• Biden would push the corporate tax rate to 28%
  • He said the 2017 tax cut windfall did not go into job creation and a further corporate tax cut is ill-advised
  • Biden did not say when he would increase taxes

Former Vice President Joe Biden said Friday he would not raise taxes on anyone making less than $400,000 annually if he is elected president. The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee told CNBC any tax increases would be applied to the top 2% of earners.

“Nobody making under $400,000 bucks would have their taxes raised. Period. Bingo,” Biden said. The median U.S. household income is $63,000.

President Trump was elected in part on a pledge to cut taxes. In 2017, Republicans pushed through a massive cut that reduced corporate taxes from 35% to 21, and the top personal income tax rate from 39.6% to 37%.

Biden has said he would like to raise the corporate rate to 28%. He did not specify how high he would lift the rate on top earners or say when he would like to see higher rates implemented. Economists have raised concerns about raising taxes next year while the country likely would still be in the midst of the worst recession since the Great Depression.

Biden said it’s more important to get people back to work. He noted few companies invested the windfall from the 2017 tax cut in job creation, making Trump’s suggestion of a further cut a mistake.

“People need to get back to work,” Biden said, noting states don’t even have the money to keep firefighters and police on the job. “What are we doing?”

Republicans said the 2017 tax cuts would spur growth and pay for themselves. Instead they swelled the budget deficit to more than $1 trillion – and that was before the coronavirus pandemic forced the economy into a virtual shutdown that is expected to produce as much as a 40% contraction in the second quarter and 20% unemployment.

“The president is talking about a greater tax cut for corporations. You tell me what you think, how many jobs that will create in the next six months?” Biden asked.