Workers Will Pay for Biden’s Corporate Tax Hike

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Posted by Isabelle Morales on Wednesday, April 7th, 2021, 12:35 PM PERMALINK

President Joe Biden has proposed at least $2 trillion in tax increases as part of his new spending plan. Biden has vowed to raise the corporate income tax from 21 percent to 28 percent, impose a 21 percent global minimum tax, and a 15 percent minimum tax on book income.

American workers, including those making less than $400,000 a year will bear a significant portion of Biden’s tax increases.

There is a strong consensus among the left and the right that the corporate income tax is borne by American workers through lower wages and fewer job opportunities:

  • According to the Stephen Entin of the Tax Foundation, labor (or workers) bear an estimated 70 percent of the corporate income tax in the form of wages and employment. As Entin notes, 50 percent70 percent, or even 100 percent of the corporate tax is borne by workers.
  • A 2012 paper at the University of Warwick and University of Oxford found that a $1 increase in the corporate tax reduces wages by 92 cents in the long term. This study was conducted by Wiji Arulampalam, Michael P. Devereux, and Giorgia Maffini and studied over 55,000 businesses located in nine European countries over the period 1996-2003.
  • A 2015 study by Kevin Hassett and Aparna Mathur found that a 1 percent increase in corporate tax rates leads to a 0.5 percent decrease in wage rates. The study analyses 66 countries over 25 years and concludes that workers could see a greater reduction in wages than the federal government raises in new revenue from a corporate income tax increase.
  • A 2006 study by William Randolph of the Congressional Budget Office found that 74% of the corporate tax is borne by domestic labor.
  • A 2007 study by Alison Felix estimated that a 1 percentage point increase in the marginal corporate tax rate decreases annual wages by 0.7 percent. She concluded that the wage reductions are over four times the amount of collected corporate tax revenue. 
  • Even the left-of-center Tax Policy Center estimates that 20 percent of the burden of the corporate income tax is borne by labor.
  • The Congressional Budget Office has said that about 25 percent of the cost of a corporate tax would be borne by workers. Though, they assert that it may be complicated to calculate this, as "the larger the decline in saving or outflow of capital, the larger the share of the burden of the corporate income tax that is borne by workers."

 

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

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