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Manchin Poised to Break No-tax-hike Promise

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AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

When Joe Manchin asked West Virginians to send him to Washington, he made three promises to the voters regarding taxation. But now he is on the verge of breaking all three promises in cahoots with Senate Democrat Leader Chuck Schumer.


Manchin’s tax promises are as follows: First, he emphasized to Fox News that he would not raise taxes. He said, “I would not raise any taxes.” Second, he swore that he would not raise taxes during a recession. Lastly, he promised that he would not raise taxes until the government was run efficiently.

But now he is actively working with the hard-left progressive Schumer to impose tax increases. A $1 trillion tax hike, at a time the country is economically vulnerable and households are trying to pay for day-to-day expenses.

Manchin told West Virginians in 2010: “I don’t think during a time of recession you mess with any of the taxes or increase any taxes.”

Former President Barack Obama agrees. Hesaid: “The last thing you want to do is to raise taxes in the middle of a recession.”

Manchin should know that working people are extremely worried about a near-term recession: A new CNBC survey shows that 83 percent of the workforce is concerned about a recession.

Manchin fashions himself a man of the people. Doesn’t he know they are wary of a recession? Does he think saddling the country with a tax hike will help? What changed since 2010 when he made the promise?

Even President Biden has acknowledged it.“They’re predicting, some are predicting a recession in 2023. I’m concerned about it.” 

The 2022 version of Manchin should take advice from the 2010 version of Manchin and oppose any tax increase.

Under Joe Biden’s stewardship inflation is at 8.3 percent, the highest in 40 years. Gas prices are up 44 percent and energy prices are up 30 percent. The cost of putting food on the table continues to rise: The cost of eggs is up 23 percent and the cost of meat is up 14 percent. 


There are also 11.4 million unfilled jobs, supply chains are broken, and small businesses are doing everything possible to keep the lights on. Economists note the U.S. already has one quarter of negative GDP on the books. One more and we are officially in a recession.

In 2010 Manchin said: “I can’t look the people of West Virginia in the eye and ask them to pay a penny more until I know we are running this government efficient.”

Manchin’s recentactions must mean that he now thinks the government is “efficient.” Taxpayers can use their own eyes and see that the government in no way can be described as such.

Manchin also wants to raise taxes by repealing the historically successful Trump tax cuts, which provided a 26 percent tax cut to West Virginians earning between $25,000 and $50,000. Does Manchin think West Virginians making $25,000 are “rich”?

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act also zeroed out the Obamacare individual mandate tax. There are 18,320 West Virginia households that are no longer stuck paying the tax. Eighty-eight percent of them earned less than $75,000.

There are 186,230 West Virginia households benefiting from TCJA’s expanded child tax credit. Are they rich too?

The Trump tax cuts also provided a 20 percent tax cut for small businesses. In their own words, West Virginians have documented a long list of good news arising from the tax cuts.

Manchin has called for an increase in the federal corporate income tax rate to 25 percent, a level much higher than the European average of 19 percent. Combined with state corporate income taxes, the Manchin business tax rate is even higher than communist China’s 25 percent. The burden of this tax increase will fall on the backs of working households in the form of slower wage growth and higher costs of goods and services.


Manchin is looking to increase taxes on American energy production, and impose a form of carbon tax, pushed by the Green New Deal progressive movement which loathes fossil fuels. The burden of these taxes will fall on the backs of the households and small businesses.

Raising taxes is a bad idea at any time, but is completely reckless now during sky-high inflation and brutal price increases.

Manchin’s intention to raise taxes contradicts the promises he made to his constituents. If he breaks his word, he will saddle working households with higher costs and bigger government at the worst possible time. West Virginia voters will remember when he is up for re-election in 2024.

Ben Susser is a communications associate at Americans for Tax Reform.

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