President Obama will on Monday give Congress his $4 trillion spending plan for fiscal 2016 that includes a request for billions of dollars in much-needed public works projects — an idea that has bipartisan support but little backing for the proposed tax increases to fund such efforts.
Obama will propose a six-year, $478 billion public-works program for highway, bridge and transit upgrades, with half of it to be financed with a one-time, 14 percent tax on U.S. companies’ overseas profits.
The tax would be due immediately. Under current law, those profits are subject only to federal taxes if they are returned, or repatriated, to the U.S., where they face a top rate of 35 percent. Many companies avoid U.S. taxes on those earnings by simply leaving them overseas.
The tax is part of a broader administration plan to cut corporate tax breaks and increase taxes on the country’s highest wage-earners to pay for projects to help the middle class.
Members of the GOP-controlled Congress and other fiscal conservatives have dismissed the overall plan since elements of it were announced several weeks ago — part of a White House strategy to win support prior to the president’s State of the Union address, in which more details were released, and a campaign-style tour in several states ahead of Monday’s release.
Wisconsin GOP Rep. Paul Ryan, the new chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, told NBC’s “Meet the Press,” as he has said in recent weeks, that he was willing to work with the administration to see if both sides can “find common ground on certain aspects of tax reform.”
However, he disapproved on the president’s budget plan.