U.S. President Joe Biden set forth an unexpected dichotomy on Tuesday, saying “MAGA House Republicans” support “tax loopholes that help wealthy crypto investors,” and oppose food safety inspections.
Biden’s Twitter post was in support of his proposed fiscal year 2024 budget, which has so far failed to meaningfully advance given united Republican opposition in the U.S. House.
Biden notes that reducing the budget is a universal priority—but that Republicans prefer to cut “programs critical to seniors and middle-class and working families” rather than changing tax codes “to ensure that the wealthy and big corporations pay their fair share.”
The prominent reference to crypto sparked a fury of responses on Crypto Twitter. A common refrain: What tax loopholes?
“I gave y’all more money than I made off this stuff, while taking all the risk,” replied Dogecoin co-creator Billy Markus. “You also realize most American crypto users aren’t rich, but are using crypto cuz they don’t feel like they have enough to make ends meet—because of you guys?”
Biden’s budget plan provides a little more detail than his tweet.
“Right now, crypto investors aren’t subject to the same rules of the road that investors in stocks or other securities have to follow, allowing them to report excessive losses,” a White House fact sheet explains. “For example, a crypto investor—unlike an investor in stocks or bonds—can sell a cryptocurrency at a loss, take a substantial tax loss to reduce their tax burden, and then buy back that same cryptocurrency the very next day.”
The President says that updating the tax codes “to apply to crypto assets just like they apply to stocks and other securities” would recover $24 billion.
But Peter Conradi, community moderator for digital artist Beeple and community manager at Web3 creator platform Async Art, asked Biden to back off.
“Take your foot off the [brakes] of a technological and financial revolution that other nations are tapping into,” he replied on Twitter. “Most of us are not wealthy, but many of us are simply trying to innovate and create new markets and opportunities for citizens.”
The U.S. is being pilloried around the world for its lack of clear regulatory guidance on crypto, the uncertainty prompting crypto firms to expand overseas, lawyer up and scuttle deals—and potentially inhibiting the market itself. So far, the trend has been toward curtailing the industry.
This year, following criticism over the lack of oversight over failed crypto exchange FTX, Security and Exchange Commission chair Gary Gensler has stepped up his campaign against crypto companies that the SEC says are selling unregistered securities: Genesis in January, Do Kwon’s Terraform Labs in February, Justin Sun and his companies in March, and Bittrex in April.
There are voices of dissent within his own agency, however.
Meanwhile, the White House is building a case for a 30% excise tax on the energy used by crypto miners, and Republican lawmakers are lining up to oppose a U.S. central bank digital currency (CBDC), with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis called it a likely venue for Democrats to implement “Woke Politics.”
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