Manchin Supports Tax Hike for Infrastructure
While progressives in the party are often frustrated with the West Virginia Senator, he is demonstrating yet again that he's no Republican.
NBC News (“Manchin calls for ‘enormous’ infrastructure package paid for with new taxes“):
Sen. Joe Manchin said Wednesday that he favors a large infrastructure package that would be paid for in part by raising tax revenues — a point of contention between the two parties.
“I’m sure of one thing: It’s going to be enormous,” the West Virginia Democrat, who is seen as a swing vote in a chamber divided 50-50, told reporters at the Capitol.
While he didn’t predict a price tag, Manchin said Congress should do “everything we possibly can” to pay for it. He said there should be “tax adjustments” to former President Donald Trump’s 2017 tax law to boost revenues, including by raising the corporate rate from the current 21 percent to at least 25 percent.
The tax benefits in the Republican law were “weighted in one direction to the upper end,” Manchin said. He also suggested an “infrastructure bank” paid for with revenues, potentially a value-added tax, that would be used for “rebuilding America.”
“I’m not afraid to look at other things,” he said.
Notably, Manchin said the Republican resistance to higher taxes was not a “reasonable” position in an infrastructure negotiation.
“Where do they think it’s going to come from?” he asked. “How are you going to fix America?”
Manchin’s position on taxes signals a significant division between the two parties that could nudge Democrats to pursue the same budget reconciliation process that they used for Covid-19 relief to pass an infrastructure bill if they cannot reach common ground with Republicans on how to finance it.
He’s apparently not a believer in Modern Monetary Theory, either, in that he does feel that we need to “pay for it” by collecting revenues rather than just printing more money. But there’s more than that at work here, I think.
In a Twitter conversation the other day, I pushed back at the notion from a prominent journalist that Democrats hate raising taxes but feel they have no choice because they favor a lot of public spending. I argued that, no, they actually saw taxing the rich as a virtue into itself as a means of leveling.
Manchin, a moderate, is less inclined in that direction that Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders. But he’s very much in the “fair share” camp.