October 05, 2021

Smith Op-Ed: Democrats' Build Back Agenda is a Payback to Wealthy Allies

By Rep. Jason Smith Washington Examiner

Inflation has reached its highest level in nearly forty years, eating away at paychecks and straining family budgets. The border crisis continues to rage, with the highest number of crossings in over two decades. Americans are still trapped in Afghanistan, living under Taliban rulers who are armed with billions of dollars’ worth of American-bought military equipment.

But what concerns Washington Democrats these days is not how to address these crises. Instead, their sole focus is on how to convince each other to go along with a massive tax and spend agenda that helps their political allies while doing very little for workers and families.

Democrat Leadership in Congress and the White House are twisting arms, cutting backroom deals, and otherwise shaming fellow members of their own party in an attempt to hold their narrow majority together long enough to enact a $4.3 trillion socialist tax and spending spree – the most expensive piece of legislation in American history, that will undoubtedly add more fuel to the inflation fire. It does not help that the bill also includes the largest tax increase in American history and would add $2.4 trillion to the nation’s debt, despite President Biden’s bizarre claim that the bill will cost “zero.”

At the same time, the pledge President Biden made repeatedly to not raise taxes on those making less than $400,000 is broken beyond repair in their agenda. Of the $2.1 trillion in tax increases Democrats are proposing, $1.1 trillion will hit American families and small businesses. The non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) – an official Congressional scorekeeper – has confirmed that the bill will increase taxes on Americans earning under $100,000. Meanwhile, two-thirds of the tax burden that Democrats claim is part of their plan to make wealthy corporations “pay their fair share” will fall on low- and middle-income Americans, according to the JCT. Never mind the fact that it will also mean U.S. companies face a higher tax rate than they would in communist China.

The Democrats’ attack on working families ranges from the inexcusable – like a $54 billion tax increase on grieving families through an enhanced Death Tax – to the absurd – like a tax on methane emissions that could leave dairy farmers paying an additional $6,504 per cow per year. They have even floated a proposal that would deputize local banks to report any inflows or outflows of $600 or more over the course of a year, including from third party applications such as Venmo or PayPal. Of course, setting a $600 reporting threshold is clearly not about making millionaires and billionaires pay what they owe to Uncle Sam. This policy is another chance for Washington Democrats to score a quick buck off lower- and middle-income workers at the same time that they want to send $80 billion to the Internal Revenue Service to double the number of agents and target more taxpayers.

But, perhaps the most disturbing part of all is that while working families are paying higher taxes and fighting to afford higher prices for everything from gas to food to clothes, the wealthy patrons of the Democrat party will reap the benefits. Their tax and spend plan throws billions in tax breaks and handouts to wealthy Americans. To those paying attention for the last few years, this should not come as a surprise. The Democrat party has become the party of the wealthy and affluent. They control the ten wealthiest Congressional districts in America. Last year, Wallstreet spent over $74 million supporting Joe Biden’s presidency, more than was spent to elect President Obama.

There is $42 billion in tax credits for the wealthy to buy luxury electric vehicles – a particularly targeted approach to rewarding their wealthy friends given nearly 80 percent of electrical vehicle credits are claimed by those making $100,000 or more per year. Their plan would allow an individual earning $200,000 per year to qualify for a subsidy worth $82,000 to buy a home, while distributing $28,000 in taxpayer funded paid leave benefits to households that are pulling in $500,000 per year. They even include $50 billion to award “free” college to any student, including those from millionaire families.

Of course, no Democrat massive spending bill would be complete without throwing in an earmark for Speaker Nancy Pelosi – the $200 million for her favorite park and golf course in her district – or a massive $630 billion down payment on their radical Green New Deal agenda. The aim there is to turn traditional, affordable energy resources into a thing of the past. It even includes $100 million for endangered plants in Hawaii, butterflies, freshwater mussels, and desert fish in the Southwest.

The Democrats’ agenda is a giveaway to the wealthy at the expense of working families – all wrapped together in a bill that numbers over 2,400 pages and counting.

Read the op-ed here.