If this corporate tax rate increase were the only change on the table, Democrats might be able to sell it — but it’s not. This legislation has several provisions, like limits on deductions and a surtax on small businesses making over $5 million, that could be the making of a tax revolt against the Democrats.
The longer this massive tax and spending proposal sits out in the open the more it will smell like a rotten mackerel in the moonlight.
Let’s be clear about one thing: Neither the $3.5 trillion in spending nor the over $2 trillion in higher taxes are likely to become law. These inflated numbers will come down as centrist and pragmatic Congressional Democrats get hammered by business owners at home about profligate spending and a gargantuan tax increase. While it’s fashionable for progressives to attack Manchin for wanting to tap the brakes, he is sure to be joined by many more members gobsmacked by sticker shock. They, too, will be urging restraint. It is always worth reminding Congressional Democrats they need the West Virginia Democrat far more than he needs them.
Will House Democratic leaders force their centrist members in 2021 to walk a BTU-like plank in order to satisfy the progressives? We’ll find out soon enough.
What is so remarkable about all of this is that Biden and centrist Democrats did not campaign in 2020 on turning America into a cradle-to-grave entitlement state, similar to Scandinavian countries. Yes, Sen. Bernie Sanders told us this was his agenda — but he lost. In 2022, swing voters might express their displeasure at the polls against those members who seem to have forgotten this important detail.