Biden vows to hike corporate taxes on 'day one' of his presidency

Fact-checking Biden’s economic recovery comments

FOX Business’ Edward Lawrence breaks down and adds context to presidential candidate Joe Biden’s comments on coronavirus economic recovery.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden pledged to raise the tax rate that corporations pay on "day one" of his presidency, regardless of the nation's unemployment rate.

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"I'd make the changes on the corporate taxes on day one," he told CNN's Jake Tapper on Thursday when asked whether he would wait for joblessness to decline.

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The former vice president has vowed to raise the corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 28 percent, which he said is projected to raise $1.3 trillion over the next decade. The Trump administration permanently slashed the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent with the passage of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

"And the reason I'd make the changes to corporate taxes, it can raise $1.3 trillion if they just started paying 28% instead of 21%," he said during the interview. "What are they doing? They're not hiring more people."

Biden said the money raised from the tax hike would be put toward manufacturing, education, and health care, arguing "these are things that matter to middle-class families."

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"Stockholders are making more money because they go out and buy back their own stock," Biden said. "They bought back over a trillion dollars of their own stock, raising the price of the stock. That's it — not hiring anybody else, not expanding their business, not investing in new enterprises."

Biden also reiterated an earlier promise that he would not raise taxes on anyone earning less than $400,000.

His tax plan would raise about $4 trillion in new federal revenue over the next decade, according to an analysis from the Tax Policy Center. The corporate tax increase would account for roughly $1.3 trillion of that revenue.

Still, the Constitution gives Congress the power to set tax policy, so Biden's economic agenda may hinge on whether Democrats win a majority in both the House and Senate.

In order to take back the Senate, Democrats would need to pick up three additional seats and win the White House.

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Republicans are hoping to win back the Alabama seat held by Democratic incumbent Sen. Doug Jones, who is considered to be one of the most vulnerable senators. But Democrats are going after GOP senators in a growing number of states, including Maine, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Montana and North Carolina.

Biden's comments come as President Trump tries to shift the focus of the election toward the economy and its recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

So far, the economy has recovered swifter than expected — the nation's unemployment rate unexpectedly dropped to 8.4% in August, the lowest since February, when it sat at a half-century low of 3.5%. Still, there are 11.5 million more out-of-work Americans than there were before the pandemic struck in February.

"We're in the midst of the fastest economic recovery in U.S. history, so we have a lot to be thankful for," Trump said during a Labor Day press conference.

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