Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News
President Joe Biden can’t be accused of being short on ambition.
On Monday, the embattled head of state – who, despite his efforts to rally Americans behind him, continues to suffer critically low popularity numbers – unveiled a mammoth $5.79 trillion budget plan for 2023.
Were the bill to pass unaltered – the least likely outcome of what is expected to be a highly contentious process in the months to come – the nation would make record investments in peace-time defense spending, impose a 20% minimum tax on billionaires, commit more money to Ukraine, and pour $88.2 billion into “pandemic preparedness and biodefense.”
“Budgets are statements of values, and the budget I am releasing today sends a clear message that we value fiscal responsibility, safety and security at home and around the world, and the investments needed to continue our equitable growth and build a better America,” Biden said in a statement.
Continuing a trend he began during his State of the Union Address, President Biden leaned into what would normally be considered conservative talking points.
In an effort to downplay his record of spending and inflation, one of boldest claims the president made was that his plan would reduce the national deficit by $1.3 trillion dollars in a single year.
The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, however, notes that “while the President’s math is accurate, his claims of credit for reducing the deficit are misplaced and lack important context.” The committee points out that that the reduction in deficit is a natural recalibration of the economy following the $5 trillion spent in COVID relief money. They also say that the trend of decline will not continue, and “deficits will grow for most of the next decade.”
Biden also said that the budget would provide money that would improve supply chain issues and crime fighting in the United States.
“We will secure our communities by putting more police on the street to engage in accountable community policing, hiring the agents needed to help fight gun crime, and investing in crime prevention and community violence intervention,” Biden said.
Social spending measures were present, but Biden downplayed their prevalence, choosing only to highlight that the budget will create “investments to cut the costs of [childcare] and health care; help families pay for other essentials; end cancer as we know it; support our veterans; and get all Americans the mental health services they need.”
The most consequential portions of the budget proposal, though, were the promised tax hike for the wealthiest 1% of Americans and Biden’s goal to pass unprecedented national defense spending.
“I’m calling for one of the largest investments in our national security in history, with the funds needed to ensure that our military remains the best-prepared, best-trained, best-equipped military in the world,” Biden said.
Republicans, however, criticized Biden’s budget proposal as being insufficient in defense spending, saying it lacked a plan to address inflation and was overly burdensome in terms of tax rates.
“President Biden’s budget reinforces the disconnect between this Administration’s far-left goals and what Americans need,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) tweeted. “It’s soft on the defense funding we need to outpace Russia and China, heavy on left-wing waste and historic tax hikes.”
President Biden's budget reinforces the disconnect between this Administration’s far-left goals and what Americans need. It’s soft on the defense funding we need to outpace Russia and China, heavy on left-wing waste and historic tax hikes.
— Leader McConnell (@LeaderMcConnell) March 28, 2022
Last week, 40 Republicans who serve on the House and Senate Armed Forces Committee wrote a letter to President Biden urging him include a 5% increase above inflation in his defense spending proposal.
Monday, Florida Sen. Rick Scott, one of the signatories, indicated the current proposal fails to meet that standard.
“The mainstream media is quick to prop up Joe Biden and repeat his claims that this budget proposal will move America forward,” Scott said in a statement. “It’s shameless. Anyone who has watched this administration’s repeated failures knows better than to believe these lies.”
Scott later added, “Where is Joe Biden’s proposal to curb inflation? Where is Joe Biden’s proposal to ensure funding for defense spending that keeps up with the inflation crisis he caused? Where is the funding to secure the border? None of these are addressed in his ‘budget.’ This president only cares about two things: continuing his failed tax and spend agenda, and appeasing the woke left radicals who control his party.”
The full text of President Biden’s 2023 Budget Proposal can be found here.