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Puzder: Democrats’ Fight for the Wealthiest One Percent

June 02, 2021

While pushing for higher taxes on America’s working families, Main Street Businesses, and blue-collar workers, Democrats are fighting for the wealthiest one percent, writes Andy Puzder.

In an op-ed for Real Clear Politics, Puzder describes the gains for America’s working families under tax reform, while outlining how the wealthiest earners paid a greater share of income taxes in 2018 than under Democrats’ 2013 tax hike.


Excerpts appear below. CLICK HERE to read the full op-ed.

Biden and the 1 Percent

Real Clear Politics

Andy Puzder

June 2, 2021

In his first speech to a joint session of Congress, Biden described the TCJA as a “huge windfall” for “those at the very top.” To right that wrong, he proposes getting rid of loopholes and raising the top tax rate from its current 37% to 39.6%. Why? So that “the wealthiest 1% of Americans” will “pay their fair share,” a phrase that the president and his fellow Democrats repeat with abandon.

But there’s a big problem with Biden’s claims: They are simply untrue.


“Fair” is in the eye of the beholder, but consider: The top 1%’s share of taxes paid nearly doubles its share of income. For more “fair share” perspective, consider that in 2018, the top 1% paid more in income taxes than the bottom 90% of taxpayers – combined.


Biden also might be surprised to learn that the top 1% actually paid a higher percentage of income taxes in 2018 under the TCJA than in any year since at least 2001 – when it paid 33.2%.



You read that right. The highest earners paid a greater share of income taxes after the Republicans’ 2017 tax cuts than they paid after the Democrats’ 2013 tax increase.


But Biden supports restoring the SALT deduction even though that deduction benefits mostly the upper-income taxpayers he so desperately wants to tax. Why would he want to do that?



Repealing the cap President Trump put on the SALT deduction is a top tax priority for Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who want either to increase or eliminate the $10,000 cap as part of Biden’s infrastructure bill.



So, the TCJA was not a windfall for the rich, and it did not result in the rich paying less than their fair share of income taxes. It closed loopholes – the largest of which Democrat leadership would like to restore – that primarily benefit wealthy taxpayers.