News & Politics

Dems are Worried. Very Worried.

Manchin might save us from tax hikes. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite.)

Tax hikes are as American as soccer, stroganoff, and Apple tarte Tatin — and now have feckless Dems wondering if one of their own will let them get away with jacking taxes up ever higher.

The panic seems to have set in when Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) announced his opposition to his party’s massive $3.5 trillion “infrastructure” spending orgy.

Manchin made his opposition plain on Sunday’s Meet the Press despite some talk on the left about blackmailing him into supporting Presidentish Joe Biden’s obscene spending bill.

Manchin also appeared on CNN Sunday where he said:

So we have done an awful lot, and there’s still an awful lot of people that need help but there are still 11 million jobs that aren’t filled right now. Eight million people are still unemployed. Something’s not matching up. Don’t you think we ought to hit the pause and find out?

The fact is, Democrats can’t afford to pause. With Biden’s popularity plummeting even among diehard Democrat voters, and their own desperate need to hit the campaign trail next year, congressional Dems see a fleeting, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to shovel more than three trillion dollars at their favorite lobby groups.

So now they’re trying to win Manchin over by making their onerous tax hikes slightly less onerous.

Bloomberg News has the new and slightly-less-worse numbers:

The new proposal would raise the top corporate rate from 21% to 26.5%, less than the 28% Biden had sought, people familiar with the matter said Sunday night. Meanwhile, the top rate on capital gains would rise from 20% to 25%, instead of the 39.6% Biden had originally proposed.

Americans for Tax Reform notes that Biden’s new and slightly-less-onerous corporate tax rate is “higher than communist China’s 25% and higher than the developed world average of 23.5%.”

Remember that corporations don’t actually pay taxes — they collect them. Corporate taxes are passed along to consumers in the form of price hikes, to workers in the form of lost jobs or wages, and to shareholders in the form of reduced returns.

So, thanks to Manchin, at a time when inflation is already eating into Americans’ household budgets, Democrats only want to hike the top corporate tax rate by a quarter instead of by a third.

Gee, thanks.

Even so, ZeroHedge says that “such scaled-back plans would amount to an acknowledgment that even higher rates would have a tough time getting through Congress after some moderate Democrats expressed objections.”

The Democrats’ “infrastructure” bill would pump trillions of dollars into an economy already coping badly with inflation, hurt the private sector’s ability to invest and grow, and penalize innovation and productivity with stifling new regulations.

It would also spread around enough dough to lock in the Democrats’ power structure ever tighter.

So is Democrat Joe Manchin’s opposition going to save the Republic?

Maybe.

I’ve seen crazier moments in American politics, but I couldn’t tell you where or when.