Yellen pledges to target high-earning Americans in bid to keep U.S. finances on ‘sound footing’

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Thursday pledged to pursue tax increases for high-earning Americans in a bid to keep U.S. finances sound, as she gave a speech in Michigan on the Biden administration’s economic policies.

“To ensure our long-term economic stability, we must keep our public finances on sound footing,” Yellen said, in remarks at the Ford

Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn.

In a nod to Democrats’ recently enacted climate-and-tax law, Yellen said: “We will build on the momentum of the Inflation  Reduction Act’s corporate tax reforms to advocate for additional reforms of our tax code and the  global tax system. This includes closing loopholes and returning tax rates for high earners and corporations to historical norms.”   

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Thursday’s speech by Yellen, a former Federal Reserve chairwoman, is the first in a month-long series of scheduled appearances designed to highlight what the Biden administration touts as the significance of its economic agenda. The secretary will also travel to North Carolina to discuss clean energy

and the economy.

With about two months to go before November’s midterm elections, Democrats appear to be on track to keep their grip on the Senate but lose the House of Representatives to Republicans. Still, at least one analyst has gamed out implications for the economy and markets should Democrats keep both chambers of Congress.

Read: Democrats keeping House and Senate in midterm elections would hurt markets, analyst says

Also see: Republican edge over Democrats erodes in this one key indicator

Congressional Democrats and the Biden White House are pointing to a number of accomplishments in recent months as the midterms approach, including passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, which contains more than $300 billion in items including tax credits for buying electric vehicles

Yellen did not specify what tax rates the administration would press for on wealthy Americans. The Trump administration’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 cut the top income tax rate to 37% from 39.6%. Restoring the higher rate was dropped from the Inflation Reduction Act, which President Joe Biden signed into law on Aug. 16.

Republicans have charged that the recently enacted law won’t live up to its name, and have said other recent Biden moves like canceling student debt will worsen inflation.

In remarks on Thursday in Washington, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the central bank will keep fighting high inflation “until the job is done.”

Now read: Powell says the Fed won’t be distracted by politics as it moves ‘strongly’ to bring inflation down

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