Infrastructure Invoice Talks Collide With Democrats’ Objective to Tax the Wealthy


But the Democrats see a changed landscape. The ProPublica report added fodder. But even before the pandemic recession, corporate tax revenues had plummeted by 40 percent after the Trump tax cuts. Although the 2017 tax bill allegedly cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, the effective corporate tax rate has dropped to 8 percent, said Texas Representative Lloyd Doggett, a senior Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee.

“Voter attitudes towards taxes have changed a lot,” said Wyden. “For the past 10 years, Republicans have always wanted to talk about taxes, these Democrats have wanted to talk about taxes, ‘taxes and money,’ and nail the rest of the way down. Well, the American people understand our position that everyone should pay their fair share. “

Democrats are divided over how far to go. Massachusetts Democrat Senator Elizabeth Warren last week urged Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen on Ms. Warren’s proposed property tax, which would add a 2 percent surcharge to the value of assets owned by individuals valued at more than $ 50 million and would raise at least $ 3 trillion.

“This is about choices,” she said reluctantly to Ms. Yellen. “We can fund universal childcare or give Jeff Bezos enough tax savings to build a super yacht.”

Other Democrats, even Liberals, aren’t so sure.

“The whole life of a wealth tax scares a lot of people hoping to make some fortune,” Doggett said. “We don’t want to discourage economic success. We just want to level the playing field. “

Senator Mark Warner, Democrat of Virginia, is in the thick of it. As a pro-business Democrat, he was tapped by Mr. Wyden to work with Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, a pro-worker Democrat, to work out a corporate tax package. But he is also a member of the group negotiating the bipartisan infrastructure agreement.

He said he was confident there would be unanimous support among Democrats to incorporate the international tax framework into a reconciliation bill that followed a tighter infrastructure compromise “because it’s just so damn complicated.”