Raising taxes on the rich is an easy campaign slogan, but Congress won’t make it easy

There will be other challenges.

President-elect Joe Biden wants to raise capital gains tax rates enough that the official Congressional scorekeepers could say they would actually lose revenue to the government, compared to just politics, because so many people would stop selling assets to avoid paying the tax.

And Biden has a proposal to force the rich to pay more social security taxes, which would face a major procedural hurdle in the Senate. There’s a ban there on tinkering with social security through something called reconciliation, a parliamentary tool that Democrats would likely need to get a plan through the Chamber (unless they get rid of the filibuster).

Proposals to withdraw parts of the tax cuts and employment law, such as the lower rates for the rich and business, are more likely to pass. Democrats have condemned the $ 1.5 trillion tax cut for years, so it should be relatively easy to agree on.

But there will be challenges there, too: Democrats are split internally over the lifting of the legal limit of $ 10,000 for state and local tax deductions. Legislators from high-taxed coastal blue states are determined to lift the border, but others in the Midwest and elsewhere mock the cost and the fact that doing so would benefit the wealthy most of all.

Democrats are unlikely to pass a large standalone tax bill like the Tax Cuts and Employment Act, but will rely on tax increases to cover the cost of their other proposals.

Of course, if the Republicans stick with the Senate, the Democrats will have to rethink much of their tax plans as the GOP opposes tax increases.

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