President Joe Biden proposed a budget Thursday pushing tax hikes on the wealthy and a proposal to expand Medicare while aiming to cut deficits by nearly $3 trillion over the next decade.
The president’s budget will most likely be dead on arrival in Congress, as his proposals to raise taxes run against Republican propositions to cut the deficit without raising taxes. Biden’s budget, however, will serve as a rallying cry against Republican proposals and as a starting point for Congressional discussions on the budget. (RELATED: Biden Proposes New Medicare Budget Taxing The Rich)
Biden proposed a 25% minimum tax on billionaires, quadrupling the tax on corporate stock buybacks, repealing former President Donald Trump’s tax cuts and reforming capital gains tax for those making more than $1 million.
The budget repeals the Trump administration’s tax cuts on the wealthy, and restores “the top tax rate of 39.6 percent for single filers making more than $400,000 a year and married couples making more than $450,000 per year,” the proposal reads.
Under the new budget, those making more than $1 million would be taxed at the same rate for capital gains and wage income.
Biden also outlined policies to lower health care costs and reduce prescription drug costs while attempting to revive some of his previous failed policies in his budget proposal, including the Child Tax Credit and increasing access to child care services.
He proposed a $35 price cap on insulin, over $15 billion for schools to provide free food to low-income students, a requirement for all states to provide mothers with Medicaid postpartum coverage for 12 months instead of 60 days, and a call to increase the maximum Pell grant scholarships by $500.
The defense budget proposal was increased by 3.2% from fiscal year (FY) 2023 to $842 billion amid threats from Russia and China, and Biden proposed allocating $25 billion to border security, a nearly $800 million increase from 2023.
Biden focused on Social Security and Medicare during his budget proposal, a continued theme from his back-and-forth with Republicans during the State of the Union. He has tried to paint Republicans as intending to cut benefits in the two programs, but House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has said Social Security and Medicare cuts are “off the table” in ongoing budget discussions.
House Republicans who opposed McCarthy for speaker of the House made the California representative concede to freezing the Fiscal Year 2024 budget at FY2022 levels. Republicans on the Budget Committee have proposed ending Biden’s student debt “relief,” recapturing nearly $100 billion in uncommitted COVID-19 money, a measure to “stop woke waste,” reducing fraud in the SNAP and Child Tax Credit programs, among others.
Biden spoke about his budget proposal Thursday in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania — a battleground state the president has visited repeatedly in the run-up to 2024.
In his speech, Biden said he would be ready to meet with McCarthy “anytime” even “tomorrow,” if the speaker presents his own budget. House Republicans are expected to present their own budget in the coming weeks.
“I want to make it clear, I’m willing to meet with the speaker anytime, tomorrow if he has his budget. Lay it down, tell me what you want to do,” Biden said.
He highlighted the policies proposed in his budget, claiming “MAGA Republicans” want to cut Social Security and Medicare and that members of the Republican Party want to “defund the police,” despite members of his own party calling for the same thing.
“My budget is about investing in America and all of America, including places and people and folks that have been forgotten. I promise you, I see you,” Biden said at the conclusion of his speech.