taken up by Congress and a $1.9 trillion pandemic relief plan that Biden has signed into law. Together, the measures would remake the U.S. tax code and social welfare programs, vastly expanding federal support even for families that consider themselves upper-middle class while substantially shifting the overall tax burden to the wealthy.
Taken together, Biden’s proposals illustrate the president’s ambitions after nearly 100 days in office. Elected to pull the U.S. out of the coronavirus pandemic and its associated economic crisis, Biden now seeks to use the presidency to reshape and reorient the economy and the lives of middle-class Americans. Making the earned income tax credit expansion permanent would help an estimated 17 million low-income workers, while extending the child tax credit would benefit an estimated 66 million kids, the White House said.
Biden’s tax hikes include raising the top rate for individuals back to 39.6%, changing the treatment of capital gains so that wealthy people don’t benefit from lower rates on their investment income, eliminating the so-called “carried interest” provision that benefits fund managers, and greatly increasing funding for the Internal Revenue Service to enforce tax collection and audit wealthy taxpayers.
His proposals are uncertain in Congress, where Democrats hold a working Senate majority only by virtue of Vice President Kamala Harris’s tie-breaking vote. Dunn’s memo cited a handful of polls showing that the majority of Americans support measures such as raising the corporate tax rate and capital gains taxes on people earning more than $1 million a year.
Biden Unveils Massive Family Aid Plan Funded by Taxing Rich, Bloomberg, Apr 29