Manchin: Reconciliation Bill ‘Correcting’ ‘A Tax Break That Should Have Never Been There,’ ‘Not Raising Taxes’

On Thursday’s broadcast of West Virginia MetroNews’ “Talkline with Hoppy Kercheval,” Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) stated that eliminating the carried interest loophole and requiring a 15% minimum tax on large corporations are “revenues” in the reconciliation agreement, but the deal doesn’t raise taxes because “probably 90% of the corporations in America” already pay 15% in taxes, and he wants to know which companies are “paying for the ability to be in this country with the defense that we have, protections we have, and opportunities, and they don’t want to participate?” He also said the bill is “correcting a tax code that gave a tax break that should have never been there, where people could move down to zero, the largest corporations paying nothing for this great opportunity they have and the protection they have in this great country.”

Manchin said, [relevant remarks begin around 3:55] “[W]e got down to three revenues. Tell me why a corporation that’s $1 billion in value, that means the largest corporations in America aren’t paying a minimum of 15% taxes. The tax rate was 35%. It went to 21% under Trump, and you would think, my God, what a [saving], 14%. And then we said, well, can’t we at least put a 15% minimum? Because we found out with the tax code, there were some very, very, very large corporations that could basically take advantage of the tax code and pay nothing. I didn’t think that was fair. And I think most Americans don’t think that’s fair. … So, that’s one. … And then the other thing is, on the carried interest, the wealthiest 0.1% of Americans take advantage of a tax break for them that they have no risk at all and they get to take the lowest tax rate. So, we got rid of that.”

After discussing Medicare negotiating drug prices, Manchin stated, “I knew, no matter what we do, if we could do some good now and have an energy policy that worked and do all this too without raising taxes, truly not raising taxes and not adding to inflation, and I’m going to walk away from that because I think it’s going to harm me politically, then I’m the wrong person to be where I’m at. So, I did this. This is a bill for the country.”

Host Hoppy Kercheval then stated that the bill does increase taxes and asked, “should taxes be raised at a time when the economy is going into recession?”

Manchin responded, “Which corporations, you tell me, which corporations that we’re raising taxes on that aren’t paying at least 15%? I’ll guarantee you, probably 90% of the corporations in America pay the 21 or 15…that’s ridiculous to say that oh, we are raising — no, they’re paying for the ability to be in this country with the defense that we have, protections we have, and opportunities, and they don’t want to participate? I want them to come forward, tell me who you are.”

Manchin later said that Republicans can’t support the bill “because they’ve taken a pledge [on] not changing any of the taxes. That means not making some of the largest profitable corporations in America pay at least a 15% [tax rate] when the rest of the country is paying 21% and more. And if it wasn’t for that, this would be a bill they would love.”

Later, Kercheval asked Manchin about his prior comments that taxes shouldn’t be messed with or increased during a recession.

Manchin answered, “I’m anxious to get hit hard on that one because I want to know who those are who are not paying. I’ve talked to my dear friend Mitt Romney, he says, I can’t figure out who’s not paying. I said, Mitt, when you figure it out, let me know, because I can’t figure it out either. And 15%, I mean, if the minimum tax — corporate tax that people are paying in America is 21%, why are people — why is anybody or any corporation upset by not paying 15? So, yes, I’m anxious to find out who they are. Come forward.”

He added, “I don’t know how it can be inflationary. They’re saying, well, if they’re paying zero, you mean now they’re going to pay 15% more. So, they’re going to pass the 15% more on because they paid zero before? And they’re not going to be held accountable for that?”

Manchin concluded, “We’re correcting a tax code that gave a tax break that should have never been there, where people could move down to zero, the largest corporations paying nothing for this great opportunity they have and the protection they have in this great country.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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