Skip to content

U.S. tax policy: Biden’s  transparency vs. Trump’s secrecy


Diverging paths on policy

By Stacy M. Brown | NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

It’s tax season, and the ideological differences between President Joe Biden and the twice-impeached former President Donald Trump couldn’t be starker. Transparency is another issue, with Biden being open and direct about his finances and Trump remaining evasive.

Their contrasting views set the stage for a heated debate over the role of taxes in economic recovery and wealth distribution.

Biden’s commitment to transparency

President Biden has chosen to lead by example, announcing his plans to release his income tax returns on the IRS filing deadline. In a speech in Scranton, Pennsylvania, administration officials said the president will advocate for a tax system in which the wealthy bear a more significant burden to reduce the federal deficit and fund vital programs for the poor and middle class.

Before the trip, Biden took the opportunity to contrast his financial background with Trump’s, emphasizing his modest means during his decades-long career in public service. “I was largely without money for much of my career, unlike my predecessor,” Biden stated, asserting his belief in financial transparency and accountability for public officials.

Trump’s defense of his tax policies

In stark contrast, Trump continues to resist calls for transparency, arguing that his previous financial disclosures are sufficient. He maintains that low taxes for the wealthy will stimulate investment and job creation. Trump has repeatedly defended his tax cuts for the mega-rich, claiming they are beneficial for an economy grappling with inflation.

“Does anyone here think the tax code is fair? Raise your hand,” Biden challenged during a speech at Washington’s Union Station. “It added more to the national debt than any presidential term in history.”

Biden’s tax proposals

Biden aims to strike a balance, proposing to maintain most of the existing tax breaks while implementing tax increases for the wealthy and corporations. His budget proposal this year targets an additional $4.9 trillion in revenues over the next decade, with plans to trim forecasted deficits by $3.2 trillion.

Biden has also introduced a controversial “billionaire minimum income tax,” targeting households with a net worth of at least $100 million. This proposal directly challenges billionaires like Trump, who has been reluctant to release his personal tax information.

Comparative financial disclosures

While Biden has publicly released over two decades of his tax returns, Trump’s reluctance to do so has drawn criticism. Recent disclosures have revealed that Trump paid only about 4% of his income in federal taxes in 2018, a rate significantly lower than Biden’s nearly 24%.

Expert opinions and economic analysis

Economists remain divided on the effectiveness of Trump’s tax policies. While Trump argues his tax cuts will spur economic growth, many experts disagree. A recent Oxford Economics analysis suggested that continuing Trump’s policies could slow growth and increase inflation.

Political implications

The tax policies proposed by Biden and Trump reflect the broader ideological differences between the Democratic and Republican parties. Biden’s plan aims to make the tax system fairer by increasing taxes on the wealthy and corporations while providing relief to working families.

In contrast, the Republican Study Committee’s extreme budget proposal prioritizes tax cuts for the wealthy and big corporations.