Manchin: Focus on Tax Rates in Economic Package

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., told The Wall Street Journal that Democrats, when renegotiating President Joe Biden’s wide-ranging economic package, should focus on raising revenue by increasing some tax rates.

“Why can’t we just get a good solid tax plan that works?” Manchin said in an interview last week that was published Monday. “That’s the first thing to do.”

The senator has called to bring the corporate tax rate from 21% to 25% and increase the top capital-gains tax rate from 23.8% to 28% while also raising taxes on the carried-interest income of private-equity managers. Those proposals were under consideration until opposition from Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., caused Democrats to drop the policies.

“I respect her and what her concerns may be, but I think basically our financial situation is getting worse, not better, so maybe we can take another look at it,” Manchin told the Journal. “I would hope so.”

A spokesperson for Sinema told the newspaper, “there are many ways to pay for such ideas,” as improving American competitiveness and adding jobs, “that do not include tax-rate increases that hurt small businesses and our economic competitiveness while we continue to emerge from a pandemic and economic downturn.”

Seth Hanlon, a senior fellow at the Democrat-leaning think tank the Center for American Progress, told the Journal: “I don’t think it’s necessary to have a deficit-reducing bill, but if it’s necessary to get Sen. Manchin’s vote to address climate change and the costs of raising children and expand healthcare, then it’s definitely worth it.”

Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., said: “If we can find a way to revisit the corporate tax issue and get a majority, then I think that’s something we should pursue. But obviously the goal is to get something.”

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