Manchin does Manchin things and shoots down Biden's billionaire tax

Washington DC – West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin on Tuesday shot down Biden's billionaire minimum tax plan just one day after the administration proposed it.

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin said he will not support a tax on billionaires' unrealized gains.
West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin said he will not support a tax on billionaires' unrealized gains.  © IMAGO / UPI Photo

After the White House revealed its billionaire tax proposal on Monday, it didn't take long for Manchin to do what Manchin does best – shoot down his own party's agenda.

The plan would have created a 20% tax not only on billionaires' income but also on unrealized gains like stocks and bonds, which are currently not subject to taxation.

By taxing the wealthiest 0.01% of American households, the federal government estimated it could generate $360 billion in revenue.

But Manchin takes particular offense to the proposed tax on unrealized gains: "You can’t tax something that’s not earned. Earned income is what we’re based on," he told The Hill. "There’s other ways to do it. Everybody has to pay their fair share."

"Everybody has to pay their fair share, that’s for sure. But unrealized gains is not the way to do it, as far as I’m concerned," he continued.

With Manchin's refusal, the billionaire tax is likely either dead or in need of major changes to take out the tax on unrealized gains.

Doing that would drastically reduce the revenue the government can generate, as many billionaires avoid paying taxes by taking in little to no income. Instead, many take out bank loans to finance their lifestyles, all backed up by the value of their assets, as Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon, pointed out to The Hill.

Democrats are still hoping to push forward some form of tax reform through reconciliation, but without Manchin's support, it will likely go the same way as Biden's signature social policy agenda – nowhere.

Cover photo: IMAGO / UPI Photo

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