Biden to Call for ‘Billionaire’s Tax’ in State of the Union Address

President Joe Biden will once again call for a so-called “billionaire’s tax” during his State of the Union address on Tuesday night. Biden first proposed a similar tax back in March of last year and wanted to include it in the so-called Inflation Reduction Act.

The proposal was included in the White House “Fact Sheet” distributed to the press ahead of the speech:

Billionaire Minimum Tax. President Biden is a capitalist and believes that anyone should be able to become a millionaire or a billionaire. He also believes that it is wrong for America to have a tax code that results in America’s wealthiest households paying a lower tax rate than working families. In a typical year, billionaires pay an average tax rate of just 8%. In the State of the Union, he’ll call on Congress to pass his billionaire minimum tax. This minimum tax would make sure that the wealthiest Americans no longer pay a tax rate lower than teachers and firefighters.

Of course, the Biden administration’s claim that Billionaires pay an average of an 8% tax rate has been thoroughly debunked. Last week, CNN acknowledged that Biden’s number was nonsense.

“Biden’s numbers are way too low,” said Howard Gleckman, senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center at the Urban Institute think tank, though Gleckman also said we don’t know precisely what tax rates billionaires do pay. Gleckman wrote in an email: “In 2019, Berkeley economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabe Zucman estimated the top 400 households paid an average effective tax rate of about 23 percent in 2018. They got a lot of attention at the time because that rate was lower than the average rate of 24 percent for the bottom half of the income distribution. But it still was way more than 2 or 3, or even 8 percent.”