Poll: CEOs say Biden’s corporate tax hike would hinder wage growth, innovation

The Biden administration is in the midst of a full-court press to secure passage of a massive, $2.3 billion infrastructure bill, but according to a new survey, one of the key components of the proposed legislation is raising serious red flags among the nation’s business leaders.

As Breitbart reports, a poll released by Business Rountable earlier this week revealed that 98% of CEO respondents believe that the corporate tax increases included in President Joe Biden’s “American Jobs Plan” would produce a “significant adverse effect” on the competitive position of their enterprises, in a withering blow to the White House.

The survey was conducted during the period spanning March 8 and March 19, and it included 178 respondents – a group representing over 80% of the membership of Business Rountable. The results indicate real concern among America’s business elite about Biden’s plan to raise the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%.

Nearly all respondents expressed the opinion that the tax hike would have either a moderate or significant adverse impact on overall competitiveness, and 75% of participants also believe that such a move would hamper research and development. Making matters worse for Biden, 71% of those queried said their ability to make new hires would be reduced, and roughly two-thirds polled said they would anticipate slower wage growth as a result of a change in the corporate rate.

In announcing the results of the survey, Joshua Bolten, president and CEO of Business Rountable, said, “The proposed tax increases on job creators would slow America’s recovery and hurt workers,” adding:

This survey tells us that increasing taxes on America’s largest employers would lead to a reduced ability to hire, slower wage growth for workers, and reduced investments in research and development – all key components needed for a robust economic recovery.

While the corporate tax increase is an essential component of Biden’s infrastructure bill, it has already been met with opposition by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin (WV) has indicated that a rate of 28% is unacceptably high, as NBC news has noted, and his support of the package is almost certainly critical to its success. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) blasted the legislation as “a Trojan horse” designed to conceal “more borrowed money and massive tax increases on all the productive parts of our economy,” according to Fox Business.

Though Biden has signaled a willingness to negotiate on the corporate tax rate, as CNBC noted, and he did meet Monday with a group of bipartisan lawmakers to discuss possible areas of agreement, the White House appears willing to push forward with or without Republican support.

The administration welcomed a ruling last week from the Senate parliamentarian advising that Democrats could use the reconciliation process to achieve passage of the infrastructure bill via a simple majority vote instead of needing to meet the filibuster-proof 60-vote threshold, though that may not be enough to salvage the plan absent significant adjustments.

Time will tell whether Biden’s talk of bipartisan cooperation is anything other than political theater, but even so, if Sen. Manchin remains unmoved in his opposition to the bill as currently comprised, an uphill battle for Democrats likely remains.