As the debate rages on Capitol Hill over President Biden’s Build Back Better plans, the question of how to cover the costs looms large.
Biden has proposed a package of tax increases on the wealthy and corporations. At the center is a corporate tax rate hike from the current 21 percent to 28 percent, which would generate an estimated $858 billion over a decade.
A Data for Progress poll shows this would be highly popular, with 70 percent of Americans in support.
It would also be transformative.
For years, corporations have been contributing a shrinking slice of the federal budget. Between 1952 and 2019, the percentage of total federal tax revenue coming from corporate income taxes fell from 32.1 percent to 6.6 percent.
Collecting more tax revenue from profitable large corporations could make a real difference in people’s lives.
The Institute for Policy Studies has calculated that the $858 billion from Biden’s proposal would be enough to cover several key White House investments in our human infrastructure — including home care, affordable housing, universal preschool, and free community college.
First, Biden has called for $400 billion to expand access to affordable home care and to raise wages for home care workers.
This is desperately needed. The people providing these critical services — a majority of whom are women of color — are underpaid and overworked.
For example, in New York State the median income for home care workers is just $22,000. No wonder there’s a shortage of home care workers in the Empire State. But as the baby boomer generation continues to age, there will be an even greater demand for home care services.