Senate Democrats Reportedly Near Agreement On Plan To Raise Taxes On Billionaires

According to The Washington Post, Democrats in the U.S. Senate seem to be close to an agreement to create new tax systems for the country's wealthiest people and families. Even centrists such as Sen. Joe Manchin (D.W.Va.), and Sen. Kyrsten Silena (D.Ariz.), appear to be on board.

Senator Chuck Schumer (D.N.Y.) (R), is flanked while speaking to the media [+] on May 23, 2017. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images). Getty Images

The Key Facts

The "Billionaires Income Tax” plan would create a new tax system that targets billionaires and people who have earned more than $100 million for three years consecutively. According to The Washington Post, billionaires would have to pay taxes every year on the increase in stock and bond values under the plan. They could also be subject to additional taxes on real estate and other assets that are difficult to trade. The proposal is being considered by Senate Democrats as part of a spending plan that centrists are trying to reduce a $3.5 trillion package that heavily targets social and environmental programs.

Big Number

724. According to the 2021 Forbes list of "World's Billionaires", that's how many billionaires there are in the United States.

What to Watch

The tax plan being drafted by Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) is not popular with the House Democrats. They prefer another tax plan that has passed the House chamber and would increase tax rates for wealthy Americans as well as corporations.

Important Background

According to reports, there is no agreement between Democratic factions about taxing billionaires. This contrasts with where things stand in terms of spending tax dollars. Manchin and Sinema remain isolated from the rest of their party over the $3.5 trillion spending plan. They are demanding that its price be significantly reduced. Negotiations are ongoing. President Joe Biden stated that he believes that a deal could be reached on a smaller package, which would cost between $1.9 trillion to $2.2 trillion. The House is still unable to vote on a $1.2 trillion infrastructure agreement. Progressive Democrats in the chamber have stated that they won't vote until there has been an agreement on the social expenditure package. Manchin and Sinema play a key role in moving the spending package forward. Democrats are using reconciliation to pass the bill without Republican support. The party holds the Senate with the smallest majority and losing support from Sinema or Manchin would effectively end the chance of the package passing.


According to a ProPublica report, many of the most wealthy Americans have lived for years without having to pay federal income taxes. This is according to leaked Internal Revenue Service documents.

Continue reading

Democrats are moving to finalize a new billionaire tax plan that targets 700 wealthy Americans as a key source of revenue (The Washington Post).


The Secret IRS Files: Three Never-Before-Seen Records Show How the Wealthiest Avoid Income tax (ProPublica).