Citing Taxes, Joe Manchin is Trying to Kill Biden’s Infrastructure Plan.
I’m not sure even the most ardent supporters of the Democratic Party would be able to deny that West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin has been a thorn in the side of virtually progressive policy goal since Joe Biden took office, and arguably even before. One can’t help considering his behavior over the past few months without getting the sense that he genuinely gets a thrill out of his newfound power, and using it to act as essentially the de facto President, positioning himself as a deciding vote in order to prevent bare minimum policy proposals like the $15 minimum wage from being implemented. Now that Manchin has established himself as the scapegoat for conservative Democrats and an active barrier to legislative goals of the left, he has now unsurprisingly decided to speak out against Biden’s infrastructure plan.
The reason? Tax hikes on corporations.
In an effort to show how “tough” he is and devoid of any principle, Manchin has decided to prove his willingness to neuter any even remotely progressive policy just to flex his power over the left. Knowing full well that Biden intends to make this his signature policy Manchin has still decided to add his input, saying that the corporate tax hike to 28 percent is too much, and should be 25 percent. Of course, he knows that would impact the funding for the legislation, forcing Biden to make cuts to an infrastructure bill that some have already argued does not go far enough.
Before Trump came in and lowered the rate to 21 percent, corporate taxes were at 35 percent under Obama. And yet, the American people are supposed to buy into this argument that asking corporations in the richest country in the world to not even pay as much as they were paying before is too much?
Manchin’s politics are nothing but performative. A silly, disingenuous rouse to cover for nonsensical positions that benefit no one but his corporate donors. And yet he’s touted as though he is some sort of electoral miracle that the Democrats have to stand behind and protect at all costs, as though the D next to his name somehow changes the fact that he legislates like a Republican. He thoroughly enjoys having such significant sway over policy, and nothing else. He certainly isn’t representing the best interest of his constituents.
If Biden is in fact serious about making this infrastructure bill the cornerstone of his policy, and likely intends it to be robust enough for his fellow Democrats to return home and campaign on, then one would hope he would remind Joe Manchin of who is actually President, and running the country. Biden should immediately campaign in West Virginia, and sell this bill to Manchin’s constituents and get them questioning why he’s trying to cut the budget of a piece of legislation that they would stand to benefit from.
Whether we like it or not, Manchin knows how to play politics, and other legislators need to become open to the idea of using his own tactics against him. There is nothing stopping Bernie Sanders from acting as his polar opposite, urging for more funding as opposed to less and refusing to vote on it otherwise. It will be interesting to see where this bill goes, who is willing to hold their fellow lawmakers’ feet to the fire on behalf of what they want, and who isn’t.