by Andrew Trunsky
West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin came out against his party’s plan to tax billionaires in order to finance their social-spending package just hours after it was first released.
“I don’t like it. I don’t like the connotation that we’re targeting different people,” Manchin told reporters Tuesday morning, describing billionaires as people who “contributed to society and create a lot of jobs and a lot of money and give a lot to philanthropic pursuits.”
“It’s time that we all pull together and grow together,” Manchin added.
Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, the Democratic chair of the Senate Finance Committee, released the 107-page proposal early Wednesday as a potential solution to finance the budget after Arizona Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema came out against her party’s plan to raise taxes on wealthy Americans and corporations.
Wyden also released a plan Tuesday with Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Sen. Angus King of Maine, an Independent who caucuses with Democrats, that would establish a minimum tax on corporate profits in order to finance the package, which remains without a firm price tag.
Though Manchin opposes Wyden’s first proposal, he endorsed the corporate minimum tax Tuesday.
“There should be a 15% patriotic tax … we’ve all agreed on a 15% corporate tax,” Manchin said. “We ought to be pleased this country’s able to produce the wealth … But with that there’s a patriotic duty that you should be doing something in this country that gives you the protection and the support and the opportunities. That’s called a patriotic tax – it will be nothing that should be scorned about, it doesn’t harm anybody.”
Wyden’s original proposal only extended to billionaires or Americans who earned at least $100 million for three consecutive years. Under it, tradable investments, like stocks, would have their gains taxed or losses deducted annually, while non-tradable assets, like real estate, would not be taxed annually but would be taxed more than regular capital gains taxes once sold by those to whom the provision applies.
– – –