President Joe Biden continued prosecuting his case Wednesday for raising the corporate tax rate to pay for his $2 trillion infrastructure and jobs plan.
“I’m not trying to punish anybody,” Biden said in a White House speech. “But damn it—maybe it’s because I come from a middle-class neighborhood—I’m sick and tired of ordinary people being fleeced.”
New polling from Morning Consult shows the American public is sick and tired of being fleeced too, and Biden is therefore prosecuting his case for a bipartisan majority of Americans. In the survey, 65% of voters support raising the tax rate on corporations in order to pay for Biden’s infrastructure plan. That includes 85% of Democrats, 60% of independents, and 42% of Republicans.
The finding tracks with Gallup polling on the matter for more than a decade. When the polling organization has asked respondents whether they thought corporations were paying their “fair share” in taxes, strong majorities over the years have consistently said, “No.”
- 2019: 69% said corporations don’t pay their fair share
- 2018: 66% said corporations don’t pay their fair share
- 2017: 67% said corporations don’t pay their fair share
- 2016: 67% said corporations don’t pay their fair share
- 2015: 69% said corporations don’t pay their fair share
Biden’s case is only buttressed by recent news that at least 55 of the the nation’s largest corporations paid zero federal income taxes in their most recent fiscal year. So while a lot of Americans are sweating out tax season to meet filing deadlines, America’s giant corporations are paying zip, despite the fact that they already benefit from a substantial amount of pretax profits.
But what has become perfectly clear is the fact that Biden isn’t making the case against only Republicans anymore. Biden’s making it to West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin and all of his constituents who would benefit from his infrastructure plan, which not only includes investments in rural broadband but would also put a lot of unemployed people to work.
Biden’s plan calls for funding the investments by raising the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%, which is still lower than the 35% rate before Republicans passed their giant tax cuts for the rich and corporate-y in 2017. Manchin has said he favors increasing the corporate rate to closer to 25%.
Manchin also penned an op-ed Wednesday restating his opposition to removing or weakening the filibuster, which means any plan would ultimately require the approval of 60 Senators to proceed.
In the piece, Manchin touted support for “bipartisan bills that seek to invest in broadband infrastructure, tax incentives to spur manufacturing investments in rural communities, reform the Department of Veterans Affairs, protect our children from harm and more.”
We shall see whether Manchin can deliver 60 votes on any of those issues, including certain voting reforms, which he also said enjoyed bipartisan support. It’s on Manchin, since he has planted himself firmly in the way of progress on the basis of some fanciful notion that Republicans will approve any legislative initiatives that help everyday Americans whatsoever.
At the White House, Biden called compromise on his infrastructure plan “inevitable.”
“But here’s what we won’t be open to,” he added, “We will not be open to doing nothing. Inaction simply is not an option.”