• Biden's Budget Is A Lie (Opinion)

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    June 02, 2021
     

    Opinion: Biden’s budget is a lie

    Opinion by 
    Columnist
    June 1, 2021 at 3:30 p.m. EDT (Washington Post)

    President Biden’s new $6 trillion budget is both staggering in its scope and dishonest in its design. The New York Times reports that Biden’s plan “would take the United States to its highest sustained levels of federal spending since World War II” while collecting “more tax revenue as a share of the economy than at almost any point in the last century.”

     

    That’s bad enough, but here is what Biden is not telling you: either he has abandoned major campaign promises just months into his administration, or he actually plans to tax and spend a whole lot more.

    For example, a centerpiece of Biden’s campaign — his plan to create a “public option” for health care and lower the age at which Americans can receive Medicare — is nowhere to be found in this budget. According to Manhattan Institute budget expert Brian Riedl, Biden’s missing health proposals will cost $1.45 trillion. That’s a huge omission. So, I asked Riedl what else is missing from Biden’s budget? A lot, it turns out. He points out that Biden also did not include a host of other spending plans he proposed during the 2020 campaign — such as his plan to expand Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), as well as much of the K-12 spending and higher education spending that he promised. In addition, Biden’s budget assumes that items he did include — such the child tax credit expansion in his American Family Plan and long-term care for seniors — will expire before Biden’s 10-year budget window closes, when, in fact, the president has no intention of allowing those programs to expire. 

    According to Riedl, when you add up the costs of all the missing items — plus the hundreds of billions in interest costs from these new initiatives — it comes to a whopping $5.8 trillion in additional spending. That means Biden’s actual spending plans are nearly double those outlined in his budget — which is already the highest level of proposed spending since the Second World War.

    And there is something that Biden’s budget does include which he did not propose on the campaign trail — a lower- and middle-income tax increase. When he ran for president, Biden declared, “Under my plan, if you make less than $400,000, you won’t pay a single penny, more in taxes. You have my word on it.” But in this budget, Biden breaks his word. The White House budget assumes that Biden will allow the Trump tax cuts for low- and middle-income Americans to expire as scheduled in 2025. Letting tax cuts expire is a tax increase.

    Who would be affected by those tax hikes? The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center estimates that 65 percent of Americans saw their taxes go down under Trump’s tax reform — which means that under Biden’s budget 65 percent of Americans will see their taxes go up. Even the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy — a left-wing group which opposed the Trump tax cuts — acknowledged that every income group in every state would pay less on average thanks to those cuts — which means that every income group in every state will pay more if Biden lets their tax cuts expire. 

    Biden did not campaign on a pledge to raise taxes on the majority of Americans, comprising every income group. And yet, he is baking in a massive lower- and middle-income tax increase into his budget plans. Why is Biden counting revenue he promised not to collect from working-class Americans in his budget? Because, according to Riedl, “the president has already used up nearly everything from his campaign tax hikes in his current proposals.” Even with a lower- and middle-income tax increase, he is still short of revenue to pay for all the $6 trillion in spending he admits to in his budget — leaving him with no way to pay the additional $5.8 trillion in spending he has pledged. That means, despite already proposing the highest levels of taxation in a century, he will have to raise taxes even more.

    In other words, from spending to taxes, Biden’s budget is a lie. He plans to tax you more, and spend far more of your money, than even his record-breaking budget plan admits.