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WASHINGTON: US President Joe Biden is expected to raise pressure Thursday on major corporations and wealthy individuals, calling for them to pay more in taxes in his State of the Union speech.

The 81-year-old is set to outline his economic plan in the annual address, in an effort to speak to voters’ concerns while he battles for reelection in the face of worries over his age and wars in Gaza and Ukraine.

The proposals further an agenda the Democrat has been driving since the 2020 presidential election race.

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But for Biden to enact them fully, Democrats will have to win strong majorities in both chambers of Congress in November – a situation which appears unlikely for now.

The proposals Biden is pushing for include a higher corporate tax rate of 28 percent and a corporate minimum tax of 21 percent, according to the White House.

These are part of a broader plan to lower the federal deficit by trillions of dollars, and are to be accompanied by tax cuts for lower-income citizens.

“President Biden will highlight that lowering costs for working families is his top economic priority,” said Biden’s top economic advisor Lael Brainard, who heads the National Economic Council.

Biden is also seeking to levy a 25 percent minimum tax on billionaires, while taking aim at Republicans for proposals to make tax cuts for businesses – under Republican candidate Donald Trump’s administration – permanent.

“Congressional Republicans want to cut taxes even more for the wealthy and big corporations, all while adding more than $3 trillion to the debt,” Brainard added in a preview of Biden’s remarks.

Beyond corporations, the president is set to tout his efforts to reduce unfair pricing and junk fees that consumers have to pay, in an appeal to millions of Americans tuning in – with many still feeling the pinch from lingering inflation.

A particular phenomenon he seeks to curb is “shrinkflation,” where companies reduce the size of products to obscure price hikes.

The practice has drawn ire even from popular Sesame Street character Cookie Monster this week, who complained about it in a widely reported social media post.

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