Dems Tax Rate Higher Than Communist China
House Democrats are proposing almost $3 trillion ($3,000,000,000,000) in tax increases including tax increases on small businesses and working families. This is the largest tax increase since 1968 compared to the size of the economy and the largest tax increase ever in nominal dollars.
Raising taxes on working families by increasing the federal corporate income tax rate from 21 percent to 26.5 percent. This tax increase will be passed along to working families in the form of higher prices, fewer jobs, and lower wages. This will give the U.S. a combined state-federal rate of 30.9 percent, higher than our foreign competitors including China, which has a 25 percent corporate tax rate, and Europe which has an average rate of 21.7 percent. The developed world average (OECD) is 23.5%.
According to the Stephen Entin of the Tax Foundation, labor (or workers) bear an estimated 70 percent of the corporate income tax in the form of wages and employment. Similarly, a 2020 study by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that 31% of the corporate tax falls on consumers.
A corporate tax increase will threaten the life savings of families by reducing the value of publicly traded stocks in brokerage accounts or in 401(k)s. Individual investors opened 10 million new brokerage accounts in 2020 and at least 53% of households own stock. In addition, 80 million to 100 million people have a 401(k), and 46.4 million households have an individual retirement account
Raising the corporate income tax rate will hit Americans with higher utility bills as the country tries to recover from the pandemic. Customers directly bear the cost of corporate income taxes imposed on utility companies. Investor-owned electric, gas, and water companies must get their billing rates approved by the respective state utility commissions. Therefore, if Democrats raise the corporate tax rate, they will have voted to raise utility bills. [Americans for Tax Reform has compiled 300 examples of utilities passing tax savings along to customers.]
Raising taxes on small businesses by raising the top income tax rate to 39.6 percent, limiting the 20 percent small business deduction, expanding the Obamacare net investment income tax, limiting the ability of passthroughs to deduct excess business losses, and raising the corporate tax rate.
This would likely increase taxes on several million small businesses across the country – earlier this year, the Biden administration admitted raising the top income tax rate would raise taxes on one million small businesses. This does not include the other tax increases – a study by the Chamber of Commerce found that there are 1.4 million small businesses organized as C-corporations, while almost 900,000 small businesses could be hit with the limitation of the passthrough deduction based on 2018 IRS SOI data.
Increasing the capital gains tax rate to 28.8 percent and increasing the holding period for carried interest capital gains to five years. Communist China’s capital gains tax is 20 percent.
A 16.5 percent global minimum tax. The Biden administration has been pushing a global agreement locking in high taxes and a 15 percent global minimum tax in order to “end the race to the bottom” and “make all citizens fairly share the burden of financing government.”
Increasing the death tax by cutting the exemption level in half and modifying valuation rules. This will raise taxes on family-owned businesses and farms across the country.
Retroactively raising taxes on taxpayers claiming the conservation easement deduction. It would apply this retroactively back to Notice 2017-10 released on December 23, 2016, so would impact taxpayers in tax years 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and for future years. If lawmakers want to make changes to the conservation easement deduction, they should do so as part of a net tax cut and prospectively, not retroactively.
A new 95 percent excise tax on medicines and socialist healthcare policies. This legislation creates a 95 percent excise tax on manufacturers and imposes an international reference pricing scheme that directly imports foreign price controls into the U.S.
This proposal will reduce access to new, lifesaving and life-preserving medicines. According to research by the Galen Institute, the U.S. had access to 90 percent of new cures launched between 2011 and 2018, a rate far greater than comparable foreign countries. For instance, The United Kingdom had access to 60 percent of medicines, Japan had 50 percent, and Canada had just 44 percent.
It will also threaten high-paying manufacturing jobs across the country at a time when we are just emerging from the economic wreckage from the pandemic. Pharmaceutical manufacturers invest $100 billion in the U.S. economy every year, directly supporting 800,000 jobs including jobs in every state.
$80 billion in new IRS funding to hire 87,000 new agents. This would allow the IRS to audit and harass small businesses and American families for an additional $787 billion. It would hire enough new IRS agents to fill Nationals Park twice.
It would help implement the Biden plan to create a new comprehensive financial account information reporting regime which would force the disclosure of any business or personal account that exceeds $600. Not only would this include the bank, loan, and investment accounts of virtually every individual and business, but it would also include third-party providers like Venmo, CashApp, and PayPal.
New IRS funding will also be a boon to the union that represents IRS employees. This union, the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU), shovels 97 percent of their money into Democrat campaign coffers. IRS employees also regularly perform union work on the taxpayer’s dime. In 2019, 1,421 IRS and other Treasury Department employees spent 353,820 hours of taxpayer-funded union time (TFUT), costing the federal government $17.27 million.
OSHA suspends enforcement of COVID-19 vaccine mandate for businesses
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is suspending enforcement of the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for large private businesses after a federal appeals court upheld a stay on it last week.
OSHA said in a statement published on its website Friday night that while it is confident in its power to protect workers amid the pandemic, it is suspending activities related to the mandate, citing the pending litigation.
“The court ordered that OSHA ‘take no steps to implement or enforce’ the ETS [Emergency Temporary Standard] ‘until further court order.’ While OSHA remains confident in its authority to protect workers in emergencies, OSHA has suspended activities related to the implementation and enforcement of the ETS pending future developments in the litigation,” OSHA said.
President Biden announced in September that the administration was rolling out a new rule that would require all private employers with 100 or more employees to mandate vaccines or weekly testing for all personnel, a guideline that has the potential to impact nearly 80 million workers.
Earlier this month the administration set Jan. 4 as the deadline for qualifying private employers to start mandating the vaccine or requiring weekly testing. The rule was developed by OSHA.
In a 22-page ruling last week, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals wrote that the administration’s COVID-19 vaccine and testing mandate was “fatally flawed” and ordered that OSHA not enforce the requirement “pending adequate judicial review” of a motion for a permanent injunction.
The court said OSHA should “take no steps to implement or enforce the mandate until further court order.”
The case originated when Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R), along with the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Utah and South Carolina, filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration over the vaccine mandate in October, requesting a preliminary and permanent injunctive relief to stop the mandate from being enforced. The lawsuit also asked that the mandate be declared unlawful.
Earlier this month, the federal appeals court ordered a temporary halt on the mandate, but the Department of Justice then requested that the halt be lifted, contending that the administration has the legal authority to require COVID-19 vaccines or testing for larger companies and that the states that are challenging the mandate have not shown that their claims outweigh the harm of stopping of rule.
The court, however, upheld the stay, which prompted OSHA’s announcement that it is suspending enforcement of the rule.
More than two dozen state attorneys general and other groups are also challenging the mandate in court.
Despite the court’s ruling, however, the White House urged businesses to continue implementing the guidance for COVID-19 vaccines and testing.
Pfizer, BioNTech, Moderna making $1,000 profit every second
Pfizer, BioNTech and Moderna are making combined profits of $65,000 every minute from their highly successful COVID-19 vaccines while the world’s poorest countries remain largely unvaccinated, according to a new analysis.
The companies have sold the vast majority of their doses to rich countries, leaving low-income nations in the lurch, said the People’s Vaccine Alliance (PVA), a coalition campaigning for wider access to COVID vaccines, which based its calculations on the firms’ own earning reports.
The Alliance estimates that the trio will make pre-tax profits of $34 billion this year between them, which works out to over $1,000 a second, $65,000 a minute or $93.5 million a day.
“It is obscene that just a few companies are making millions of dollars in profit every single hour, while just two percent of people in low-income countries have been fully vaccinated against coronavirus,” Maaza Seyoum of the African Alliance and People’s Vaccine Alliance Africa said.
“Pfizer, BioNTech and Moderna have used their monopolies to prioritise the most profitable contracts with the richest governments, leaving low-income countries out in the cold.”
Pfizer and BioNTech have delivered less than one percent of their total supplies to low-income countries while Moderna has delivered just 0.2 percent, the PVA said.
Currently, 98 percent of people in low-income countries have not been fully vaccinated.
The three companies’ actions are in contrast to AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, which provided their vaccines on a not-for-profit basis, though both have announced they foresee ending this arrangement in future as the pandemic winds down.
PVA said that despite receiving public funding of more than $8 billion, Pfizer, BioNTech and Moderna have refused calls to transfer vaccine technology to producers in low- and middle-income countries via the World Health Organization, “a move that could increase global supply, drive down prices and save millions of lives.”
“In Moderna’s case, this is despite explicit pressure from the White House and requests from the WHO that the company collaborate in and help accelerate its plan to replicate the Moderna vaccine for wider production at its mRNA hub in South Africa,” the group said.
Informers key in enforcing Biden vaccine mandate
To enforce President Joe Biden’s forthcoming COVID-19 mandate, the U.S. Labor Department is going to need a lot of help. Its Occupational Safety and Health Administration doesn’t have nearly enough workplace safety inspectors to do the job.
So the government will rely upon a corps of informers to identify violations of the order: Employees who will presumably be concerned enough to turn in their own employers if their co-workers go unvaccinated or fail to undergo weekly tests to show they’re virus-free.
What’s not known is just how many employees will be willing to accept some risk to themselves – or their job security – for blowing the whistle on their own employers. Without them, though, experts say the government would find it harder to achieve its goal of requiring tens of millions of workers at companies with 100 or more employees to be fully vaccinated by Jan. 4 or be tested weekly and wear a mask on the job.
“There is no army of OSHA inspectors that is going to be knocking on employers door or even calling them,” said Debbie Berkowitz, a former OSHA chief of staff who is a fellow at Georgetown University’s Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor. “They’re going to rely on workers and their union representatives to file complaints where the company is totally flouting the law.’’
Jim Frederick, the acting chief of OSHA, told reporters that this agency will focus on job sites “where workers need assistance to have a safe and healthy workplace.”
“That typically comes through in the form of a complaint,” Frederick added.
Critics warn that whistleblowers have often faced retaliation from their employers and that OSHA has offered little protection when they do.
The new mandate, which Biden announced last week, is the administration’s most far-reaching step yet to prod more Americans to get a vaccine that has been widely available since early spring. The mandate will cover an estimated 84 million employees.
The president called the move necessary to combat an outbreak that has killed 750,000 Americans and that continues to spread. Companies that fail to comply will face fines of nearly $14,000 per “serious’’ violation. Employers found to be “willful’’ or repeat violators would be subject to fines of up to ten times that amount.
The mandate has run into furious opposition, though, from leaders of mainly Republican-led states who have condemned the plan as an unlawful case of federal overreach and who immediately challenged the vaccine-or-test requirements in court. On Saturday, the Biden administration endured a setback when a federal appeals court in New Orleans temporarily halted the mandate, saying it posed “grave statutory and constitutional issues.”
Should the mandate survive its legal challenges, though, the task of enforcing it would fall on OSHA, the small Labor Department agency that was established 50 years ago to police workplace safety and protect workers from such dangers as toxic chemicals, rickety ladders and cave-ins at construction sites.
OSHA has jurisdiction in 29 states. Other states, including California and Michigan, have their own federally approved workplace safety agencies. These states will have an additional month – until early February – to adopt their own version of the COVID mandate, equal to or tougher than OSHA’s.
For a task as enormous as enforcing the new vaccine mandate, OSHA and its state “partners’’ are stretched thin. Just 1,850 inspectors will oversee 130 million workers at 8 million job sites. So the agencies must rely on whistleblowers.
OSHA urges workers to first bring unsafe or unhealthy working conditions to the attention of their employers “if possible.’’ Employees could also file a confidential safety complaint with OSHA or have a case filed by a representative, such as a lawyer, a union representative or a member of the clergy. But they have no right to sue their employer in court for federal safety violations.