During an interview, President-elect Joe Biden said “there’s no reason why” his administration should not raise corporate and individual income taxes to levels we saw during former president George Bush’s administration.
Biden insisted “everybody pays their fair share” in taxes during his presidency. He suggested a nearly 40% rate for those in the top bracket, which he said was commonplace during the Bush era.
“And by that fair share, I mean there’s no reason why the top tax rate shouldn’t be 39.6 percent, which it was in the beginning of the Bush administration,” he said in the Times interview. “There’s no reason why 91 Fortune 500 companies should be paying zero in taxes.”
In the early 2000s, the nation’s highest tax bracket was 39.6%, which was for people earning more than $374,000 per year, according to Fox Business. Bush then lowered the rate to 35%. Then former President Barack Obama reset the benchmark at 39.6% following the 2008 financial crisis.
President Donald Trump cut the corporate tax rate to 21% and the individual tax rate to 37% in 2017, shortly after assuming office, according to Fox.
If Republicans retain control of the Senate after the Georgia runoff election, Biden’s ability to implement his tax reform may be hindered. However, the former vice president claims he would be able to pass his agenda even if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell resists.
“Let me put it this way,” Biden said in the Times interview. “There are a number of things that when McConnell controlled the Senate that people said couldn’t get done, and I was able to get them done with [him]. I was able to get them to, you know, raise taxes on the wealthy.”
Throughout his campaign, Biden pledged to increase taxes for those “making over $400,000” a year.
“I will raise taxes for anybody making over $400,000,” Biden said. He continued, “Let me tell you why I’m going to do it. It’s about time they start paying a fair share of the economic responsibility we have. The very wealthy should pay a fair share – corporations should pay a fair share.”