US corporations, wealthy must ‘pay their fair share’, says Biden

US President Joe Biden arrives to deliver his first address to a joint session of the US Congress inside the House Chamber of the US Capitol in Washington April 28, 2021. — Reuters pic
US President Joe Biden arrives to deliver his first address to a joint session of the US Congress inside the House Chamber of the US Capitol in Washington April 28, 2021. — Reuters pic

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WASHINGTON, April 29 — US President Joe Biden yesterday called for higher taxes on wealthy Americans and corporations as he sought ways to pay for his massive spending proposals aimed at improving infrastructure and the workforce.

“How do we pay for my jobs and family plan? I made it clear we can do it without increasing the deficit,” Biden told a joint session of Congress. “I will not impose any tax increase on people making less than US$400,000 (RM1.6 million). But it’s time for corporate America and the wealthiest one per cent of Americans to begin to pay their fair share.”

Biden has made two proposals to revamp the US economy after the Covid-19 pandemic caused a severe downturn in 2020, the latest of which was the US$1.8 trillion American Families Plan unveiled earlier in the day, which would pour money into early education, childcare and colleges and universities.

The president has also proposed a more than US$2 trillion infrastructure plan that would pay for renovating roads and bridges and also fund green technology, schools and other aspects of government in the United States.

To pay for it all, Biden has targeted tax increases at the biggest businesses and wealthiest people in the world’s largest economy, though neither plan has received support from Republicans who comprise a minority in Congress, albeit a sizable one.

The infrastructure plan would be funded by a hike in the corporate tax rate from 21 per cent to 28 per cent, while an end to corporate tax breaks, loopholes and tax cuts passed under former president Donald Trump would pay for the American Families Plan.

“A lot of companies also evade taxes through tax havens in Switzerland and Bermuda and the Cayman Islands, and they benefit from tax loopholes and deductions for offshoring jobs and shifting profits overseas. It’s not right,” Biden said.

The proposals follow last month’s passage of a US$1.9 trillion rescue plan aimed at aiding consumers and businesses hard hit by the pandemic, which caused millions of people to lose jobs they have not regained. — AFP

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