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As luck would have it, Republicans seize on worst possible strategy to oppose Biden jobs plan


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Senate Republicans have seized on opposing one of the most popular elements of President Joe Biden's American Jobs Plan as a political winner for them—raising the corporate tax rate. “I think that’s a non-negotiable red line,” Republican Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia told reporters Thursday. “For me personally, that’s a non-starter.”

Republicans have convinced themselves that shielding corporations from helping to fund projects that will specifically benefit those very same corporations is a great angle for them. They simultaneously plan to push their unpopular deficit-boosting 2017 tax cut for the rich and corporate-y as essential to a booming economy while refusing to budge at all on corporate tax increases.

The other thing congressional Republicans are whining about while drawing their red lines is the notion that President Biden isn’t sincerely seeking out bipartisan compromise on his $2 trillion infrastructure plan. Of course, nothing says compromise like "red lines." In fact, if Sen. Capito—who Biden has reached out to as a potential deal maker—isn't open to negotiating on tax increases, then any potential deal is already dead on arrival. It’s exactly what Mitch McConnell promised weeks ago even before seeing Biden’s proposal—unwavering GOP opposition.

But let's get back to the GOP's supposed silver bullet of opposing corporate tax increases. It just so happens that two separate polling outfits released fresh data this week on the matter. Quinnipiac University asked respondents whether they supported Biden's $2 trillion infrastructure plan, then it followed up by asking whether they would support Biden's plan if it were funded by raising corporate tax rates. Guess what—funding it by raising corporate taxes made the plan 9 points more popular.

Do you support or oppose President Biden's $2 trillion infrastructure plan?

  • Support: 44%
  • Oppose: 38%

If it was funded by raising taxes on corporations, would you support or oppose President Biden's $2 trillion infrastructure plan?

  • Support: 53%
  • Oppose: 39%

That +14 result just happens to mirror almost exactly the finding of this week's Civiqs/Daily Kos survey asking, "Do you support raising the corporate tax rate and eliminating certain industries' tax breaks to help fund a $2.3 trillion infrastructure and jobs bill?"

  • Yes: 54%
  • No: 40%

Civiqs crosstabs show double-digit net positives for the corporate tax-funded plan across most demographics.


Support for raising corporate taxes to fund Biden's infrastructure/jobs plan

Total Non-college college grad postgrad urban suburban rural


Other polling outlets have found even more support for raising the corporate tax rate in order to pay for Biden's American Jobs Plan, including 65% support in a Morning Consult poll released last week. Gallup also has data dating back to 2004 showing that most Americans don't think corporations pay their fair share in taxes. In fact, between 2015-2019, at least 66% of Americans said corporations were paying "too little" in taxes.

There's a history here. While the specifics of Biden's jobs plan may be new, Americans have been mulling the corporate tax rate for decades and don't seem to harbor any warm fuzzies for the tax contributions of corporate America (even corporations seem aware of this). Then in 2017, Republicans cut that tax rate by 14 points, from 35% to just 21%.

There's a reason Biden said last week he was "sick and tired of ordinary people being fleeced"—ordinary people are sick of it too. Now it's time for Democrats to make absolutely certain people understand Biden's plan will create millions of jobs along with investing in highly popular initiatives such as: improving highways, bridges, roads, ports, waterways, airports, mass transit, train/bus service, nationwide high-speed broadband internet, caregiving for seniors, public schools, and more.

Fortunately, while Democrats embark on that education campaign, GOP lawmakers are hellbent on relitigating an issue on which the vast majority of Americans already have well-formed opinions.

More power to 'em. Hopefully, Republicans will consistently remind voters they singlehandedly tilted the playing field even more toward corporations while adding nearly $2 trillion to the national deficit.