Biden’s Tax Agenda May Be Constrained

Biden’s Tax Agenda May Be Constrained

What will a narrow Democratic congressional majority mean for President-elect Joe Biden’s tax agenda? TPC’s Howard Gleckman offers clues to what Bid

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What will a narrow Democratic congressional majority mean for President-elect Joe Biden’s tax agenda? TPC’s Howard Gleckman offers clues to what Biden may be able to accomplish in 2021. Biden will need to act quickly—while controlling the pandemic and before lawmakers focus on their own re-elections in 2022—and pick winnable fights. Moderate Democrats—including the leadership of tax-writing committees—will be more consequential than the Democratic far left. Given that Biden will need 60 votes to pass most bills in the Senate, budget reconciliation measures that require only 50 votes are likely to be the vehicle  for modest tax cuts, possibly including expansion of some refundable tax credits, and new savings incentives.

What if Trump had called his proposed $2,000 economic impact payments “tax relief?” Howard wonders whether Senate Republicans would have been so quick to oppose $2,000 pandemic relief payments if they had been framed as tax cuts instead of government “checks.” The payments, after all, are refundable and advanceable individual income tax credits and tax relief usually is far more popular among Republican lawmakers than new spending. But mixed messaging and poor targeting left room for the GOP to blast the financial relief as “socialism for the rich.” 

Why are dependents over age 16 still ineligible for economic impact payments? The Tax Hound…



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