January 4, 2021 - Douglas Myser

Manchin supports billionaires tax. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va) told the White House last week he would in fact support some version of a tax going after billionaires, as part of the Build Back Better plan put out by President Biden. Yet, even though Manchin supports it, there is strong opposition to it from other members of Congress, even within the Democratic party, who greeted the news with skepticism in both the Senate and House. It was originally left out of the House Democrats plan of Build Back Better, as they didn't want to alienate certain members of both the House and Senate. Manchin supports billionaires tax.

Manchin's offer to the White House included a list of spending and revenue proposals that he supports. Manchin listed the tax on billionaire wealth as an option toward the bottom of his list. It is unclear whether Manchi's plan included a revenue estimate. Manchin's inclusion of the measure reflects the potential common ground that remains between the president and the senator in his party most uneasy about the White House's sprawling economic agenda,which could cost as much as $2 trilllion over 10 years and remake significant parts of the American economy. Alan Auerbach, an economist at the Universityof California at Berkeley, has been advising Manchin personally about tax policy.

For months, Manchin has been largely supportive of the White House tax and revenue plans, focusing his criticisms on spending measures he says are poorly designed and that would trigger more inflation and explode the national debt. Those concerns have yet to be resolved. But Manchin is not the only Democrat with policy issues that remain unaddressed. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) long the biggest hurdle to Democrats tax aspirations, has again in recent days raised concerns about some of the revenue measures the party in pursuing. Whether she can be placted has yet to be determined, or whether she will move her position at all.