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Biden current budget proposal

Don’t Drink And Write Budgets, Kids

Every year, the president submits a budget request to Congress and a baseline for negotiations. It is difficult to imagine that President Joe Biden and his subordinates wrote their proposal sober. It leaves a lot of questions. The most pressing question is whether they were drunk or high.

During his State of the Union address, Biden bragged about reducing the deficit. Let’s take a look at how that works:

  • 2019: $4.4 trillion in spending with a $1 trillion deficit

  • 2020 (Covid year): $6.5 trillion in spending with a $3.1 trillion deficit

  • 2021 (Biden’s first budget): $6.8 trillion in spending with a $2.7 trillion deficit (Lower than in 2020 because people started going back to work and tax revenues increased)

  • 2022: $6.2 trillion in spending with a $1.4 trillion deficit

  • 2023: $6.1 trillion in spending with $1.7 trillion in deficit

So it’s literally correct that under Biden the deficit has gone down, but it’s as correct as it is dishonest. The deficit went up because of the pandemic, then Biden blew it with his spending programs, and now he wants credit for its not being as high as it was during the pandemic.

A better comparison would be between now and 2019, the last year before the pandemic. Spending has gone up by nearly a fifth, and the deficit has gone up by 70 percent.

Which brings us to his current budget proposal. The current proposal increases spending to $7.3 trillion over the next two years. That’s more than half a trillion dollars on average a year increase or a fifth of the current spending budget. Even if the president changes, this cannot be reversed fully because many of the spending commitments the government will legally make will be long-term contracts that cannot be canceled. 

According to the Wall Street Journal, under the president’s plan, spending as a share of national wealth will grow to nearly 25 percent—a quarter—over the next two years. The tax revenue will grow to 18.7 percent of the economy over the same period and eventually reach 20.3 percent of the economy in a decade, which is way behind the spending increase.

The Journal puts this in plain contrast with the average of the last 50 years:

  • Spending:

    • 50-year average: 21 percent of national wealth

    • Biden proposal: 24.8 percent of national wealth

  • Tax Revenue:

    • 50-year average: 17.3 percent

    • Biden proposal: 20.3 percent

The increase in taxes will come from those making more than $400,000 and businesses. Taxing the private sector will mean a slowdown in economic growth and will come at the cost of jobs. And even despite these tax increases, his revenue proposal (2.7 percent) still does not keep up with the spending hikes (4.5 percent). So the deficit will keep growing.

The president wants to pretend that taxing the rich will be enough to cover for his spending plans. It is not. Even if you tax the rich 100 percent, it will not fix our current deficit problem, let alone after adding to government spending.

If this is not bad enough, Biden warned that we’re in a 1941 time—meaning that we’re nearing a world war. He’s right. Our enemies are becoming stronger everywhere, especially in China, and arming themselves. That’s why Franklin Roosevelt began arming America before entering World War II. More on his military budget later, but for now, suffice to say that the only place Biden is being careful with spending is our armed forces, which only gets a 1 percent increase. Adjusted for inflation, the president is cutting the military budget, therefore, its size.

A part of it is cynical. He knows that Congress will add to that requested budget to some extent (even if not enough). This means that, if Biden gets his way, spending will be even higher, and the deficit will grow larger.

To be fair to the president, our budget problem is deeply rooted, and he’s inherited it. Even before Covid, it was a mess. But inheriting a problem means that you must solve it. He is making things worse instead.

So, was Biden drunk, or was he high, when he assured us that the deficit was going down? Or maybe he didn’t even read his own plan. That I can believe!

Note: the opinions expressed herein are those of Chuck Warren only and not his co-host Sam Stone or Breaking Battlegrounds’ staff.

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