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Centrist Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) on Tuesday shot down President Biden’s new plan to raise $360 billion in revenue by imposing a 20 percent minimum tax on billionaires, a proposal the president formally unveiled Monday in his budget request to Congress.
Manchin says he doesn’t support the president’s plan to tax the unrealized gains of billionaires, which would set a new precedent by taxing the value an asset accrues in theory before it is actually sold and converted into cash.
“You can’t tax something that’s not earned. Earned income is what we’re based on,” he told The Hill. “There’s other ways to do it. Everybody has to pay their fair share.”
“Everybody has to pay their fair share, that’s for sure. But unrealized gains is not the way to do it, as far as I’m concerned,” he added.
Manchin’s opposition means Biden’s proposal is likely dead only a day after the White House unveiled it. It could be significantly restructured to avoid taxing unrealized gains, which would pose the big challenge of trying to make up the lost revenues. Structuring a tax on unrealized capital gains is complicated because the value of assets can fluctuate.