US President Joe Biden proposes higher taxes for the wealthiest

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President Joe Biden on Tuesday touted the nation’s economic health in his State of the Union address, just days after a blockbuster jobs report showed a strong labor market has coincided with a monthslong easing of inflation.

President Biden challenged the new House Republican majority to work together with him to “finish the job” of repairing America’s unsettled economy and fragile democracy even as the emboldened opposition geared up to try to force him to change course.

“To my Republican friends, if we could work together in the last Congress, there’s no reason we can’t work together and find consensus on important things in this Congress as well,” he said. At another point, Biden accused Republicans of threatening Social Security and Medicare

“We have more to do, but here at home, inflation is coming down,” the president said.

Biden also proposed solutions for what he considers an ongoing economic ill: income and wealth inequality.

The Biden administration’s agenda includes two policy proposals: a new tax on billionaires and the sharp increase of a current tax on corporate stock buybacks.

A key part of Biden’s new economic policy agenda is a billionaire’s tax, which would set a minimum tax for the wealthiest Americans, the White House said. The tax rate would apply both to income and unrealised gains, a measure of the value a person’s unsold investments have accumulated.

“President Biden is a capitalist and believes that anyone should be able to become a millionaire or a billionaire,” the White House said in a statement on Tuesday. “He also believes that it is wrong for America to have a tax code that results in America’s wealthiest households paying a lower tax rate than working families.”

Spy balloon

Meanwhile,Amidst growing US-China tension over a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon, President Joe Biden has asserted that America “will act” to protect if Beijing threatens its sovereignty.

“I am committed to work with China where it can advance American interests and benefit the world. But make no mistake: as we made clear last week, if China threatens our sovereignty, we will act to protect our country. And we did,” Biden said in his second State of the Union address on Tuesday night.

Reacting to Biden’s remarks, China on Wednesday said it does not fear competing with the US but is “opposed to defining the entire China-US relationship in terms of competition.” “It is not the practice of a responsible country to smear a country or restrict the country’s legitimate development rights under the excuse of competition, even at the expense of disrupting the global industrial and supply chain,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said at a daily briefing in Beijing.

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