Chris Lange, FISM News
Republican lawmakers excoriated President Joe Biden’s fiscal year 2024 budget proposal as another massive social spending plan that will ultimately raise taxes and costs for American families.
The $6.9 trillion proposal, released on Thursday, represents a $1.1 trillion increase from the $5.8 trillion Biden proposed for the previous fiscal year and targets corporations and wealthy Americans with tax increases.
The White House said the plan would decrease the total deficit from $20 trillion to $17 trillion over the next 10 years.
House Republicans issued a statement Thursday denouncing the proposal as a “reckless” extension of “the same…spending policies that have led to record inflation” and a “debt crisis” that poses one of the “greatest threats” to the U.S.
“Yesterday, Republicans and Democrats heard from the Director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and our worst fears were confirmed – after passing trillions of dollars in new deficit spending that we cannot afford, over the next 30 years, the national debt will be nearly twice the size of the entire economy,” a portion of the statement read.
“In the next ten years, the federal government will spend over $10 trillion on interest alone. We must cut wasteful government spending. Our debt is one of the greatest threats to America and the time to address this crisis is now,” the lawmakers wrote.
Among several tax hikes included in the budget proposal is a new 25% minimum tax on Americans who possess more than $100 million in wealth. The plan would also raise the top marginal tax rate from the current 37% to 39.6%, which the Daily Wire noted “would represent a return to levels seen before the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.” Corporate taxes would also jump to 28% from the current 21% rate.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) called the proposal “unserious.”
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“President Biden just delivered his budget to Congress, and it is completely unserious. He proposes trillions in new taxes that you and your family will pay directly or through higher costs,” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) wrote on social media Thursday. “Washington has a spending problem, not a revenue problem.”
Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) declared on Twitter that the President’s “disastrous” proposal “will be dead on arrival.”
“The federal government can’t get enough of taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars,” she wrote separately in a statement.
“The president’s budget makes clear the administration has not learned from its mistakes that have led to two years of record-high inflation and excessive deficit spending. Instead, this administration is doubling down with more of the same,” Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), who sits on the Senate Finance Committee, wrote in a statement. “Revenues are not the problem; Washington’s insatiable appetite for unfettered spending is the problem,” he said.
Democratic lawmakers, unsurprisingly, lauded the expansion of funding for social programs included in the budget, including funds for higher ed programs and childcare benefits.
“President Biden’s budget plan fits the needs of American families,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) remarked in a statement. “It is a roadmap that will lead our country to a better future.”
Democratic strategists and operatives have framed the budget proposal, which they acknowledge is doomed to fail, as a political document that sets the stage for a rancorous showdown with the GOP over the debt ceiling heading into the 2024 election cycle. The debt ceiling exceeded the statutory limit of nearly $31.4 trillion earlier this year, and President Biden and Speaker McCarthy have been negotiating a plan to decrease long-term spending, but Democrats believe Biden has the upper hand.
Christopher Hahn, a former Schumer aide, told The Washington Examiner Thursday that “House Republicans have members who are extremely vulnerable, and if the hard-liners in the party continue to play chicken with the full faith and credit of the United States, the 18 GOP members who hold seats in districts Biden won in 2020 will surely blink” in their opposition to raising the debt ceiling without corresponding spending cuts.
Former Democratic operative Sandy Maisel said that Biden has Republicans “in a bind” since he “rope-a-doped the GOP into taking Social Security and Medicare off the table during the State of the Union,” referring to the president’s assertion that Republicans like Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) want to gut entitlement programs.
The GOP does, in fact, appear to have backed itself into a corner since the two programs combined represented more than half of last year’s fiscal budget.
“Biden will challenge the GOP to come up with an alternative,” Maisel predicted.