Manchin raises concern over billionaire tax

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Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) on Wednesday said he doesn’t like the idea of targeting only the 700 wealthiest Americans to pay for a big chunk of the Democrats’ spending package, raising doubts over a newly proposed tax on billionaires.

Manchin raises concern over billionaire tax
© Greg Nash Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) speaks to an aide after a meeting with Senate leadership and White House officials on Monday, October 25, 2021.

“I don’t like it. I don’t like the connotation that we’re targeting different people,” Manchin told reporters when asked about the new tax proposal sponsored by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) that would hit billionaires and people who earned $100 million or more in three consecutive years.

Manchin argued that the ultra-wealthy “bring a lot of jobs, invest a lot of money and give a lot to philanthropic pursuits.”

He also said the debate over the tax within the Democratic caucus “is very convoluted.”

But he predicted that Democrats are likely to enact reform to spread the tax burden for the spending bill more broadly, though he didn’t specify if that means closing tax loopholes for the rich or raising taxes on people who earn below $100 million annually or have a net worth below $1 billion.

“I believe everyone’s going to pay. I believe that we will end up where everyone must participate,” he said.

Manchin floated the idea of what he called a “Patriotic Tax” that would entail a minimum 15 percent tax on individuals who otherwise would escape federal taxes thanks to various loopholes.

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