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Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), at the center of the Hill's fall fights, near the Senate subway on Aug. 5. Photo: Kent Nishimura/L.A. Times via Getty Images

The White House plans to lean into attacks on proposed taxes to pay for President Biden's "Build Back Better" agenda as "an inflection point where leaders need to choose which side they’re on."

Why it matters: Both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue are heading into an epic fall debate over the size and funding of transformational social and climate programs. The 2022 midterms are the backdrop, with Democrats running partly on jobs created by infrastructure spending.

White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates tells me: "The President inherited the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression and yet he has delivered unprecedented job creation and the fastest economic growth in decades. That's because he's putting Scranton above Park Avenue and rebuilding the American middle class."

  • "If Republicans in Congress favor ... preserving exorbitant tax giveaways for the wealthiest Americans over historic tax cuts for middle class families, or ensuring that some of the most profitable corporations continue to pay no taxes at the expense of lower costs for elder care, then they've obviously made their choice."

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo made a a similar point yesterday in virtual remarks to the City Club of Cleveland. "We don’t have a blank check and we need to pay for these investments in a way that strengthens America’s middle class," she said

  • "We can do it. But it will require America’s largest corporations and the wealthiest Americans to pay more."
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Go deeper

22 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Plan B for soaking the rich

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Millionaires be warned: Democrats are looking for creative ways to tax the wealthiest Americans to pay for their $1.75 trillion social safety net expansion, lawmakers and aides tell Axios.

Why it matters: The nation’s 700 billionaires may have dodged a bullet when Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) effectively killed a plan to tax just their unrealized capital gains. But Manchin has told colleagues he's open to hitting all the country’s richest families and individuals with higher taxes.

Oct 27, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Manchin waffles on billionaire tax

Sen. Joe Manchin addresses the Economic Club of Washington today. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is telling colleagues he has deep concerns about a proposed “billionaire tax” but is waiting for more details before making a final decision, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: The senator's doubts reveal an uncomfortable truth for the White House and congressional leaders as they race to finish — and pay for — their nearly $2 trillion social spending and climate package: A tax solution designed to satisfy Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) isn't necessarily acceptable to Manchin.

4 hours ago - Technology

Facebook changes corporate name to Meta

Screen shot of CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the company's "Connect" virtual event

CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday said the social media giant is renaming its company Meta.

Why it matters: The effort is meant to shift its image from a social media platform to a “metaverse” company that focuses on building virtual work and social communities.