Show me the money. Democrats who attended a meeting with President Biden say he is open to negotiating an infrastructure bill with Republicans. But, they say, he wants the GOP lawmakers to put a specific plan, including pay-fors, on the table by mid-May. Some moderate Republicans have said they’d back an infrastructure plan of up to $800 billion, though they have not provided any details.
There’s a tax credit for businesses who offer paid leave for COVID-19 vaccines. President Biden yesterday unveiled the tax credit, which he’s adding to his American Rescue Plan. Firms with up to 500 employees could claim the credit for giving employees paid time off to get COVID-19 vaccinations and to recover from any potential side effects. They could claim up to $511 per day for 10 work days though Sept. 30.
Sen. Sanders proposes his transaction tax. The Vermont Independent has introduced the Tax on Wall Street Speculation Act to levy a 0.5 percent tax on stock trades, a 0.1 percent tax on bond sales, and a .005 percent tax on derivatives. Revenues would fund an initiative proposed by Sanders and Rep. Pramila Jayapal to make community college tuition free for all Americans and four-year public colleges free for students from households earning up to $125,000 a year.
When is a fix a fix? In March 2020, tech industry boss James Dyson asked the United Kingdom’s finance ministry to make sure his staff—including senior staff—would not have to pay extra tax if they came to the UK to make ventilators during the pandemic. In a text exchange, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Dyson, “I will fix it.” UK Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden told BBC “we were doing it in order to ensure that we got these ventilators rapidly in order to ensure that we dealt with a national emergency and it was a temporary measure.”
Are Amazon’s profits too low for a global tax? The US proposed a minimum tax to the Organization for Economic and Cooperative Development (OECD) that would apply to about 100 large companies that exceed certain annual revenues and profit margins. But that could exclude Amazon, whose 5.5 percent profit is far lower than Facebook’s 45.5 percent or Google parent Alphabet’s 27.5 percent.
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