Commentary

Corporate Dems Show Progressives How To Play Hardball – The Daily Poster

(THE DAILY POSTER) David Sarota, March 30, 2021

Earlier this month, progressive lawmakers refused to withhold their votes on must-pass COVID-19 stimulus legislation until the bill included a $15 minimum wage. A few weeks later, conservative Democratic lawmakers are now threatening to withhold their votes on must-pass infrastructure legislation until the bill includes large tax cuts for the wealthy. 

The contrast in tactics spotlights a decisive asymmetry in congressional politics right now: The right wing of the Democratic Party is willing to play hardball on behalf of the affluent, to the point of threatening to take down one of President Joe Biden’s signature legislative initiatives, an infrastructure and climate plan he will detail on Wednesday. 

By contrast, the left wing of the party has not yet been willing to play the same kind of hardball on behalf of the working class — and that refusal ultimately helped kill a promised wage hike in the recent pandemic aid bill and could similarly imperil other progressive priorities. 

“Does Not Have A Position”

The tax issue revolves around federal write-offs for state and local taxes — colloquially called SALT deductions. Donald Trump’s 2017 tax bill limited such deductions to $10,000. The move was perceived as a mean-spirited shot at blue states, which often have higher state and local levies to fund more robust public services. But on the merits, the policy serves to limit tax deductions primarily for higher-income households

As The Daily Poster reported back in January, congressional Democrats in states like New York and New Jersey have been pushing for a repeal of the SALT deduction caps. Biden declined to include the SALT cap repeal in the American Rescue Plan. 

If the SALT cap was fully repealed, nearly all — 96 percent — of the tax benefits would flow to the top quintile of earners, and more than half of the benefits would go to the top 1 percent of earners, according to data from the Brookings Institution. Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation found that the majority of the benefits of a SALT cap repeal would flow to households earning more than $1 million.

Source: https://www.dailyposter.com/p/corporate-dems-show-progressives?token=eyJ1c2VyX2lkIjo4OTQyNTc0LCJwb3N0X2lkIjozNDU3NDQ3NSwiXyI6IjQ3bUlHIiwiaWF0IjoxNjE3MTk1NTU5LCJleHAiOjE2MTcxOTkxNTksImlzcyI6InB1Yi0zNzc3OCIsInN1YiI6InBvc3QtcmVhY3Rpb24ifQ.xAMcFPY-eiSU1O4fMzfcMtFVsSD4WBMzCEriYh1z_7c