Vice President Mike Pence warned voters Wednesday night that 2020 Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden would raise Americans’ taxes on day one of his presidency if elected, while Biden’s running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., insisted only wealthy Americans would pay more.
“America, you just heard Sen. Harris tell you, on day one Joe Biden’s going to raise your taxes,” Pence said during the vice presidential debate Wednesday in Salt Lake City, Utah.
“It’s really remarkable to think, I mean right after a time where we’re going through a pandemic that lost 22 million jobs … we’ve already added back 11.6 million jobs because we had a president who cut taxes, rolled back regulation, unleashed American energy, fought for free and fair trade and … we literally have spared no expense to help the American people and the American worker through this,” Pence continued.
Harris said Biden planned to repeal the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on his first day in office, which Pence indicated would result in less savings for the average American family.
“Joe Biden has been very clear, he will not raise taxes on anybody who makes less than $400,000 a year,” Harris said.
Biden’s plan does target wealthy individuals and would repeal changes made to individual income tax rates for the wealthy (individuals with incomes over $400,000) under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which means the top rate would revert to 39.6%, from 37%.
Additionally, income above $400,000 would be subject to the 12.4% Social Security tax – split evenly between employees and employers.
Biden also proposed capping itemized deductions at 28% of value for the wealthiest Americans, lowering the basic exclusion amount for the estate tax and taxing capital gains at ordinary income rates.
His plan would raise the corporate tax rate to 28%, from 21%.
When asked whether raising taxes would put the U.S. economic recovery at risk, Harris did not address the question directly but said Biden was committed to investing in the American people.
According to one analysis, Biden’s plan would increase taxes on all income groups, but higher-income households would shoulder a larger share of those tax increases in terms of both dollar amounts and as a share of their incomes.