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Biden wants to raise taxes on the wealthy and corporations. Here’s why that’s going to be hard

To fund a $3.5tn social spending agenda, president Joe Biden has proposed more than a dozen changes to the US tax code, including aggressive tax increases on the wealthy and corporations that would reverse many of the cuts enacted under Donald Trump.

Now it is up to Democrats in Congress to turn the president’s plans into legislation by relying on “reconciliation”, a process that allows a fiscal bill to pass the Senate with a simple majority.

But with wafer-thin majorities in both chambers, Democrats will need to broker tough compromises between the progressive and centrist factions of their party. Nearly every Democratic lawmaker — from Elizabeth Warren, a standard-bearer for the progressive left, to Joe Manchin, who represents West Virginia, a state that voted overwhelmingly for Trump in the 2020 presidential election — must agree.

Pressure to pass the bill is mounting. The stakes are high for Biden’s presidency and for Democrats on the Hill as the 2022 midterm elections approach. A lobbying frenzy is under way to shape, and in some cases, slash parts of the $3.5tn package.

How much do you know about the tax proposals on the negotiating table? Here’s our guide and quiz to some of the most contentious ones.

Note: This guide is based primarily on the proposals put forth by the White House. However, the negotiations in Congress are already under way and the details will almost certainly change over time.

There are two options for viewing this guide to Biden’s tax reforms. An interactive version, which challenges you with quiz questions and reveals the sections as you progress, and a plain text version, which gives you the whole story at once. Choose your journey:


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