White House dramatically increased tax proposal as it sought to address tensions over next big spending plan

By | March 29, 2021

The Washington Post reports:

When President Biden’s team began putting together his infrastructure and jobs package this February, the White House National Economic Council circulated an internal proposal calling for about $3 trillion in new spending and $1 trillion in new tax hikes, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.

But soon enough, some members of the economic team second-guessed themselves, concerned that the plan could jeopardize the nation’s long-term financial stability. The officials worried that the large gap between spending and revenue would widen the deficit by such a large degree that it could risk triggering a spike in interest rates, which could in turn cause federal debt payments to skyrocket, said the people familiar with the matter.

The two-pronged package Biden will begin unveiling this week includes higher amounts of federal spending but also significantly more in new tax revenue — with possibly as much as $4 trillion in new spending and more than $3 trillion in tax increases, said the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private dynamics. One person familiar with the matter said that the early infrastructure draft did not include every tax increase the White House was eventually considering including in its ultimate proposal, and that the administration believes the tax hikes can also advance its goal of reducing income inequality.

Still, the choice to increase the bill’s tax hikes in part because of its deficit impact reflects how concerns over the nation’s spending imbalance are shaping the White House’s internal policy debate. But it also sets up the administration for an enormous political challenge in convincing Congress to pass a package of tax increases on wealthy Americans and companies that together would represent the largest tax hike in generations. [Continue reading…]

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