AFBF Concerned How Administration Will Pay For Infrastructure Proposal

President Biden’s economic team has adjusted higher the administration’s tax and spending figures for the infrastructure plan the President is expected to unveil Wednesday. According to the Washington Post, the original plan called for $3 trillion in new spending and $1 trillion in new tax hikes. But fear such a big gap would spike interest rates and federal debt payments spurred Biden’s economic team to increase its numbers to $3 trillion in tax hikes to fund $4 trillion in new spending. Farm and other business groups were already eyeing the second big Biden effort ahead of the latest figures and after passage of the nearly $2 trillion American Rescue Plan.

“That second big bill is expected to have a lot of tax increases in it, to pay for these new spending programs,” noted the American Farm Bureau Federation Congressional Relations Director Pat Wolf, who said the increases include rolling back the estate tax exemption.

“Right now, it’s set at $11 million per person, but there are people who want to roll that back to five or even 3.5 million. Legislation’s been introduced already to combat that idea. And the idea is that, for every member of Congress who supports repealing the estate tax, that’s one member of Congress who is going to work to prevent a rollback of the exemption levels.”

Also being considered, a hike in the stepped-up basis that would boost capital gains taxes on farm assets sold and could cause a double hit at death on top of an estate tax hike. That and other business and personal tax hikes to be followed by a social programs bill will make it even harder to pass the infrastructure package, even under special rules allowing for a simple Senate majority.

“If a single senator objects to a spending provision, or a tax increase that’s in the bill, then you don’t have the vote you need to pass it,” Wolf said. “So, it’s really, really hard to put a bill together that all 50 Senate Democrats will support.”

Republicans are already attacking Biden for backing huge spending and tax plans that would reverse many of former President Trump’s 2017 tax cuts.

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