While House Republicans struggle to coalesce behind a slate of cuts to justify their promise to slash spending, they’re happily bashing President Joe Biden’s budget as an inflated, woke-i-fied, extremist manifesto.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen was on the receiving end of their often high-decibel criticism Friday, as she testified before the House Ways and Means Committee.
Rep. Greg Murphy (R-NC) took particular umbrage at the President’s proposal concerning taxing unrealized capital gains, or a theoretical profit on an investment you haven’t yet sold.
“It’s like putting somebody in jail for a potential murder that they might do,” he said Friday.
“We have a situation where hardworking teachers and firefighters are paying a higher share of their income in taxation than billionaires who derive most of their income from unrealized capital gains,” Yellen responded, adding: “We’re suggesting a tax on individuals earning more than $100 million.”
Murphy pressed on with his metaphor.
“I’m not talking about the wealth of the person, I’m talking about the actual theory of attacking somebody before they’ve actually gained their money,” he said. “Again, it’s like putting somebody in prison before they’ve done the murder.”
Much of Biden’s budget derives its revenue from hiking taxes on the wealthy and corporations to beef up social programs — a revenue stream many Democrats have cited as their favorite part of the economic plan. It’s Biden’s attempt to lessen the chasm between people who make most of their money through wages and salaries, and the ultra wealthy who may not have much in the way of traditional income, but who have enormous bounties in other forms, like unrealized capital gains.
The White House is calling the headliner policy the “billionaire tax.” It would impose a 25 percent minimum tax on households worth over $100 million.
The administration is eager to take advantage of moments like Murphy’s Friday, with Republicans expressing angst over the parts of the budget aimed at making the tiny, richest segment of Americans pay more in taxes.
“Every day, the extreme MAGA Republicans’ mask of pretending to care about working Americans slips a bit more,” White House spokesperson Robyn Patterson told TPM. “Whether it’s putting Medicare and Social Security on the chopping block, siding with Big Pharma to block Medicare negotiating lower drug prices, or being outraged that big special interests might have to pay a tiny bit more in taxes, it’s becoming crystal clear to all Americans whose side they’re on.”