Senate Finance Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., has pushed for years to enact the proposal, which is one of several under consideration as part of Democratic efforts to cover the costs of Biden’s $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill.
"Yes, I do," Biden said during a press conference. "Look, I support a lot of these proposals. We don’t need all the things I support to pay for this, but I do support that."
The proposed change would require the wealthiest Americans to pay an annual tax on any gains in their asset portfolio, rather than after the assets are sold. Democrats argue the tax on unrealized investment gains and similar proposals would ensure all Americans pay their fair share, while critics say Wyden’s plan would be invasive and difficult for the IRS to implement.
Biden, who has called for an expansion of the IRS, acknowledged that additional staffing would be needed to implement the plan.
"If you have no income, if you have no earned income and it’s all investment income, it’s hard to figure out what the heck you have," Biden said. "I know some people don’t like this. That’s why we have to re-hire some IRS agents. And not to try to make people pay something they don’t owe, just say, 'Hey, step up like everybody else does.'"
Republicans have universally opposed Democratic efforts to alter the tax code to pay for Biden’s budget reconciliation bill. With a razor-thin majority in Congress, Democrats would need to remain united to pass the legislation along party lines.