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Joe Biden Cannot Keep His Tax Promises

With less than a week before the 2020 presidential election, one thing is perfectly clear: If Joe Biden wins, he cannot keep his tax promises.

Why is that? Because he’s made two contradictory promises on tax policy.

Biden has promised to repeal the Trump tax cuts, but he has also promised that no one with an income under $400,000 will see a tax increase.

You can’t square that circle. Even the New York Times was forced to admit “there is little disagreement on this core point: Most people got a tax cut.”

The Times goes on to say that even the left-leaning Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy acknowledged “every income group in every state would pay less on average under the law in 2019.”

Here’s why: Despite assertions to the contrary, the Trump tax cuts were carefully designed to NOT simply be a tax cut for the wealthy. Tax cuts were targeted at middle-income families, especially with the expansion of the standard deduction and other policies.

Moreover, the cap on the deductibility of state and local taxes (SALT) ended the tax subsidy for upper-income households because of their high property taxes and sales tax payments. Indeed, many upper-income households paid more taxes as a result of the 2017 tax reform.

So if Biden repeals most or all of the Trump tax cuts, he will not only increase taxes on the middle class, the SALT tax repeal will give the wealthy a huge tax break.

We’ve written before that the Trump tax cuts had a huge positive impact on U.S. economic growth prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. Clearly, tax increases would have the opposite effect.

But today, we simply want to explain why Biden cannot keep both of his major tax promises.

Which of his tax promises will he break? With Kamala Harris as his VP, Elizabeth Warren likely in the cabinet, AOC breathing down his neck, and all the new spending programs he’s promised, I think we all know the answer.