Nope. Not in the least. At least that’s the way several Democrats in the Senate are playing it today. You’ll remember that back in December, Joe Manchin (D-WV) was the one that killed the $2 trillion tax and spend bill that would have brought glee to most Dems. Not so with Manchin. And with a 50/50 split in the Senate, even if they called this a “reconciliation” bill, they couldn’t pass it on their own without Manchin.
There have been talks between Manchin and Senate Majority Leader, Chuckles Schumer (D-NY) to try and find some common ground that would and could pass the Senate. The two met at length this past Tuesday, and this is reportedly what came out of the meeting.
Manchin said he would be voting FOR a new Build Back Better plan if it did two things. First it had to control inflation, which is running as high as it has in the last 40 years. Second, it has to bring down the federal deficit. Manchin, sounding more like a Republican than a Democrat here, said that he would indeed be willing to increase the corporate tax levels to 25% (it’s currently 21%), and would raise the capital gains tax to 28% (currently 20%). He also wants to see the loopholes closed so “that everyone pays their fair share in taxes”.
Now comes the kicker that might kill any chance of it passing. Manchin said that if all of that was done, half of the revenue would have to go toward deficit reduction and couldn’t be used to spend on new social programs like Green New Deal. That will most likely be the sticking point.
I don’t think that anyone in the Democrat party is going to be upset with a tax increase on either corporations or capital gains. And certainly not one that closes loopholes. What they will go absolute bat-crazy about is the half of revenue generated will be going to offsetting the deficit. Democrats don’t seem to think that a deficit is that important of a deal. Oh, they screamed a little bit about it when Donald Trump was president, but that was only because it was Trump in the White House spending the money. Had it been Bobo Obama, or Joe Biden, they would have gleefully approved the spending.
If Manchin sticks to his guns on this one, I can’t see any real compromise that gets the likes of a Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren to jump on board. They interviewed Dick Durbin (D-IL) about the meeting, and while most Dems are tight lipped about what went on, or just plain don’t know, Durbin said he was the “most skeptical” that a deal could be reached. What is most telling is the fact that Republicans are opposed to any corporate or capital gains tax increase, and joining them on the “no” side is Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema. That means that without a Republican joining the Dems, even Manchin’s best wishes won’t come to fruition!
Remember, if the Democrats lose one seat to Republicans in the midterm elections, they lose the chance to pass any of this stuff come next year. That’s why I think you’re going to see a major push over the summer and early fall (a rarity during a campaign year) to pass as much of Biden’s programs as they possibly can. They know the handwriting on the wall and can see that their chances of getting anything else done between now and next January is the only way that happens.
Carry on world…you’re dismissed!