Instead of Closing Loopholes & Making Corporations Pay Their Fair Share, GOP Seeks to Drain Off Pandemic Relief Funds
West Virginia Senator Shelley Moore Capito and her Senate Republican colleagues today unveiled their infrastructure counteroffer, which ignores vital community needs like housing, hospital and school construction and gives corporations who aren’t paying their fair share of taxes a free pass. Capito’s claimed $928 billion plan is actually just $257 billion in new investments beyond what Congress has already authorized. It would do far less for West Virginia and the country than President Biden’s $2 trillion jobs and infrastructure plan. Moreover, the GOP plan would siphon off hundreds of billions of dollars currently earmarked for COVID relief and recovery even as the country takes its first tentative steps forward post-pandemic.
“The anemic infrastructure plan from Sen. Capito and Senate Republicans will do far less for the working families of West Virginia and all across America than the Biden jobs plan will do,” said Frank Clemente, Americans for Tax Fairness Executive Director. “To pay for their infrastructure plan, the GOP wants to slash pandemic relief funds that are benefiting millions of families and communities instead of closing tax loopholes to make corporations pay their fair share.”
For now, Republicans seem to have backed off plans for higher gas taxes and other “user fees” that slam commuters and working families. This has been the GOP’s preferred way to pay for new infrastructure. Their new-found caution is most likely a temporary negotiating tactic that reflects how strongly the public objects to the GOP’s preference to make working families pay as opposed to wealthy corporations.
In stark contrast, Biden’s jobs and infrastructure plan is fully paid for by making corporations contribute their fair share. Fifty-five of America’s biggest corporations paid no federal income taxes last year, and the wealth of just 650 billionaires rose by 50% during the pandemic, all while millions of working Americans suffered. Numerous polls show strong support for the President’s preferred way to finance his bold new jobs and infrastructure plan, which will create millions of good-paying jobs by rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges, investing in clean energy, strengthening American manufacturing, and providing relief to millions of working families who are the backbone of our economy by helping them care for their elderly loved ones.
“The Biden jobs plan will rebuild America while eliminating tax breaks that encourage corporations to outsource jobs and shift profits to offshore tax havens,” added Clemente “It will invest in strengthening American manufacturing, helping to keep and create more American jobs here at home. The Biden jobs plan will help small businesses recover and compete with big corporations. It will close loopholes that allow big corporations to avoid paying their fair share of taxes and provide more support to small businesses to get them back on their feet and hire more workers.”
Huge corporations are some of the biggest users of U.S. infrastructure: they use our highways, ports, and airports to move their goods; rely on public schools to provide an educated workforce; and depend on the caring economy to ensure their employees with disabled or elderly relatives can focus on their work.
Corporations have enjoyed record profits and stock prices in recent years, yet they were handed a 40% tax cut in 2017. A government survey of over 1,500 U.S.-based multinational firms found that for 2018, they paid an average U.S. tax rate of just 7.8%.
Among the Biden initiatives that the GOP plan leaves out, as shown in this ATF fact sheet, are funds to build desperately needed housing, schools and VA hospitals and tax credits to encourage purchase of non-polluting electric vehicles. These vital investments were excluded even though they involve physical structures the GOP claims are the proper definition of “infrastructure.” The Republican plan also fails to provide for the kind of investments Biden proposes to revitalize manufacturing, secure U.S. supply chains, invest in R&D, and train Americans for the jobs of the future. The GOP plan also does not support social infrastructure that’s just as important in our modern society as highways and bridges. Recognizing that, Biden would invest $400 billion to make sure our most vulnerable citizens, including people with disabilities, receive proper care and their relatives achieve peace of mind.