So let me get this right. President Biden has proposed the highest capital gains tax in, probably, history. I’m not quite sure. I know, though, that it’s the highest in the past 50 years.
At 43.4% — added with the corporate tax — that gets you to more than 50%. And then, of course, state capital gains will get you close to 60%. Nobody in Europe is even close to that.
Not even Bernie Sanders’ beloved Sweden, which is at 30%. By the way, China is at 20%. And, by the way, China’s 25% corporate tax would be lower than our 28%.
So it’s the combination of jacking up taxes on companies, and their profits, and their gains, or any time you sell a small business —or a farm or a ranch — you pay capital gains.
And, by the way, Team Biden might eliminate the step-up basis for capital gains around the death tax. Meaning: Heirs would have to sell assets immediately — a plan that the Penn-Wharton school claims would raise $113 billion.
So it’s pouring taxes on taxes and attacking investment, which is the key to blue-collar middle class living standards. They’re being attacked.
And it’s an attack on our competitiveness in the global race for capital. These are policies that will surely throw a wet blanket on our booming economy.
Now, today, comes word that this isn’t enough. Mr. Biden wants a cool $80 billion dollars to beef up IRS audits of high earners. I’ll quote from this morning’s New York Times, my friends Jim
Tankersley and Alan Rappeport:
His administration will portray that effort — coupled with new taxes it is proposing on corporations and the rich — as a way to level the tax playing field between typical American workers and very high-earners who employ sophisticated efforts to minimize or avoid taxation. The $80 billion, parceled out over 10 years, would be a nearly 70 percent increase over the agency’s entire funding levels for the past decade.
Good luck with that, Mr. President. From time immemorial, presidents searching high and low for revenues to fund their overspending love to get more IRS agents to run around the country and harass taxpayers.
This time $80 billion is a really big number. One former IRS commissioner said $25 billion would be sufficient. But here’s the last laugh.
Team Biden expects to raise $780 billion in new tax revenues. Believe me, folks, they won’t get half of that. They might not even get a third.
It’s been tried before and failed utterly. You know what this is? Just another tax. Just another one. You know to what this leads us? Big time politically motivated audits.
It weaponizes the IRS. Remember a few years back, a lady called Lois Lerner, who was, during the Obama years, always going after conservatives. Individuals, groups, political parties, anything.
And independent investigators proved hammer and tongs that she was politically motivated. And she wasn’t alone. And she would up in disgrace, forced to flee the agency, one step ahead of the courts.
There is, though, more from Team Biden today. The administration will use an executive order to impose a $15 minimum wage for federal contractors.
This is a large group of both large and small companies, with knock-on effects running through the whole country — particularly affecting small businesses.
It is a backdoor minimum wage hike that Team Biden was forced to give up on in the infrastructure legislation. The biggest victim here is going to be military companies and the defense department.
So let me get this right — Team Biden is cutting the military budget in real terms. At the same time it is jacking up costs of its hundreds of thousands of contractors.
This is another anti-defense action, and it’s a prosperity-killing action. And it applies not only to giant outfits like Lockheed or Raytheon or Boeing. It also applies to a lot smaller outfits.
They run our military bases, provide food services and sanitation services, etc. There’s no end to it, and $15 an hour is a lot more than $10.95 an hour.
Then the President has organized a pro-union task force headed by Vice President Kamala Harris. I sure hope she does better than she did running the immigration task force.
I bet she’ll go to a union site, even though she wouldn’t go to the southern border. The Bidens are pushing the ‘Pro Act’ — a pro-union political giveaway.
It would, among other things, end the secret ballot in union elections, end the right-to-work laws in about half the states, and force workers to pay high union dues, for a far-left union political agenda.
Let’s hope workers will continue to revolt, as they did in the Amazon warehouse election at Bessemer, Alabama. Workers want freedom to choose, and they deserve that freedom.
On Tuesday I had a discussion with Stu Varney on his Fox Business show, Varney and Company. “The real president of the United States today is Bernie Sanders,” Stu told me, “and the vice president is AOC. I don’t think I’m too far out of line. I really don’t. I really know it.”
“It works for me,” I told him. For Stu Varney’s political characterization of Biden World looks just about right to me right now.
It’s one thing after another — taxes, spending, greening, laboring, regulating — you name it. It’s the far, far left progressive agenda. I dare say voters thought they elected an unassuming, unity-seeking, moderate Democrat.
Adapted from Mr. Kudlow’s broadcast on Fox News. Drawing by Elliott Banfield, courtesy of the artist.