President-elect Joe Biden said he would support the return of the highest income tax rate to the highs seen before former President George W. Bush's 2001 and 2003 tax cuts.
"And by that fair share, I mean there is no reason why the top tax rate shouldn't be 39.6 percent like it was when the Bush administration began," Biden told the New York Times. "There's no reason why 91 Fortune." 500 companies shouldn't pay taxes. "
The highest marginal income tax rate was 39.6% for those earning $ 374,000 or more before Bush cut tax cuts. Bush's rates remained in place until they expired in 2013, when Congress and former President Barack Obama decided to keep the maximum rate at 39.6%.
President Trump's Tax Cut and Employment Act of 2017 lowered the highest individual tax rate to 37% and lowered the corporate rate from 35% to 21%.
Biden made undoing these cuts a cornerstone of his campaign, pledging to restore the 39.6% rate to people making at least $ 400,000 a year.
"I will collect taxes on anyone who earns more than $ 400,000," Biden promised during his campaign. “Let me tell you why I'm going to do it. It is time they paid a fair share of our economic responsibility. The very rich should pay a fair share. Businesses should pay a fair share. "
However, some analysts say Biden's tax proposals would hit the middle class, even if Biden didn't address those earners in the language of the tax hike.
"When Biden says he'll only collect taxes on those who earn more than $ 400,000, he's saying his tax law only applies to those high-income taxpayers," said Taylor LaJoie, an analyst with the Tax Foundation. "Economists, however, track the economic impact of these taxes on who wrote the check."
An October study found that Biden's tax and regulatory agenda would represent a tax hike for the middle class.
"The civil" taxes "come in the form of higher prices for energy, prescription drugs, cars, health insurance, Internet services and more," said Casey B. Mulligan, one of the study's authors and former economic advisor to President Trump said the Washington Examiner.
"Since subsidies are withheld on the basis of full-time employment, it is an implicit tax on full-time employment," according to the study's authors. "Since they are also withheld based on family income, they are also an implicit income tax."
"We show how Biden's plans increase both of these implicit tax rates, largely as the subsidies become more generous," the study continued.
"We estimate that the combination of these ACA modifications resembles a 2.4 percentage point increase in the average marginal labor income tax rate," the study says. "These higher rates add significantly to our estimates of the labor market effects of Biden's policy proposals."
The Congressional Budget Office also estimates that an increase in corporate tax rates would mean a tax increase for employees, with employees typically paying more than 70% of corporate tax rates.