President Joe Biden’s FY 2024 Budget lays out his plan to invest in America, lower costs for families, protect and strengthen Social Security and Medicare, and reduce the deficit.
Hardly an “entitlement” – as if some sort of charity – millions of Americans have been working their whole lives, paying into Medicare with every working day –more like an annuity – and want to know that they can count on Medicare to be there for them when they turn 65. The President’s Budget extends the life of the Medicare Trust Fund by at least 25 years. It achieves these gains with no benefit cuts—indeed, while lowering costs for Medicare beneficiaries. This fact sheet is from the Whit eHouse:
Extending Medicare Solvency
The proposals in the President’s Budget would extend the solvency of Medicare’s Hospital Insurance (HI) Trust Fund by at least 25 years, the Medicare Office of the Chief Actuary estimates. While the most recent Medicare Trustees Report projected that the HI Trust Fund would be insolvent in 2028, the President’s Budget would extend solvency at least into the 2050s.
The Budget extends the life of Medicare by:
Modestly increasing the Medicare tax rate on income above $400,000. The Budget proposes to increase the Medicare tax rate on earned and unearned income above $400,000 from 3.8 percent to 5 percent. Since Medicare was passed, income and wealth inequality in the United States have increased dramatically. By asking those with the highest incomes to contribute modestly more, we can keep the Medicare program strong for decades to come.
Closing loopholes in existing Medicare taxes and dedicating the Medicare net investment income tax to the HI Trust Fund. High-income people are supposed to pay a 3.8 percent Medicare tax on all of their income, but some high-paid professionals and other wealthy business owners have managed to shield some of their income from tax by claiming it is neither earned income nor investment income. The Budget would ensure that Medicare taxes apply to incomes over $400,000 per year, without loopholes. It would also dedicate the revenue from the Medicare net investment income tax to the HI Trust Fund, as originally intended.
Crediting savings from prescription drug reforms to the HI Trust Fund. Building on the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which gave Medicare the authority to negotiate prices for high-cost drugs, the Budget strengthens this newly-established negotiation power by allowing Medicare to negotiate prices for more drugs and bringing drugs into negotiation sooner after they launch. It also strengthens the IRA requirement that drug companies pay rebates to Medicare when they increase prices faster than inflation by extending this rule to commercial health insurance. The Budget credits the savings from these additional prescription drug reforms, amounting to $200 billion over 10 years, to the HI Trust Fund.
Lowering Costs for Beneficiaries
Not only does the President’s Budget extend the life of the Medicare Trust Fund without benefit cuts, it does so while lowering costs for beneficiaries in key areas.
Lower out-of-pocket costs for drugs subject to negotiation. By reducing prices for high-cost drugs, the Budget’s expansion of Medicare drug negotiations will not only save money for the federal government, it will also cut beneficiary’s out-of-pocket costs by billions of dollars.
$2 cost-sharing for generic drugs for chronic conditions. The Budget proposes capping Part D cost-sharing on certain generic drugs, such as those used to treat chronic conditions like hypertension and high cholesterol, to $2 per prescription per month.
Lowering behavioral health care costs in Medicare. The Budget eliminates cost-sharing for three mental health or other behavioral health visits per year and requires parity between physical health and mental health coverage in Medicare. It also requires coverage and payment for new types of Medicare providers, such as peer support workers and certified addiction counselors, and evidence-based digital applications and platforms that facilitate delivery of mental health services, while removing unnecessary limitations on beneficiary access to psychiatric hospitals.
The White House released a fact sheet detailing President Biden’s proposed budget, aimed at investing in America, lowering costs for working class and middle class families, cutting taxes for working families, and protecting and strengthening Medicare and Social Security. It demonstrates the president’s long-held values that seeks to achieve stable, sustainable economy that grows from the bottom up and the middle out.
President Biden has long believed that we need to grow the economy from the bottom up and middle out, not the top down. Over the past two years, in the face of significant challenges, that economic strategy has produced historic progress for the American people.
Under the President’s leadership, the economy has added more than 12 million jobs—more jobs in two years than any president has created in a four-year term—including 800,000 manufacturing jobs. The unemployment rate has fallen to 3.4 percent, the lowest in 54 years. The Black and Hispanic unemployment rates are near record lows. The past two years were the best two years for new small business applications on record. The President has taken action to lower costs and give families more breathing room, including cutting prescription drug costs, health insurance premiums, and energy bills, while driving the uninsured rate to historic lows. And the President’s plan is rebuilding America’s infrastructure, making the economy more competitive, investing in American innovation and industries that will define the future, and fueling a manufacturing boom that is strengthening parts of the country that have long been left behind while creating good jobs for workers, including those without college degrees.
The President has done all of this while delivering on his commitment to fiscal responsibility. While the previous Administration passed a nearly $2 trillion unpaid-for tax cut with benefits skewed to the wealthy and big corporations while dramatically increasing the deficit, President Biden cut the deficit by more than $1.7 trillion during his first two years in office—the largest decline in American history. And the reforms he signed into law to take on Big Pharma, lower prescription drug costs, and make the wealthy and large corporations pay their fair share will reduce the deficit by hundreds of billions of dollars more over the coming decade.
The President’s Budget details a blueprint to build on this progress, deliver on the agenda he laid out in his State of the Union, and finish the job: continuing to grow the economy from the bottom up and middle out by investing in America, lowering costs for families, protecting and strengthening Medicare and Social Security, and reducing the deficit by nearly $3 trillion over the next decade by making the wealthy and big corporations pay their fair share and cutting wasteful spending on Big Pharma, Big Oil, and other special interests. No one earning less than $400,000 per year will pay a penny in new taxes.
Congressional Republicans have taken a very different approach. While they have consistently said that reducing the deficit is a top priority, Congressional Republicans have already proposed policies that would add an additional $3 trillion to the debt over the next decade—all while raising costs for working families and handing out tax giveaways to the wealthy and big corporations. As the President has made clear, they owe the American people a detailed accounting of exactly what they plan to cut in order to cover the costs of their proposals, while also achieving the kinds of fiscal targets that they claim to support. Until they produce a plan, we’re left to rely on a wide array of Republican budgets, statements, and proposals—past and present—which provide clear and consistent evidence that many critical programs the American people count on will be on the chopping block.
Lowering Costs and Giving Families More Breathing Room
As our economy transitions from a historically strong recovery to stable and steady growth, the President has remained laser-focused on continuing to lower costs for families and giving them more breathing room, without giving up the historic economic gains we’ve made. While more work remains, there are clear signs that the President’s strategy is working. Annual inflation is lower than it was seven months ago, gas prices are down $1.60 per gallon since their peak last summer, and unemployment remains at its lowest level in 54 years, while take home pay has gone up. And the Biden-Harris Administration has taken historic action to lower the costs of health care, clean energy, and prescription drugs, eliminate junk fees that make it harder for families to make ends meet, promote greater competition to lower costs, and address pandemic-driven supply chain bottlenecks. While some Congressional Republicans have proposed repealing the Inflation Reduction Act and taken other actions that would raise costs for working families, the President’s Budget takes a very different approach—proposing a package of policies to continue lowering everyday costs for the American people.
Cuts Taxes for Families with Children and American Workers. The President is calling for the restoration of the full Child Tax Credit enacted in the American Rescue Plan, which cut child poverty in half in 2021, to the lowest level in history. The Budget would expand the credit from $2,000 per child to $3,000 per child for children six years old and above, and to $3,600 per child for children under six. The Budget would also permanently reform the credit to make it fully refundable. The President also calls on the Congress to make the Earned Income Tax Credit expansion for childless workers permanent, which would help pull low-paid workers out of poverty.
Lowers Health Care Costs. The President believes that health care should be a right, not a privilege. With enrollment in affordable health coverage at an all-time high, the Budget builds on the remarkable success of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), by making permanent the average $800 per year premium cuts through expanded premium tax credits that the Inflation Reduction Act extended. It also provides Medicaid-like coverage to individuals in States that have not adopted Medicaid expansion under the ACA, paired with financial incentives to ensure States maintain their existing expansions.
Reduces Prescription Drug Costs for All Americans. The Budget builds upon the Inflation Reduction Act to continue lowering the cost of prescription drugs. For Medicare, this includes further strengthening the newly established negotiation power by extending it to more drugs and bringing drugs into negotiation sooner after they launch. The Budget also proposes to limit Medicare Part D cost-sharing for high-value generic drugs used for certain chronic conditions like hypertension and high cholesterol to no more than $2. For Medicaid, the Budget includes proposals to ensure Medicaid and CHIP programs are prudent purchasers of prescription drugs, authorizing HHS to negotiate supplemental drug rebates on behalf of interested States in order to pool purchasing power. For the commercial market, the Budget includes proposals to curb inflation in prescription drug prices and cap the prices of insulin products at $35 for a monthly prescription.
Expands Access to Quality, Affordable Health Care. The Budget invests $150 billion over 10 years to improve and expand Medicaid home and community-based services, such as personal care services, which would allow seniors and individuals with disabilities to remain in their homes and stay active in their communities as well as improve the quality of jobs for home care workers. And because community health centers—which provide comprehensive services regardless of ability to pay—serve one in three people living in poverty and one in five rural residents, the Budget puts the Health Center Program on a path to double its size and expand its reach. To bolster the health care workforce, the Budget provides a total of $966 million in 2024 to expand the National Health Service Corps, which provides loan repayment and scholarships to health care professionals in exchange for practicing in underserved areas, and a total of $350 million to expand programs that train and support the nursing workforce.
Expands Access to Affordable, High-Quality Early Child Care and Learning. Too many families across America cannot access high-quality, affordable child care—preventing parents from working and holding back our entire economy. The President’s Budget enables states to increase child care options for more than 16 million young children and lowers costs so that parents can afford to send their children to high-quality child care. The Budget also funds a Federal-State partnership that provides high-quality, universal, free preschool to support healthy child development and ensure children enter kindergarten ready to succeed.
Lowers Housing Costs by Increasing Affordable Housing Supply and Expanding Access to Homeownership and Affordable Rent. The President believes that everyone deserves a safe and affordable place to live. To address the critical shortage of affordable housing in communities throughout the country that has exacerbated inflation, the Budget includes $59 billion in mandatory funding and tax incentives aimed at increasing the affordable housing supply, including for extremely low-income households. The Budget also includes $10 billion in mandatory funding to incentivize State, local, and regional jurisdictions to make progress in removing barriers to affordable housing developments, such as restrictive zoning. By expanding the supply of housing, the Budget would help prevent the kind of rapid increases in rental and homeownership costs we have seen in recent years. The Budget also includes $10 billion in mandatory funding for a new First-Generation Down Payment Assistance program to help address racial and ethnic homeownership and wealth gaps—making homeownership more attainable for Americans who have been locked out of the generational wealth building that can come with owning a home. And the Budget expands access to affordable rent through the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program to well over 200,000 additional households. In addition to assisting all current voucher recipients and providing new vouchers for tens of thousands of additional families, the Budget includes mandatory funding to support two populations that are particularly vulnerable to homelessness—guaranteed assistance for all 20,000 youth who age out of foster care annually and an incremental expansion to cover the 450,000 extremely low-income (ELI) veteran families nationwide.
Improves College Affordability and Expands Free Community College. The Budget proposes to increase the discretionary maximum Pell Grant by $500—helping more than 6.8 million students pay for college, building on successful bipartisan efforts to increase the maximum Pell Grant award by $900 over the past two years, and laying out a path to double the award by 2029. The Budget also invests mandatory and discretionary funding to expand free community college, and provides mandatory funding for two years of subsidized tuition for students from families earning less than $125,000 enrolled in a participating four-year Historically Black College or University (HBCU), Tribally-Controlled College or University (TCCU), or Minority-Serving Institution (MSI).
Lowers Home Energy and Water Costs. The Budget provides $4.1 billion for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), building on the $13 billion provided in the Inflation Reduction Act to reduce energy bills for families, expand clean energy, transform rural power production, and create thousands of good-paying jobs for people across rural America. Since the Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) expires at the end of 2023, the Budget proposes to expand LIHEAP funding and allow States the option to use a portion of their LIHEAP funds to provide water bill assistance to low-income households.
Increases Food Security. As called for in the National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition and Health, the Budget provides over $15 billion to allow more States and schools to leverage participation in the Community Eligibility Program and provide healthy and free school meals to an additional 9 million children. The Budget also includes $6.3 billion to support the 6.5 million individuals expected to participate in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).
Protecting and Strengthening Medicare and Social Security
The President has always believed that Medicare and Social Security are a promise—a rock-solid guarantee generations of Americans have counted on to be able to retire with dignity and security. The President will reject any efforts to cut the Medicare or Social Security benefits that seniors and people with disabilities have earned and paid into their entire working lives. The Budget honors that ironclad commitment—not only by rejecting benefit cuts, but by embracing reforms and investments that will protect and strengthen both programs. The President is committed to working with Congress to ensure Medicare and Social Security remain strong for their beneficiaries, now and in the future.
Protects and Strengthens Medicare. The Budget strengthens Medicare by extending the solvency of the Medicare Trust Fund by at least 25 years, without cutting any benefits or raising costs for beneficiaries. The Budget includes key reforms to the tax code to ensure high-income individuals pay their fair share into the Medicare HI trust fund. It also directs the revenue from the Net Investment Income Tax into the HI trust fund as was originally intended. Finally, the Budget directs the savings from the Budget’s proposed Medicare drug reforms into the HI trust fund.
Protects the Social Security Benefits that Americans Have Earned. The Administration is committed to protecting and strengthening Social Security and opposes any attempt to cut Social Security benefits for current or future recipients. The Administration looks forward to working with the Congress to responsibly strengthen Social Security by ensuring that high-income individuals pay their fair share. The Budget also invests in staff, information technology, and other improvements at the Social Security Administration, providing an increase of $1.4 billion, a 10 percent increase, over the 2023 enacted level. These funds would improve customer service at Social Security Administration field offices, State disability determination services, and teleservice centers for retirees, individuals with disabilities, and their families.
Growing the Economy from the Bottom up and Middle Out by Investing in America and Its People
The Budget proposes smart, targeted investments to grow the economy from the bottom up and middle out, not the top down, by investing in America and its people—investing in the foundations of our country’s economic strength; confronting the climate crisis while creating clean energy jobs; and advancing equity, dignity, and opportunity and strengthening our democracy.
Investing in the Foundations of Our Economic Strength
Invests in American Manufacturing. The Budget provides $375 million for the National Institutes of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Industrial Technology Services to support the progress of NIST’s existing manufacturing institute, fund a new institute to be launched in 2023, and promote domestic production of institute-developed technologies. The Budget also includes $277 million for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, a public-private partnership that offers advisory services to small and medium enterprises.
Makes Historic Investments in Innovation and Cutting-Edge Research. The Budget provides almost $21 billion in discretionary spending for CHIPS and Science Act-authorized activities. This funding includes $1.2 billion for the CHIPS and Science Act-authorized Directorate for Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships to help accelerate and translate scientific research into innovations, industries, and jobs, as well as $300 million for NSF’s Regional Innovation Engines program to galvanize use-inspired research, technology translation, and workforce development. Within DOE’s Office of Science, the Budget also supports cutting-edge research in artificial intelligence, quantum information sciences, microelectronics, and isotope production at the national laboratories and universities. In addition, the Budget requests $4 billion in new mandatory funding for the Regional Technology and Innovation Hub Program at the Economic Development Administration. And the Budget provides $210 billion for Federal research and development, an historic level of investment in American science, technology and innovation.
Provides National, Comprehensive Paid Family and Medical Leave and Calls for Paid Sick Leave for All Workers. Workers power our economy—and when they thrive, our economy thrives. The Budget proposes to establish a national, comprehensive paid family and medical leave program, providing up to 12 weeks of leave to allow eligible workers to take time off to care and bond with a new child; care for a seriously ill loved one; heal from their own serious illness; address circumstances arising from a loved one’s military deployment; or find safety from domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. The President also calls on Congress to require employers to provide seven job-protected paid sick days each year to all workers.
Expands Workforce Training that Provides Pathways to Good Jobs. The Budget invests in evidence-based training models to ensure all workers—including women, workers of color, and workers in rural areas—have the skills they need for the good jobs being created by the President’s historic legislative accomplishments. The Budget invests $335 million in Registered Apprenticeship, an earn-and-learn model, to provide debt-free pathways to careers in construction, clean energy, semiconductor manufacturing, and other in-demand industries. The Budget also provides $200 million for the new Sectoral Employment through Career Training for Occupational Readiness (SECTOR) program, which will support development and expansion of public-private partnerships to equitably deliver high-quality training in growing industries, and invests $100 million to help community colleges partner with employers and the public workforce system to design and deliver effective training models in communities across the Nation.
Invests in High-Poverty Schools. The Budget provides $20.5 billion for Title I, a $2.2 billion increase above the 2023 enacted level, delivering critical funding to 90 percent of school districts across the Nation and helping them provide students in low-income communities the academic opportunities and support they need to succeed. This increase in funding addresses chronic funding gaps between high-poverty schools—which disproportionately serve students of color—and their wealthier counterparts.
Taking Historic Action to Cut Energy Bills for Families and Confront the Climate Crisis While Creating Clean Energy Jobs Across America
Cuts Energy Bills for Families and Creates Jobs Building Clean Energy Infrastructure. The Budget invests $4.5 billion in clean energy across America, bringing jobs to rural communities and cities, leaving no one behind. The Budget supports clean energy workforce development and sustainable infrastructure projects across the country, including $1.8 billion to weatherize and retrofit low-income Americans’ homes, and $83 million to electrify Tribal homes and transition Tribal Colleges and universities to renewable energy.
Makes Historic Investments in Science & Research to Continue to Cut the Cost of Clean Energy. To boost American innovation and sustain American leadership in research and scientific discovery, the Budget also provides a historic investment of $16.5 billion in climate science and clean energy innovation. The Budget includes $3.5 billion of the $8.8 billion total for DOE’s Office of Science and $1.6 billion at NSF, and makes advancements toward the CHIPS and Science Act authorizations, including $1 billion for fusion, the largest ever investment in the promise of a clean energy power source.
Cuts Global Warming Pollution. The Budget invests in reducing global warming pollution and achieving the President’s target to cut greenhouse gas emissions 50-52 percent by 2030. These investments include an additional $64.4 million at EPA to implement the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act and continue phasing out potent greenhouse gases known as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). The Budget supports $1.2 billion in DOE industrial decarbonization activities.
Helps Increase Climate Resilience and Bolsters Conservation. The Budget invests more than $24 billion to help build communities’ resilience to floods, wildfires, storms, extreme heat, and drought brought on by climate change, expand conservation and ecosystem management, strengthen America’s natural disaster response capabilities, increase the resilience of rural housing to the impacts of climate change while reducing rent burdens, and ensure the resilience of our nation’s defense to climate change.
Advances Equity and Environmental Justice. The Administration continues to prioritize efforts to deliver environmental justice in communities across the United States, including meeting the President’s Justice40 Initiative to ensure that 40 percent of the overall benefits of Federal investments in climate and clean energy reach disadvantaged communities, including rural and Tribal communities. The Budget bolsters these efforts by investing nearly $1.8 billion at EPA across numerous programs that will support securing environmental justice for communities that bear the brunt of toxic pollution and climate change. The Budget also provides EPA $219 million to help remediate lead contamination in water, an increase of $163 million over the 2023 enacted level.
Increases Global Energy Security, Infrastructure, and Resilience. The Budget supports the President’s pledges to more than quadruple international climate finance and to provide more than $3 billion for the President’s Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience (PREPARE). This includes a $1.6 billion contribution to the Green Climate Fund and a $1.2 billion loan to the Clean Technology Fund. The Budget also advances new tools, such as loan guarantees, to re-assert U.S. leadership in the Indo-Pacific to finance energy security and infrastructure projects and reduce reliance on volatile energy supplies and prices.
Expanding Access to High-Quality Health Care and Improving Health Outcomes
Advances Maternal Health and Health Equity. The United States has the highest maternal mortality rate among developed nations, and rates are disproportionately high for Black and American Indian and Alaska Native women. The Budget includes $471 million to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity rates; expand maternal health initiatives in rural communities; implement implicit bias training for health care providers; create pregnancy medical home demonstration projects; and address the highest rates of perinatal health disparities, including by supporting the perinatal health workforce. In addition, the Budget requires all States to provide continuous Medicaid coverage for 12 months postpartum, eliminating gaps in health insurance at a critical time.
Advances Cancer Moonshot Goals. The Cancer Moonshot aims to reduce the cancer death rate by at least 50 percent over the next 25 years and improve the experience of people who are living with or have survived cancer, their families, and caregivers. The Budget includes $1.7 billion for dedicated Cancer Moonshot activities across the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in addition to targeted investments at the Departments of Veterans Affairs, Defense, Agriculture, and other Cancer Cabinet agencies, and a total investment of $7.8 billion at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to drive progress on ways to prevent, detect, and treat cancer. The Budget also provides an increase of $1 billion for the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H), for a total of $2.5 billion, to drive innovative health research and speed the implementation of breakthroughs that would transform the treatment, prevention, and early detection of cancer and other diseases.
Transforms Behavioral Health Care. The United States is facing a mental health crisis. While recently enacted legislation takes significant steps to address this crisis, much more can be done. For people with private health insurance, the Budget expands coverage of mental health benefits and strengthens the network of behavioral health providers. For people with Medicare, the Budget lowers patients’ costs for mental health services, requires parity in coverage between behavioral health and medical benefits, and expands coverage for behavioral health providers. The Budget provides historic investments in the behavioral health workforce, youth mental health care, Certified Community Based Behavioral Health Clinics, Community Mental Health Centers, and mental health research.
Making Our Communities Safer, Advancing Equity and Opportunity, and Strengthening American Democracy
Invests in Federal Law Enforcement, Community Violence Interventions, and Prevention to Combat Gun Violence and Other Violent Crime. The Budget continues to fund the President’s comprehensive Safer America Plan, including funding to put 100,000 additional police officers on our streets for accountable, community-oriented policing; $19.4 billion over 10 years for crime prevention strategies; and $5 billion over 10 years for community violence interventions. The Budget also includes $17.8 billion for DOJ law enforcement, including a total of nearly $2 billion for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to expand multijurisdictional gun trafﬁcking strike forces with additional personnel, increase regulation of the ﬁrearms industry, and implement the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. The Budget also includes $1.9 billion for the U.S. Marshals Service to support personnel dedicated to ﬁghting violent crime, as well as $51 million to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to support the continued implementation of enhanced background checks required by the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.
Prioritizes Efforts to End Gender-Based Violence. The Budget proposes $1 billion to support implementation of programs through the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA), which was recently reauthorized and strengthened in 2022. The Budget supports substantial increases for longstanding VAWA programs, including key investments in legal assistance for victims, transitional housing, and sexual assault services. The Budget also includes $519 million for the Family Violence Prevention and Services (FVPSA) program and the National Domestic Violence Hotline to support domestic violence survivors—double the 2023 enacted level.
Advances Child and Family Well-Being in the Child Welfare System. The Budget proposes to expand and incentivize the use of evidence-based foster care prevention services to keep families safely together and reduce the number of children entering foster care. The Budget provides States with support to place more foster children with relatives or other adults who have an existing emotional bond with the children, while also providing additional funding to support youth who age out of care without a permanent caregiver. In addition, the Budget proposes to make the adoption tax credit refundable and to extend the credit to legal guardianships. This would reduce the financial burden on low- and moderate-income families wishing to pursue adoption, as well as for families who opt for legal guardianship.
Strengthens Our Democracy. To continue efforts to restore and strengthen American democracy, the Budget proposes $5 billion in new election assistance funding to be allocated over 10 years, $1.5 billion to support increasing the living allowance provided to AmeriCorps members so that national service is a more accessible pathway to success, and $73 million to support American history and civics education programs.
Keeping America Safe and Confronting Global Challenges
Even as he has taken decisive action to strengthen America at home, the President has worked with allies and partners to confront pressing global challenges. The Budget builds on that progress through proposals to continue addressing threats to global security and strengthening the U.S. military, addressing pressing global challenges, strengthening border security and the U.S. immigration system, and honoring America’s commitment to veterans, servicemembers, families, caregivers, and survivors.
Supports Ukraine, European Allies, and Partners. The Budget continues support for Ukraine, the United States’ strong alliance with the states of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and other European partner states by prioritizing funding to enhance the capabilities and readiness of U.S. forces, NATO allies, and regional partners in the face of continued Russian aggression.
Invests in New Ways to Out-Compete China and Deepens Alliances and Partnerships in the Indo-Pacific. China is the United States’ only competitor with both the intent to reshape the international order and, increasingly, the economic, diplomatic, military, and technological power to do it. During these unprecedented and extraordinary times, the Budget requests both discretionary and mandatory resources to out-compete China and advance American prosperity globally. The mandatory proposal will strengthen the U.S. role in the Indo-Pacific, and advance the U.S. economy by investing $2 billion to create a new International Infrastructure Fund to support “hard” critical infrastructure; $2 billion to create a new equity revolving fund at the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation to support equity investments; and $2 billion to make game-changing investments in the Indo-Pacific to strengthen partner economies and support their efforts in pushing back against predatory efforts. As part of this mandatory proposal, the Budget also requests a total of $7.1 billion over the next 20 years for the Compacts of Free Association with the Freely Associated States of the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and Palau.
Promotes Integrated Deterrence in the Indo-Pacific and Globally. The Budget prioritizes China as America’s pacing challenge in line with the 2022 National Defense Strategy. The Department of Defense’s 2024 Pacific Deterrence Initiative highlights $9.1 billion of targeted investments the Department is making to U.S. force posture, infrastructure, presence, and readiness as well as efforts to bolster the capacity and capabilities of U.S. allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region.
Strengthens Democracy and Promotes Human Rights Globally. The Budget provides more than $3.4 billion to advance democratic governance and foster democratic renewal globally. The Budget would strengthen free and independent media, fight corruption, bolster democratic institutions, advance technology for democracy, promote gender equality and women’s civic and political participation, and defend free and fair elections and political processes.
Enhances Border Security and Immigration Enforcement. Strengthening border security and providing safe, lawful pathways for migration remain top priorities for the Administration. The Budget includes nearly $25 billion for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The Budget includes funds for CBP to hire an additional 350 Border Patrol Agents, $535 million for border technology at and between ports of entry, $40 million to combat fentanyl trafficking and disrupt transnational criminal organizations, and funds to hire an additional 460 processing assistants at CBP and ICE.
Expands Health Care, Benefits, and Services for Military Environmental Exposures. The PACT Act represents the most significant expansion of VA health care and disability compensation benefits for veterans exposed to burn pits and other environmental exposures in more than 30 years. As part of the PACT Act, the Congress authorized the Cost of War Toxic Exposures Fund (TEF) to fund increased costs above 2021 funding levels for health care and benefits delivery for veterans exposed to a number of environmental hazards—and ensure there is sufficient funding available to cover these costs without shortchanging other elements of veteran medical care and benefit delivery. The Budget provides $20.3 billion for the TEF in 2024, which is $15.3 billion above the 2023 enacted level.
Reducing Deficits by Nearly $3 Trillion by Making the Wealthy and Big Corporations Pay Their Fair Share and Cutting Wasteful Spending on Big Pharma, Big Oil, and Special Interests
After inheriting historically high deficits from the previous Administration, President Biden told the American people he would reduce the deficit, pay for his proposals, and ensure that no one making less than $400,000 a year would pay a penny more in new taxes. That’s exactly what he has done—and exactly what he will continue to do.
The President’s Budget builds on the record-breaking deficit reduction he achieved during his first two years in office. It more than fully pays for its investments, reduces deficits by nearly $3 trillion over the next decade by making the wealthy and big corporations pay their fair share and cutting wasteful spending on Big Pharma, Big Oil, and other special interests, and ensures that no one making less than $400,000 per year will pay a penny more in new taxes.
The Budget reflects the President’s ironclad belief that we need a tax system that rewards work, not wealth—and that ensures the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations don’t pay lower tax rates than teachers or firefighters. That’s in sharp contrast with Congressional Republicans, who in recent months have proposed policies that would add $3 trillion to the debt over the next decade while handing out tax giveaways to the wealthy and big corporations.
Building on the progress the President has already made to promote a fairer tax code, the Budget proposes additional reforms that would ensure the wealthy and corporations pay their fair share while cutting wasteful spending on Big Pharma, Big Oil, and other special interests.
Proposes a Minimum Tax on Billionaires. The tax code currently offers special treatment for the types of income that wealthy people enjoy. While the wages and salaries that everyday Americans earn are taxed as ordinary income, billionaires make their money in ways that are taxed at lower rates, and sometimes not taxed at all. This special treatment, combined with sophisticated tax planning and giant loopholes, allows many of the wealthiest Americans to pay lower rates on their full income than many middle-class households pay. To finally address this glaring problem, the Budget includes a 25 percent minimum tax on the wealthiest 0.01 percent.
Ensures Corporations Pay Their Fair Share. The Budget includes an increase to the rate that corporations pay in taxes on their profits. Corporations received an enormous tax break in 2017, cutting effective U.S. tax rates for U.S. corporations to a low of less than 10 percent. While their profits soared, their investment in the economy did not. Their shareholders and top executives reaped the benefits, without the promised trickle down to workers, consumers, or communities. The Budget would set the corporate tax rate at 28 percent, still well below the 35 percent rate that prevailed prior to the 2017 tax law. This tax rate change is complemented by other proposals to incentivize job creation and investment in the United States and ensure large corporations pay their fair share.
Stops the Race to the Bottom in International Corporate Tax and End Tax Breaks for Offshoring. For decades, countries have competed for multinational business by slashing tax rates, at the expense of having adequate revenues to finance core services. Thanks in part to the Administration’s leadership, more than 130 nations signed on to a global tax framework to finally address this race to the bottom. Building on that framework, the Budget proposes to reform the international tax system to reduce the incentives to book profits in low-tax jurisdictions, stop corporate inversions to tax havens, and raise the tax rate on U.S. multinationals’ foreign earnings from 10.5 percent to 21 percent. These reforms will ensure that profitable multinational corporations pay their fair share.
Quadruples the Stock Buybacks Tax. Last year, the President signed into law a surcharge on corporate stock buybacks, which reduces the differential tax treatment between buybacks and dividends and encourages businesses to invest and grow as opposed to funneling tax-preferred profits to foreign shareholders. The Budget proposes quadrupling the stock buybacks tax from one percent to four percent to address the continued tax advantage for buybacks and encourage corporations to invest in productivity and the broader economy.
Repeals Trump Tax Cuts for the Wealthy and Reform Capital Gains Tax to Ensure the Wealthy Pay Their Fair Share. The 2017 tax law lowered rates for the wealthiest Americans, delivering massive tax cuts to the top one percent. The Budget repeals the Trump tax cuts for the highest-income Americans, restoring 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. It also proposes taxing capital gains at the same rate as wage income for those with more than $1 million in income and finally closes the carried interest loophole that allows some wealthy investment fund managers to pay tax at lower rates than their secretaries.
Cuts Wasteful Spending on Big Pharma, Big Oil, and Other Special Interests, Combats Fraud, and Makes Programs More Efficient. The Budget puts forward reforms that cut wasteful spending on Big Pharma, Big Oil, and other special interests, crack down on fraud, and strengthen program integrity—saving taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars. For example, the Budget cuts Federal spending by $160 billion—and saves billions of dollars for seniors—by increasing the number of drugs Medicare can select for negotiation and bringing more drugs into the negotiation process sooner, building on the Inflation Reduction Act’s reforms. It also includes a package of reforms to crack down on systemic fraud—combatting identity theft and other fraud in Unemployment Insurance, increasing funding for the Anti-Pandemic Fraud Strike Force, and investing in Inspectors General.
Further evidence that President Joe Biden’s economic plan – essentially building the economy from the bottom up and the middle out, and creating longterm, sustainable, stable growth – is working. Despite the manufactured hysteria over inflation and impending recession, the data shows otherwise – in terms of record 12 million jobs created, lowest unemployment in 50 years, real increase in wages.
Biden is also able to show progress in slowing inflation – which has been much more crippling throughout the world – and has been able to demonstrate that while his economic policies will address the national debt (a record reduction in the budget deficit), Republicans’ agenda would worsen the national debt (largely caused by the Trump/GOP tax plan that reduced taxes on the wealthiest individuals and corporations, and which added $7.4 trillion, or 25% of the national debt, in the four-year term). The Republican plan would actually add $3 trillion MORE to the national debt.
President Biden, commenting on the January CPI Report, said:
“Inflation in America is continuing to come down, which is good news for families and businesses across the country. Today’s data confirm that annual inflation has fallen for seven straight months. Inflation for food at the grocery store came down again last month. Gas prices are down about $1.60 from their peak last year. And real wages for working Americans are up over the last seven months, delivering welcome breathing room for American families. We are seeing this progress even as unemployment remains at its lowest level since 1969 and job growth remains resilient.”
“There is still more work to do as we make this transition to more steady, stable growth, and there could be setbacks along the way. That is why my unwavering focus is on continuing to lower costs for families, rebuild our supply chains, and invest in America. Right now, because of the Inflation Reduction Act we passed last year, we are lowering prescription drug costs, health care costs, and home energy costs for tens of millions of Americans all while lowering our deficits. My administration is eliminating junk fees which make it harder for American families to make ends meet at the end of the month. And we are creating manufacturing jobs all across the country, which will lower costs and rebuild our supply chains.”
“Unfortunately, many of my Republican friends in Congress seem intent on taking us in the opposite direction. They have proposed repealing the Inflation Reduction Act, which would make inflation worse, shower billions of dollars on Big Pharma, and increase the deficit. They are threatening to raise costs for seniors by threatening to cut Medicare and Social Security, and other critical programs that American seniors and families count on. And some are threatening to default on the full faith and credit of the U.S., which would raise costs and create economic chaos. I will stand firmly against any effort to make inflation worse and increase costs for families. Today’s data reinforces that we have made historic progress and are on the right track, and now we need to finish the job. “
The Congressional Republican Agenda to Increase the Debt by Over $3 Trillion
CongressionalRepublicanleaders insist that the national debt is among our nation’s greatest challenges, and reducing it is among their highest priorities. In fact, they claim that reducing the debt is so urgent it warrants endangering the entire U.S. economy through debt limit brinksmanship. But their legislative agenda to date points in a very different direction—with proposals that would increase the debt by over $3 trillion.
The first bill passed by the new Republican House majority increased the debt by $114 billion by allowing wealthy people and corporations to continue to cheat on their taxes.
Congressional Republicans proposed repealing—and are even running ads attacking—reforms President Biden signed to lower prescription drug costs. Repealing these policies would increase the amount of money Medicare pays Big Pharma, raise costs for seniors, and add $159 billion to the debt.
House Republicans have advocated and proposed repealing tax increases on large corporations that President Biden has signed into law, adding $296 billion to the debt.
Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform, exposed the political logic of Congressional Republicans’ fiscal hypocrisy. He told Republicans their focus should be “not the deficit” after all: it’s to shift public discussion to cutting spending, paving the way for more tax cuts for the wealthy.
That trickle-down economic theory has never worked. President Trump and President Bush’s tax cuts addedtrillions to the debt and failed to deliver their promised benefits for the economy or American workers. And taking revenues—and even savings from cutting corporate subsidies—off the table means Congressional Republicans consistently propose deep cuts to programs seniors and middle-class and working families count on.
That’s why the American people deserve to see Congressional Republicans’ full and detailed budget plan and compare it with the President’s Budget plan to invest in America, bring down costs for families, protect and strengthen Social Security and Medicare, and reduce the deficit, which he will release March 9.
Congressional Republicans’ Commitment to Debt Increases
The fiscal consequences of the debt increases Congressional Republicans have put at the top of their agenda are stark. After a decade, these policies, if enacted, would add over $3 trillion to the debt (accounting for debt service costs), increasing debt as a share of the economy by almost 10 percentage points. Congressional Republicans’ debt increases include:
The Tax Cheats Protection Act: House Republicans’ first bill in the new Congress would add $114 billion to the Federal debt by repealing President Biden’s legislation that cracks down on wealthy tax cheats. While working people pay 99% of taxes on their income from wages and salaries, the top 1% hides about 20% of their income from tax, including by funneling it through offshore accounts and tax havens that do not report earnings. President Biden passed a law to make our tax system fairer by cracking down on wealthy tax cheats, while protecting middle-class taxpayers and small businesses and improving taxpayer service. But 221 House Republicans voted to enable tax fraud by wealthy Americans and large corporations.
Increase Spending With a Handout to Big Pharma: House Republicans have introduced a bill to repeal the entire Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), including the reforms President Biden signed into law to lower prescription drug costs. Congressional Republicans and Big Pharma have launched a concertedattack on the IRA’s prescription drug reforms, advocating to increase both Federal spending and seniors’ costs to increase Big Pharma’s profits. Thanks to the new prescription drug law, Medicare will finally be able to negotiate drug prices, and drug companies will pay rebates to Medicare if they try to hike their prices faster than the rate of inflation. Congressional Republicans want to repeal these policies, giving a $159 billion handout to Big Pharma, raising costs for seniors, and driving up the Federal debt.
Enrich Multi-Billion Dollar Corporations: In 2020, 55 of the largest, most profitable corporations paid $0 in taxes. The President signed into law legislation to level the playing field for companies and small businesses that are already paying their fair share in taxes. Under his corporate minimum tax, the largest, most profitable corporations—those with over $1 billion in profits—have to pay a 15% minimum tax on the profits they report to their shareholders. But House Republicans—through their Inflation Reduction Act repeal bill and other statements—have made clear that they want to enrich large corporations that don’t pay their fair share. That would add $222 billion to the debt.
Increase the Tax Subsidy for Stock Buybacks: President Biden signed into law a surcharge on corporate stock buybacks, which reduces the differential tax treatment between buybacks and dividends and encourages businesses to invest in their growth and productivity as opposed to paying out corporate executives or funneling tax-preferred profits to foreign shareholders. The President in his State of the Union address proposed quadrupling the stock buybacks tax to 4% to address the continued tax advantage for buybacks and encourage long-term investment over giveaways to executives. House Republicans instead want to repeal the stock buybacks tax and let corporations continue to funnel tax-preferred profits to shareholders instead of investing in productivity and the broader economy. That would add $74 billion to the Federal debt.
Extend President Trump’s Unpaid-for Tax Giveaway to the Wealthy and Large Corporations: President Trump and Congressional Republicans deliberately sunset portions of their tax giveaway to the wealthy and large corporations. They did this to conceal how much their plan added to the debt as well as how large the tax breaks were for multi-millionaires and large corporations. Now, House RepublicanLeadership has made clear that extending President Trump’s tax giveaway to the wealthy and large corporations is one of their top priorities. An analysis by the Tax Policy Center found that doing so would mean an average tax cut of $175,000 for the top 0.1%—Americans making more than $4 million per year. That average tax cut is more than 2.5 times a typical family’s annual income. Meanwhile, extending the expiring Trump tax cuts would add $2.7 trillion to the Federal debt over 10 years.
The President supports a fiscally responsible approach to continuing current tax policies for people making less than $400,000 per year, and opposes any tax increase for this group. Meanwhile, Congressional Republicans—including the more than three quarters of them who are signatories to Grover Norquist’s tax pledge—have made clear they will oppose paying for middle-class tax cuts by raising taxes on the wealthy and large corporations.
Even Without a Budget, Congressional Republicans Are Already Showing Who Will Pay the Price
The proposals Congressional Republicans have put forward show that, even as they commit to massive tax cuts for the wealthy and large corporations, they are more than ready to raise taxes on middle-class and working families. The House Republican IRA repeal bill would cut premium tax credits that are helping an estimated 14.5 million people pay for health insurance. And the House Budget Committee last week doubled down on eliminating Affordable Care Act premium tax credits for middle-income people with high health insurance premiums: a tax increase of $7,600 per year for a typical 62-year old earning $55,000.
In addition, some Congressional Republicans continue to push a national retail sales tax bill that would repeal most existing taxes and impose a new 30% sales tax on American families. The legislation would increase debt by trillions—and cut taxes for a couple making a million dollars a year by more than $200,000—and at the same time would raise taxes by at least $7,000 for a retired couple with $60,000 in Social Security income and at least $6,000 for a single mom making $38,000, a recent analysis found.
The bottom line is: having committed to over $3 trillion in debt increases and also insisted they are committed to reducing the debt, Congressional Republicans owe the American public a complete and transparent accounting of who will foot the bill. Will it be middle-class and working families, seniors, students, or all of the above?
House Republican agenda amounts to a death panel for Medicare and Social Security:
The contrast in agendas for America between President Joe Biden and the Democrats and the Congressional Republicans could not be more stark.
While President Biden, in his State of the Union address, described his plans for building on the historic job creation he has achieved, making more progress against inflation, reducing the deficit by making the wealthy and big corporations pay their fair share, and protecting Medicare and Social Security benefits from cuts, in contrast, House Republicans opened the week by announcing the latest in a long succession of attempts to undermine Medicare and Social Security.
Bloomberg reports that as part of a ransom demand for not triggering a financial meltdown, top House Republicans want an agreement that both earned benefits programs are put on track for cuts.
As The Washington Post reported in late January, House Republicans have continuously pressed for slashing Medicare and Social Security benefits in exchange for not actively harming the American economy with the first debt default in our history.
Republicans have also introduced legislation to repeal the Inflation Reduction Act, which would be one of the biggest Medicare benefit cuts in history, depriving seniors of lower insulin costs, the $2,000 cap on out of pocket expenses for prescription drugs, and Medicare’s new ability to negotiate lower drug costs.
Today’s news is even more confirmation that House Republicans are taking direct aim at programs that are critical to the middle class, even as they vote for tax giveaways to the rich that would manage to increase taxes on working families while raising the deficit at the same time, the White House stated.
“With the President poised to announce new plans to keep making our economy works from the bottom up and the middle out – not the top down – House Republicans are dead-set on the opposite,” said White House spokesperson Andrew Bates. “They’re opening the week unveiling their latest in a long line of ultimatums about how they’ll act to kill jobs, businesses, and retirement accounts if they can’t cut Medicare and Social Security benefits. Meanwhile, they’re voting to worsen the deficit with tax welfare for the rich and big corporations. Think about that: they’re targeting the Medicare and Social Security benefits that middle class families pay in to earn their whole lives, then turning around and giving tax handouts to big corporations. The American people want more jobs and lower costs, not a death panel for Medicare and Social Security.”
“While President Biden shows the American people his plan to build on the unprecedented deficit reduction his leadership has already delivered, by having the richest taxpayers and big corporations pay their fair share and lowering prescription drug prices, House Republicans’ only plan is to make the deficit skyrocket by over $3 trillion with unaffordable tax giveaways to wealthy special interests,” stated White House spokesperson Andrew Bates. “They’ve even proposed raiding Medicare so that the ultra-rich can enjoy new tax welfare. Meanwhile, House Republicans are threatening to actively throw our economy into a tailspin with a default – which they have a non-negotiable, Constitutional duty to prevent – unless they can further cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. It’s utterly backwards. The President is delivering on his commitment to build an economy that grows from the bottom up and the middle out – not from the top down. The House GOP seems determined to pull the American economy in the opposite direction, increasing taxes on working families while giving $3 trillion in new handouts for the rich.”
The chart below is based on the record:
10-Year Deficit Increase
Republican House-passed bill to make it easier for billionaires to cheat on their taxes
Deficit increases from Republican proposals to date
Over $3 trillion
Congressional Republicans keep calling for earned benefits on the one hand, but more tax giveaways for the rich on the other
After President Biden put Republicans on the defensive over their long-public intentions to slash Medicare and Social Security benefits, a continuing list of congressional Republicans ranging from Ron Johnson last week to Senator Mike Rounds yesterday, keep proving his point.
Whether it’s a large number of House Republicans and Rick Scott pushing to repeal the Inflation Reduction Act in what would be one of the worst Medicare benefit cuts of all time, or the Republican Study Committee proposing benefit cuts and the privatization of Social Security of last year, the receipts are undeniable. Formonths, congressional Republicans have indicated they would even use the threat of a catastrophic default to cut Medicare and Social Security benefits.
Republicans in Congress justify these intentions under the guise of fiscal responsibility. However, at the same time, they are advocating for enormous tax giveaways to rich special interests that, combined, would add over $3 trillion to the debt. Those two positions are irreconcilable.
The first vote the Republican-controlled House took was to help wealthy individuals and multinational corporations worsen inflation by cheating on their taxes. They broadly support renewing the Trump tax giveaways for the rich. And in addition to being a Medicare benefit cut, repealing the Inflation Reduction Act would at the same time be more tax welfare for the rich and a giant windfall for Big Pharma. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
“It’s irreconcilable to support Medicare and Social Security benefit cuts in the name of supposed ‘fiscal responsibility,’ while at the same time adding $3 trillion to the national debt with a seemingly endless gravy train for rich special interests,” said White House spokesperson Andrew Bates. “Prioritizing tax giveaways for the wealthy and specific handouts for Big Pharma over the Medicare and Social Security benefits that middle class families pay to earn throughout their lives is a recipe for making our economy work from the top-down. The last thing that Americans who’ve felt invisible want is cuts to lifeline programs in exchange for permanent trickle-down economics.”
The Biden Administration is justifiably touting a $1.3 trillion decrease in the budget deficit – the largest one-year decline in U.S. history – to demonstrate the success of its fiscal policies, and particularly, its success in getting control of the coronavirus pandemic and justifying its FY2023 budget proposal. Here’s a statement from the White House:
When the President took office, the pandemic was raging in communities across the country and our economy was struggling to recover from the most severe downturn since the Great Depression. The economy shrunk, and the unemployment rate stood at 6.4 percent. And, the deficit had risen to $3.1 trillion in 2020—yet with trillions in resources, the Trump Administration didn’t secure vaccines for all Americans, most schools were closed, and testing and medical equipment shortages continued.
Even before the pandemic, the Trump tax cuts had added $2 trillion to deficits over a decade. The deficit increased every year of the previous administration.
Unlike his predecessor, President Biden prioritized fiscal responsibility. In the face of the extraordinary challenges he inherited, the President made clear that bold action was needed to jumpstart the economic recovery. He knew that robust investment to change the course of the pandemic and support workers, families, and small businesses was not only the right strategy to build a stronger economy, but also to decrease the deficit. A strong economic recovery would result in less emergency spending and drive future deficits down. In March 2021, he signed into law the historic American Rescue Plan.
The President’s Budget shows that this strategy paid off. The strongest economic growth in four decades, powered by the American Rescue Plan, has also contributed to a historic decline in the deficit—by fueling strong revenue growth and allowing the Administration to responsibly phase down emergency pandemic-related spending. The President’s Budget projects that the deficit in 2022 will be more than $1.3 trillion lower than last year’s—the largest ever one-year decline in our country’s history. It will be less than half of the 2020 deficit the President inherited.
The President is now working to build on that progress and further reduce the deficit by reforming the tax system so that corporations and the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share. As the Budget shows, with these reforms, we can cut costs for families, continue growing the economy from the bottom up and middle out, and put America on a sound fiscal course for the future—shrinking the deficit the President inherited by two-thirds as a share of the economy.
President Biden’s Strategy to Combat the Pandemic and Jumpstart the Economy is Driving Down Deficits
Thanks to the American Rescue Plan and the President’s strategy to control the pandemic, in 2021 our economy grew at 5.7 percent, the fastest rate in nearly 40 years. We created more than 6.5 million jobs, the most our country has ever recorded in a single year. The unemployment rate has dropped to 3.8 percent, lower than the Congressional Budget Office had projected in its pre-American Rescue Plan baseline at any point over the next decade. And between the start and the end of 2021, we went from about 41,000 to more than 200 million Americans vaccinated, and from most schools closed to 99 percent of schools are open for in-person learning.
The Administration’s economic success and success in controlling the pandemic is lowering the deficit in two ways.
First, because of the historic pace of our economic and labor market recovery, the economy no longer needs the kind of emergency support it received last year. With businesses open and people back at work, the Federal Government will spend about $1 trillion less on pandemic and economic support in 2022 than in 2021. That includes hundreds of billions of dollars less support to businesses, which are now making investments and creating jobs without the need for help. Likewise, after historic drops in both the overall unemployment rate and the long-term unemployment rate—the share of people out of work for more than six months—we no longer need emergency unemployment assistance, and ongoing Unemployment Insurance claims are at their lowest level since 1970.
Second, a stronger economy means higher incomes for households and higher earnings for businesses. Because of this economic progress, the government is projected to collect more than $300 billion in additional revenues compared to last year, a nearly 10 percent increase.
The President’s Budget Continues to Lower Deficits
Even before the pandemic, the Trump Administration added $2 trillion to deficits over 10 years through tax cuts that largely helped wealthy people and large corporations. President Biden believes in a different approach: growing the economy from the middle out, not the top down, and paying for all new investments by ensuring that the wealthiest Americans and large corporations pay their fair share.
As he made clear in his State of the Union address, the President is committed to working with Congress to enact legislation that lowers costs for American families, expands the productive capacity of the American economy, and further reduces the deficit: by reducing prescription drug costs and fixing the tax code to ensure corporations and wealthy people pay the taxes they already owe and close loopholes they exploit.
The President’s FY 2023 Budget also proposes additional smart, targeted investments designed to spur durable economic growth, create jobs, reduce cost pressures, and foster shared prosperity—while more than fully offsetting their cost. The Budget reduces deficits by more than $1 trillion over the next 10 years.
Under the Budget policies, deficits as a share of the economy would fall to less than one-third of the 2020 level the President inherited. Overall, the Budget details an economically and fiscally responsible path forward—addressing the long-term fiscal challenges facing our country while making investments that will produce stronger economic growth and broadly shared prosperity for generations to come.
This is President Joe Biden’s statement about his FY2023 budget proposal:
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.
My Administration is on track to reduce the federal deficit by more than $1.3 trillion this year, cutting in half the deficit from the last year of the previous Administration and delivering the largest one-year reduction in the deficit in U.S. history. That’s the direct result of my Administration’s strategy to get the pandemic under control and grow the economy from the bottom up and the middle out. We spent less money than the last Administration and got better results: strong economic growth, which has increased revenues and allowed us to responsibly scale back emergency spending. My budget will continue that progress, further reducing the deficit by continuing to support the economic growth that has increased revenues and ensuring that billionaires and large corporations pay their fair share.
At the same time, my budget will make investments in securing our nation and building a better America. 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.
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. In addition, I’m calling for continued investment to forcefully respond to Putin’s aggression against Ukraine with US support for Ukraine’s economic, humanitarian, and security needs.
My budget also makes the investments needed to reduce costs for families and make progress on my Unity Agenda – including investments to cut the costs of child care 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.
All told, it is a budget that includes historic deficit reduction, historic investments in our security at home and abroad, and an unprecedented commitment to building an economy where everyone has a chance to succeed.
And here’s what in the Biden budget:
FACT SHEET: The President’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2023
Under the President’s leadership, America is on the move again. We created more than 6.5 million jobs in 2021, the most our country has ever recorded in a single year. Our economy grew at 5.7 percent, the strongest growth in nearly 40 years. And the unemployment rate has fallen to 3.8 percent, the fastest decline in recorded history. At the same time, the deficit fell last year—by around $300 billion. This progress was a direct result of the President’s strategy to grow the economy from the bottom up and the middle out and his effective management of the American Rescue Plan—a strategy that was built on smart, fiscally prudent investments that helped jumpstart our economy.
As our historic economic and labor market recovery continues, the President’s Budget projects that the deficit in 2022 will be more than $1.3 trillion lower than last year’s—the largest ever one-year decline in our country’s history. The strongest economic growth in four decades, powered by the American Rescue Plan, has also contributed to a historic decline in the deficit—by fueling strong revenue growth and allowing the Administration to responsibly phase down emergency pandemic-related spending.
Today, the President released a Budget that details his vision to expand on our economic and fiscal progress—investing in our economy and our people while cutting deficits, improving our country’s long-term fiscal outlook, and keeping the economic burden of debt low.
As he made clear in his State of the Union address, the President is committed to working with Congress to enact legislation that lowers costs for American families, expands the productive capacity of the American economy, and further reduces the deficit: by reducing prescription drug costs and fixing the tax code to ensure corporations and wealthy people pay the taxes they already owe and close loopholes they exploit.
The President’s FY 2023 Budget also proposes additional smart, targeted investments designed to spur durable economic growth, create jobs, reduce cost pressures, and foster shared prosperity. These investments are more than fully paid-for through tax reforms that ensure corporations and the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share, while also fulfilling the President’s ironclad promise that no one earning less than $400,000 per year will pay an additional penny in new taxes. Overall, the Budget reduces deficits by more than $1 trillion over the next 10 years and deficits under the Budget policies would fall to less than one-third of the 2020 level the President inherited.
The Budget improves our country’s long-term fiscal outlook while also delivering on the ambitious agenda the President laid out in his State of the Union address—to build a better America, reduce costs for families, advance equity, and grow our economy from the bottom up and the middle out. It proposes significant new investments in proven strategies to reduce gun crime and keep our communities safe. It makes additional investments in the American people that will help lay a stronger foundation for shared growth and prosperity. It advances a bipartisan unity agenda through proposals to take on the mental health crisis, combat the opioid epidemic, support our veterans, and accelerate progress against cancer. And during what will be a decisive decade, it strengthens our military and leverages America’s renewed strength at home to meet pressing global challenges, deepen partnerships and alliances, and manage crises as they arise.
PUTTING THE NATION ON A SOUND FISCAL AND ECONOMIC COURSE
The Budget proposes smart, targeted, fully-offset investments while also cutting deficits, improving our country’s long-term fiscal outlook, and keeping the economic burden of debt low. The Budget’s investments are more than paid for with tax reforms focused on making sure the rich and the largest corporations pay their fair share, reducing deficits by over $1 trillion over the next 10 years.
Proposes a New Minimum Tax on Billionaires. The tax code currently offers special treatment for the types of income that wealthy people enjoy. This special treatment, combined with sophisticated tax planning and giant loopholes, allows many of the very wealthiest people in the world to end up paying a lower tax rate on their full income than many middle-class households. To finally address this glaring problem, the Budget includes a minimum tax on multi-millionaires and billionaires who so often pay indefensibly low tax rates. This minimum tax would apply only to the wealthiest 0.01 percent of households—those with more than $100 million—and over half the revenue would come from billionaires alone. It would ensure that, in any given year, they pay at least 20 percent of their total income in Federal income taxes.
Ensures Corporations Pay Their Fair Share. The Budget also includes an increase to the rate that corporations pay in taxes on their profits. Corporations received an enormous tax break in 2017. While their profits have soared, their investment in our economy did not: the tax breaks did not trickle down to workers or consumers. Instead of allowing some of the most profitable corporations in the world to avoid paying their fair share, the Budget raises the corporate tax rate to 28 percent, still the lowest tax rate faced by corporations since World War II except in the years after the 2017 tax cut. This increase is complemented by other changes to the corporate tax code that incentivize job creation and investment in the United States and ensure that large corporations pay their fair share.
Prevents Multinational Corporations from Using Tax Havens to Game the System. For decades, American workers and taxpayers have paid the price for a tax system that has rewarded multinational corporations for shipping jobs and profits overseas. Last year, the Administration rallied more than 130 countries to agree to a global minimum tax that will ensure that profitable corporations pay their fair share and will incentivize U.S. multinationals to create jobs and invest in the United States. The Budget contains additional measures to ensure that multinationals operating in the United States cannot use tax havens to undercut the global minimum tax.
Advancing Legislation to Lower Costs, Reduce the Deficit, and Expand Productive Capacity
The President is committed to working with Congress to sign legislation that lowers costs for American families, reduces the deficit, and expands the productive capacity of the American economy. That means cutting costs for prescription drugs, healthcare premiums, child care, long-term care, housing, and college; reducing energy costs by combatting climate change and accelerating the transition to a clean energy economy; supporting families by providing access to free, high-quality preschool, up to two years of free community college, nutritious food at school and resources to purchase food over the summer months, and paid family and medical leave and by continuing the enhanced Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit; and providing health coverage to millions of uninsured Americans. The President believes these proposals must be paired with reforms that ensure corporations and the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share, including ensuring that they pay the taxes they already owe.
Because discussions with Congress continue, the President’s Budget includes a deficit neutral reserve fund to account for a future agreement, preserving the revenue from tax and prescription drug reforms the President proposed last year for this legislation for the investments needed to bring down costs for American families and expand our productive capacity.
BUILDING A BETTER AMERICA
The Budget includes smart, targeted investments in the American people that will help build a better America. It will keep our communities safe and combat violent crime; promote job creation and expand the productive capacity of our economy; improve our public health infrastructure; ensure America leads the world in combating the climate crisis; and advance equity and opportunity for all. It strengthens our military and leverages America’s renewed strength at home to meet pressing global challenges, deepen partnerships and alliances, and manage crises as they arise.
Combating Crime to Keep Our Communities Safe
Puts More Police Officers on the Beat. The Budget provides $3.2 billion in discretionary resources for State and local grants, and $30 billion in mandatory resources to support law enforcement, crime prevention, and community violence intervention, including putting more officers for community policing on the beat across the Nation.
Provides More Tools to Tackle Gun Violence. The Budget provides $1.7 billion for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to expand multijurisdictional gun trafficking strike forces with additional personnel, increase regulation of the firearms industry, enhance ATF’s National Integrated Ballistic Information Network, and modernize the National Tracing Center.
Increases Federal Law Enforcement Capacity to Combat Violent Crime. Under the President’s Budget, key Federal law enforcement agencies like the FBI and U.S. Marshals Service will have the resources they need fight violent crime, including through fugitive apprehension and enforcement operations. The Budget also ensures U.S. Attorneys have the necessary support to prosecute violent crimes.
Strengthens Civil Rights Enforcement. The Budget makes important investments to support law enforcement while addressing longstanding inequities and strengthening civil rights protections. The Budget invests $367 million, an increase of $101 million over the 2021 enacted level, at the Department of Justice to support police reform, the prosecution of hate crimes, enforcement of voting rights, and efforts to provide equitable access to justice.
Supports Criminal Justice System Reform. The Budget includes $100 million for a historic multi-agency collaboration to provide comprehensive workforce development services to people in the Federal prison system and proposes $106 million to support the deployment of body-worn cameras to DOJ’s law enforcement officers.
Promoting Job Creation, Reducing Cost Pressures, and Boosting Productive Capacity
Increases Affordable Housing Supply. In communities throughout the country, rents are skyrocketing and homeownership is becoming increasingly out of reach. This strains family budgets and holds back our economy – making it harder for workers to afford to live near good jobs and good transportation options. To address the critical shortage of affordable housing in communities throughout the Nation, the Budget proposes $50 billion for housing construction and supply – addressing existing market gaps and helping to stabilize housing prices over the long-term. This includes funding, via the Department of Housing and Urban Development, for state and local housing finance agencies and their partners to provide grants, revolving loan funds, and other streamlined financing tools to boost housing supply, with a particular focus on housing types that have traditionally been difficult to finance using existing Federal financing but have the potential to boost supply and density in supply-constrained communities. The Budget also includes grants to advance and reward state and local jurisdictions’ efforts to remove barriers to affordable housing development. It also includes modifying Low-Income Housing Tax Credits to better incentivize new unit production, and funding for the Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund to support financing of new construction and substantial rehabilitation that creates net new units of affordable rental and for sale housing.
Accelerates Efforts to Move More Goods Faster through American Ports and Waterways. The Budget continues support for the historic levels of Federal investment to modernize America’s port and waterway infrastructure provided under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. It includes $230 million for the Port Infrastructure Development Program to strengthen maritime freight capacity, as well as $1.7 billion in spending for the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund to facilitate safe, reliable, and environmentally sustainable navigation at coastal ports.
Strengthens the Nation’s Supply Chains through Domestic Manufacturing. To help ignite a resurgence of American manufacturing and strengthen domestic supply chains, the Budget provides $372 million, an increase of $206 million over the 2021 enacted level, for the National Institutes of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) manufacturing programs to launch two additional Manufacturing Innovation Institutes in 2023 and continue support for the two institutes funded in 2022. The Budget includes a $125 million increase for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership to make America’s small and medium manufacturers more competitive. The Budget also invests $200 million for a new Solar Manufacturing to build domestic capacity in solar energy supply chains while moving away from imported products.
Expands Access to Registered Apprenticeships and Equips Workers with Skills They Need to Obtain High-Quality Jobs. The Budget invests $303 million, a $118 million increase above the 2021 enacted level, to expand Registered Apprenticeship opportunities in high growth fields, such as information technology, advanced manufacturing, health care, and transportation, while increasing access for historically underrepresented groups, including people of color and women. In addition, the Budget invests $100 million to help community colleges work with the public workforce development system and employers to design and deliver high-quality workforce training programs. The Budget also provides $100 million for a new Sectoral Employment through Career Training for Occupational Readiness program, which will support training programs focused on growing industries, enabling disadvantaged workers to enter on-ramps to middle class jobs, and creating the skilled workforce the economy needs to thrive.
Fosters Competitive and Productive Markets and Targets Corporate Concentration. The Budget reflects the Administration’s commitment to vigorous marketplace competition through robust enforcement of antitrust law by including historic increases of $88 million for the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (ATR) and $139 million for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Restoring American Leadership and Confronting Global Threats
Supports United States’ European Allies and Partners. The Budget includes $6.9 billion for the European Deterrence Initiative, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and countering Russian aggression to support Ukraine, the United States’ strong partnerships with NATO allies, and other European partner states by bolstering funding to enhance the capabilities and readiness of U.S. Forces, NATO allies, and regional partners in the face of Russian aggression.
Defends Freedom Globally. To support American leadership in defending democracy, freedom, and security worldwide, the Budget includes nearly $1.8 billion for the State Department and USAID to support a free and open, connected, secure, and resilient Indo-Pacific Region and the Indo-Pacific Strategy, and $400 million for the Countering the People’s Republic of China Malign Influence Fund. In addition, the Budget provides nearly $1 billion in assistance to Ukraine for State Department, USAID, and Department of Defense to counter Russian malign influence and to meet emerging needs related to security, energy, cyber security issues, disinformation, macroeconomic stabilization, and civil society resilience.
Promotes Integrated Deterrence in the Indo-Pacific and Globally. The Budget proposes $773 billion for the Department of Defense. To sustain and strengthen deterrence, the Budget prioritizes China as the Department’s pacing challenge. DOD’s 2023 Pacific Deterrence Initiative highlights some of the key investments the Department is making that are focused on strengthening deterrence in the Indo-Pacific region. DOD is building the concepts, capabilities, and posture necessary to meet these challenges, working in concert with the interagency and our allies and partners to ensure our deterrence is integrated across domains, theaters, and the spectrum of conflict.
Renews America’s Leadership in International Institutions. The Budget continues the Administration’s efforts to lead through international organizations by meeting the Nation’s commitments to fully fund U.S. contributions and to pay United Nations peacekeeping dues on time and in full. The Budget also provides $1.4 billion for the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA). This investment restores the United States’ historical role as the largest World Bank donor to support the development of low- and middle-income countries, which benefits the American people by increasing global stability, mitigating climate and health risks, and developing new markets for U.S exports.
Advances Equity and Equality Globally. The Budget provides $2.6 billion to advance gender equity and equality across a broad range of sectors. This includes $200 million for the Gender Equity and Equality Action Fund to advance the economic security of women and girls. This total also includes funding to strengthen the participation of women in conflict prevention, resolution, and recovery through the implementation of the Women, Peace, and Security Act.
Advances American Leadership in Global Health, Including Global Health Security and Pandemic Preparedness. The Budget includes $10.6 billion to bolster U.S. leadership in addressing global health and health security challenges. Within this total, the Budget supports a $2 billion contribution to the Global Fund’s seventh replenishment, for an intended pledge of $6 billion over three years, to save lives and continue the fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, and to support the Global Fund’s expanding response to COVID-19 and global health strengthening. This total also includes $1 billion to prevent, prepare for, and respond to future infections disease outbreaks, including the continued expansion of Global Health Security Agenda capacity-building programs and a multilateral financial intermediary fund for health security and pandemic preparedness
Strengthening America’s Public Health & Advancing Cures for Cancer and Other Diseases
Prepares for Future Pandemics and Other Biological Threats. In addition to combatting the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the United States must catalyze advances in science, technology, and core capabilities to prepare for future biological threats. The Budget makes transformative investments in pandemic preparedness across the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)—$81.7 billion available over five years—to enable an agile, coordinated, and comprehensive public health response to protect American lives, families, and the economy.
Builds Advanced Public Health Systems and Capacity. The Budget includes $9.9 billion to build capacity at CDC and state and local levels to improve the core immunization program, expand public health infrastructure in States and Territories, strengthen the public health workforce, support efforts to modernize public health data collection, increase capacity for forecasting and analyzing future outbreaks, including at the Center for Forecasting and Outbreak Analytics, and conduct studies on Long COVID to inform diagnosis and treatment options.
Transforms Mental Health Care. The United States faces a mental health crisis that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Budget proposes reforms to health coverage and invests in the behavioral health workforce. It provides sustained and increased funding for community-based centers and clinics, and mental health staff in schools, makes historic investments in youth mental health and suicide prevention programs, and strengthens access to crisis services by building out the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and crisis services infrastructure. These resources will help build system capacity, connect more Americans to care, and create a system of support to improve mental health for all.
Advances Maternal Health and Health Equity. The United States has the highest maternal mortality rate among developed nations, with an unacceptably high mortality rate for Black and American Indian and Alaska Native women. The Budget includes $470 million to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity rates, expand maternal health initiatives in rural communities, implement implicit bias training for healthcare providers, create pregnancy medical home projects, and address the highest rates of perinatal disparities. The Budget also expands maternal and other health initiatives in rural communities to improve access to high-quality care.
Accelerates Innovation through the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H). The Budget proposes a major investment of $5 billion for ARPA-H, significantly increasing direct Federal research and development (R&D) spending in health to improve the health of all Americans. With an initial focus on cancer and other diseases such as diabetes and dementia, this major investment will drive transformational innovation in health technologies and speed the application and implementation of health breakthroughs.
Taking Historic Steps to Combat the Climate Crisis and Advance Environmental Justice
Invests in Clean Energy Infrastructure and Innovation. The Budget invests $3.3 billion to support clean energy projects that will create good paying jobs, continue to cut to cost of clean energy, and drive progress toward President Biden’s climate goals. Investments include $502 million to weatherize and retrofit low-income homes, including $100 million for a new LIHEAP Advantage pilot to electrify and decarbonize low-income homes, and $260 million to support energy efficiency improvements to USDA-assisted multifamily homes. In addition, the Budget provides $150 million to electrify Tribal homes and transition Tribal colleges and universities to renewable energy, and $80 million for a new Grid Deployment Office to build the grid of the future.
Strengthens Climate Resilience. The Budget provides more than $18 billion for climate resilience and adaptation programs across the Federal Government. These critical investments will reduce the risk of damages from floods and storms, restore the Nation’s aquatic ecosystems, and make HUD-assisted multifamily homes more climate resilient. In line with President Biden’s commitment to ensure the American’s fighting wildfires earn $15 an hour, the Budget includes $1.8 billion in the Forest Service and Department of the Interior to strengthen the Federal firefighting workforce, increase capacity, and improve firefighter compensation.
Advances Equity and Environmental Justice. The Budget provides historic support for underserved communities, and advances the President’s Justice40 commitment to ensure 40 percent of the benefits of Federal investments in climate and clean energy reach disadvantaged communities. The Budget includes $1.45 billion to bolster the EPA’s environment justice efforts that will help create good-paying jobs, clean up pollution, implement Justice40, advance racial equity, and secure environmental justice for communities that too often have been left behind
Achieves the President’s Historic Climate Pledge. The Budget includes over $11 billion in international climate finance, meeting the President’s pledge to quadruple international climate finance a year early. This funding will accelerate the global energy transition to net zero emissions by 2050; help developing countries build resilience to the growing impacts of climate change, including through the President’s Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience and other programs; and support the implementation of the President’s Plan to Conserve Global Forests. Among these critical investments are $1.6 billion for the Green Climate Fund, a critical multilateral tool for financing climate adaptation and mitigation projects in developing countries and support for a $3.2 billion loan to the Clean Technology Fund to finance clean energy projects in developing countries.
Expanding Economic Opportunity, Advancing Equity, and Strengthening our Democracy
Makes Historic Investments in K-12 Schools and Education Beyond High School. The Budget more than doubles funding for Title I compared to the 2021 enacted level through a combination of discretionary and mandatory funding. This substantial funding, which serves 25 million students in nearly 90 percent of school districts across America, is a major step toward fulfilling the President’s commitment to addressing long-standing funding disparities between under-resourced schools—which disproportionately serve students of color—and their wealthier counterparts. The Budget increases support for children with disabilities by providing a $3.3 billion increase for IDEA Grants to States – the largest two-year increase ever for the program. The budget also doubles funding for IDEA Grants for Infants and Families and proposes to reforms to increase equitable access to early intervention services with a proven record for improving academic and developmental outcomes. The Budget also provides $1 billion in sustainable funding to help schools increase the number of school counselors, psychologists, social workers and other health professionals. The Budget provides an additional $438 million for Full Service Community Schools, ramping up the mental health and wraparound supports in schools for students and their families. The Budget proposes to double the maximum Pell Grant by 2029, beginning with a historic $2,175 increase over the 2021-2022 school year, thereby expanding access and helping nearly 6.7 million students afford college.
Advances Child and Family Well-Being in the Child Welfare System. The Budget proposes to expand and incentivize the use of evidence-based foster care prevention services to keep families safely together and to reduce the number of children entering foster care, while also targeting resources to reduce the overrepresentation of children and families of color in the child welfare system. For children who do need to be placed into foster care, the Budget provides States with support to place more children with relatives or other adults who have an existing emotional bond with the child and fewer children in group homes and institutions while also providing additional funding to improve the educational outcomes of foster youth and support youth who age out of care without a permanent caregiver.
Guarantees Adequate and Stable Funding for the Indian Health Service (IHS). The Budget significantly increases IHS’s funding over time, and shifts it from discretionary to mandatory funding. For the first year of the proposal, the Budget includes $9.1 billion in mandatory funding, an increase of $2.9 billion above 2021. After that, IHS funding would automatically grow to keep pace with healthcare costs and population growth and gradually close longstanding service and facility shortfalls. Providing IHS stable and predictable funding will improve access to high quality healthcare, rectify historical underfunding of the Indian Health system, eliminate existing facilities backlogs, address health inequities, and modernize IHS’ electronic health record system.
Protects Our Elections and the Right to Vote. As our democracy faces threats across the country—and to provide state and local election officials with a predictable funding stream for critical capital investments and increased staffing and services—the Budget proposes $10 billion in new elections assistance funding to be allocated over ten years. The Budget also proposes to fund an expansion of U.S. Postal Service delivery capacity in underserved areas and support for vote-by-mail, including making ballots postage-free and reducing the cost of other election-related mail for jurisdictions and voters.
The White House provided this fact sheet of “Top 10 Programs” in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act:
Weatherization: Two-thirds of low-income U.S. households have high energy burdens, meaning they spend more than 6 percent of their income on utility bills. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal will invest a historic $3.5 billion in the Weatherization Assistance Program, reducing energy costs for more than 700,000 low-income households by increasing the energy efficiency of their homes, while ensuring health and safety and creating jobs.
Wildfires: One estimate found that 4.5 million homes in the United States are at risk of wildfire. The bill invests $8 billion in wildfire risk reduction by providing funding for community wildfire defense grants, mechanical thinning, controlled burns, the Collaborative Forest Restoration Program, and firefighting resources.
Floods: The cost of flood damage was approximately $17 billion annually in the last decade, and is expected to increase significantly due climate-related extreme weather and rising sea levels. The bill invests $12 billion in flood mitigation, including funding for FEMA flood mitigation grants, making infrastructure investments to increase coastal resilience, and improving mapping and data so that households and businesses can better protect themselves from future flood events.
Brownfields and superfund: 26% of Black Americans and 29% of Hispanic Americans live within 3 miles of a Superfund site, a higher percentage than for Americans overall. Proximity to a Superfund site can lead to elevated levels of lead in children’s blood. The deal invests $5 billion in addressing legacy pollution at these sites, creating good-paying union jobs and advancing economic and environmental justice.
Natural gas wells and coal mines: In thousands of rural and urban communities around the country, hundreds of thousands of former industrial and energy sites, including orphan wells and abandoned land mines, are now idle – sources of blight and pollution. The deal invests $16 billion in creating good-paying union jobs capping these wells and mines.
Pipeline safety: More than 20,000 miles of cast iron pipelines—much of which was installed in the 1800’s and early 1900’s—transports natural gas underneath communities in the U.S. This infrastructure, which is prone to leaks and fugitive methane emissions, is mostly located in disadvantaged areas including older cities like Philadelphia, Detroit, Baltimore, New York, and St. Louis. Since 2010, the U.S. has experienced thousands of pipeline incidents, resulting in hundreds of injuries and deaths, tens of thousands of evacuations, and more than $4 billion in damages. The bill includes $1 billion for the “Natural Gas Distribution Infrastructure Safety and Modernization Grant Program” to modernize natural gas distribution pipelines, reducing incidents and fatalities, and avoiding economic losses.
Battery manufacturing: Today, the U.S. relies heavily on importing advanced battery components from abroad, exposing the nation to supply chain vulnerabilities that threaten to disrupt the availability and cost of these technologies, as well as the workforce that manufactures them. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal will invest $6B to spur U.S. advanced battery processing, manufacturing, and recycling, creating good-paying jobs and enabling American manufacturers to win the 21st century.
Safe Streets: Over 36,000 Americans died in motor vehicle crashes in 2019, including over 6,200 pedestrians and about 850 bicyclists. The United States has one of the highest traffic fatality rates in the industrialized world, double the rate in Canada and quadruple that in Europe. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal includes $5 billion for a first-of-its kind “Safe Streets for All” program to fund state and local “vision zero” plans and other improvements to reduce crashes and fatalities, especially for the most vulnerable of roadways users.
Transit station ADA program: More than 30 years after the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, nearly 1,000 transit stations are still not fully accessible, which prevents millions of older Americans and individuals with disabilities from fully enjoying public transit. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal includes a total of $2 billion for transit ADA, including $1.75 billion for All Stations Accessibility and $250 million for Enhanced Mobility for Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities. These programs will remove barriers to transportation service and expand transportation mobility options for Americans across the country.
Cybersecurity: The recent cybersecurity breaches of federal government data systems, critical infrastructure, and American businesses underscore the importance and urgency of strengthening U.S. cybersecurity capabilities. The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will invest about $2 billion to modernize and secure federal, state, and local IT and networks; protect critical infrastructure and utilities; and support public or private entities as they respond to and recover from significant cyberattacks and breaches.
President Joe Biden provided the rationale for his American Jobs Plan in remarks on April 7, justifying the $2 trillion plan as a “once-in-a-generation investment in America unlike anything we’ve done since we built the Interstate Highway System and won the Space Race decades ago.” While saying he was willing to hear other ideas and compromise on such things as raising the corporate tax rate to 28% (still lower than 35% rate up until 2017), doing nothing is “not an option.” Here is an edited transcript of his remarks:
Last weekend, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, I announced my plan to rebuild what I refer to as the “backbone of America” through the American Jobs Plan.
It’s not a plan that tinkers around the edges; it’s a once-in-a-generation investment in America unlike anything we’ve done since we built the Interstate Highway System and won the Space Race decades ago.
It’s the single largest investment in American jobs since World War Two, and it’s a plan that puts millions of Americans to work to fix what’s broken in our country: tens of thousands of miles of roads and highways, thousands of bridges in desperate need of repair.
But it also is a blueprint for infrastructure needed for tomorrow — not just yesterday; tomorrow — for American jobs, for American competitiveness.
Last week, I said that once Congress is back from recess, I’d get to work right away because we have no time to lose. So here we are.
Democrats, Republicans will have ideas about what they like and what they don’t like about our plan. That’s — that’s a good thing. That’s the American way. That’s the way democracy works. Debate is welcome. Compromise is inevitable. Changes are certain.
In the next few weeks, the Vice President and I will be meeting with Republicans and Democrats to hear from everyone. And we’ll be listening. We’ll be open to good ideas and good-faith negotiations.
But here’s what we won’t be open to: We will not be open to doing nothing. Inaction simply is not an option.
Now, since I announced this plan, I’ve heard from my Republican friends say that it’s — many of them say it’s too big. They say, “Why not focus on traditional infrastructure, fix what we’ve already got — the roads and the highways that exist and the bridges?”
I’m happy to have that debate. But I’d like to tell you my view. We are America. We don’t just fix for today; we build for tomorrow.
Two hundred years ago, trains weren’t “traditional” infrastructure either until America made a choice to lay down tracks across the country. Highways weren’t “traditional” infrastructure until we allowed ourselves to imagine that roads could connect our nation across state lines.
The idea of infrastructure has always evolved to meet the aspirations of the American people and their needs, and it’s evolving again today.
We need to start seeing infrastructures through its effect on the lives of working people in America. What is the foundation today that they need to carve out their place in the middle class to make it — to live, to go to work, to raise their families with dignity, to ensure that good jobs will be there for their kids, no matter who they are or what ZIP Code they live in?
That’s what infrastructure means in the 21st century. It still depends on roads and bridges, ports and airports, rail and mass transit, but it also depends on having reliable, high-speed Internet in every home. Because today’s high-speed Internet is infrastructure.
It depends on the electric grid — a grid that won’t collapse in a winter storm or be compromised by hackers at home or abroad. It depends on investing in “Made in America” goods from every American community, including those that have historically been left out — Black, Latino, Asian American, Native Americans, rural communities.
Talk to folks around the country about what really makes up the foundation of a good economy. Ask a teacher or a childcare worker if having clean drinking water — non-contaminated drinking water in our schools, in our childcare centers is part of that foundation — when we know that the lead in our pipes slows a child’s development when they drink that water.
Ask the entrepreneur whose small business was destroyed by the second 100-year flood in the last 10 years in Iowa — or wildfires in the West that burned 5 million acres last year, an area roughly the size of the entire state of New Jersey. More fires than ever. Or the devastating damage — seeing more frequent and more intense hurricanes and storms on the East and Gulf Coasts.
Ask all those farmers and small-business owners and homeowners whether investing in clean energy to fight the effects of climate change is part of infrastructure.
Ask folks in rural America, where more than 35 percent of the people lack a reliable, high-speed Internet, limiting their ability to conduct business or engage in remote learning for their schools. Ask them whether investing in Internet access will lead to better jobs in town, new markets for farmers, and better opportunities for their kids.
And I’m serious about this. Ask the moms and dads in the “sandwich generation” — the folks carrying enormous personal and financial strains trying to raise their children and care for their parents — their elderly parents or members of their families with a disability. Ask them what sort of infrastructure they need to build a little better life, to be able to breathe a little bit.
It’s expanded services for seniors. It’s homecare workers, who go in and cook their meal, help them get around and live independently in their home, allowing them to stay in their homes — and I might add, saving Medicaid hundreds of millions of dollars in the process.
It’s better wages and benefits and opportunities for caregivers, who are disproportionately women, women of color, and immigrants. Or ask our wounded warriors and military families.
To my Republican colleagues in Congress, shouldn’t we modernize VA hospitals, update them? Many of them are more than 50 years old.
How about the estimated 450,000 post-9/11 veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, who, when they make that emergency call — or their husband, wife, son, daughter makes that call to the VA hospital — “Dad needs help, we have to bring him in.” And they hear, “You have to wait. We don’t have room now. Come back. Call me back in 8 days, 10 days, 12 days.”
Look at more suicides in the military than people getting shot. Is it really your position, my friends, that our veterans don’t deserve the most modern facilities? We could catch that cancer diagnosis quicker, with access to better roads, cleaner water, high-speed Internet that delivers information faster and more of it.
Above all, infrastructure is about meeting the needs of a nation and putting Americans to work and being able to do and get paid for doing — having good jobs. Plumbers and pipefitters replacing those, literally, thousands of miles of — of dangerous lead pipes. They’re still out there.
Everybody remembers what happened in Flint. There’s hundreds of Flints all across America. How many of you know, when you send your child to school, the fountain they’re drinking out of is not fed by a lead pipe? How many of you know the school your child is in still has asbestos in the walls and lacks the ventilation? Is that not infrastructure?
Line workers and electricians laying transmission lines for a modern grid, providing over 500,000 charging stations on the highways we are going to build to accommodate electric vehicles so we can own the future.
Construction workers and engineers building modern hospital — modern hospitals and homes for American families. Healthcare workers, steelworkers, folks who work in the cutting-edge labs.Nearly 90 percent of the infrastructure jobs created by our American Jobs Plan can be filled by people who don’t have a college degree. Seventy-five percent don’t need an associate’s degree.
As I said last week, this is a blue-collar blueprint for increasing opportunity for the American people. It also includes the biggest investment in non-defense research and development on record.
I promise you — this is not part of my speech — but I promise you, you’re all going to be reporting over the next six to eight months how China and the rest of the world is racing ahead of us in the investments they have in the future, attempting to own the future. The technology, quantum computing, investing significant amounts of money and dealing with cancer and Alzheimer’s — that’s the infrastructure of a nation.
There’s a new book out about how our — we’ve fallen behind. America is no longer the leader of the world because we’re not investing. It used to be we invested almost 2.7 percent of our GDP in infrastructure. Now it’s about 0.7 percent. When we were investing in it, we were the leader in the world.
I don’t know why we don’t get this. One of the only — a few major economies in the world whose public investment in research and development has declined as a percentage of GDP in the last 25 years — declined: the United States of America — that led the world.
Why does this matter? Investing in research and development help lead to lithium batteries, LED technology, the Internet itself. It helped lead to vaccine breakthroughs that are helping us beat COVID-19; to the Human Genome Project, which has led to breakthroughs in how we understand and fight cancer and other diseases.
Government — meaning, the taxpayers — funded this research. Government.
When we stop investing in research, we stop investing in the jobs of the future, and we give up leading the world.And when we do invest in research, what we’re really doing is raising the bar on what we can imagine.
Imagine a world where you and your family can travel coast to coast without a single tank of gas, or in a high-speed train, close to as fast as you can go across the country in a plane.
Imagine your children growing up to work in innovation, good-paying jobs in fields that haven’t even been invented yet, like the parents of every computer programmer, every graphic designer, every renewable energy worker once did — imagined.
We invest today so that these jobs will be here in America tomorrow, so America can lead the world that is — as it’s historically done.
That’s why I brought back scientists into the White House. We need to think.
Look, do we think the rest of world is waiting around? “We’re not going to make those kinds of investments,” the rest of the world is saying. Take a look. Do you think China is waiting around to invest in this digital infrastructure or in research and development? I promise you, they are not waiting, but they’re counting on American democracy to be too slow, too limited, and too divided to keep pace.
You’ve heard me say it before: I think this generation is going to be marked by the competition between democracies and autocracies, because the world is changing so rapidly. The autocrats are betting on democracy not being able to generate the kind of unity needed to make decisions to get in that race. We can’t afford to prove them right. We have to show the world — and much more importantly, we have to show ourselves — that democracy works; that we can come together on the big things. It’s the United States of America for God’s sake.
Of course, building the infrastructure of tomorrow requires major investments today.
As I said last week, I’m open to ideas about how to pay for this plan, with one exception: I will not impose any tax increases on people making less than $400,000 a year. If others have ideas out there on how to pay for this investment without violating that rule, they should come forward.
There’s all kinds of opportunities. Just list all the tax breaks that I find difficult to explain: wealthy deductions, $360 billion if you cap them; top rate of 39 percent, which it used to be for a hundred — for years, all the way to the Bush administration; almost a quarter of a trillion dollars, corporate minimum tax; and the fossil fuel giveaways at $40 billion, et cetera. I could go on.
But let me tell you what I proposed, how to do it. We’re going to raise the corporate tax rate. It was 35 percent for the longest time, which was too high. Barack and I thought it was too high during our administration. We all agreed five years ago that it should come down somewhat, but the previous administration reduced it all the way down to 21 percent.
What I’m proposing is that we meet in the middle: 28 percent. Twenty-eight percent — we’ll still have lower corporate rates than any time between World War Two and 2017. It will generate over a trillion dollars in taxes over 15 years.
A new, independent study put out last week found that at least 55 of our largest corporations use the various loopholes to pay zero federal income tax in 2020. It’s just not fair. It’s not fair to the rest of the American taxpayers.
We’re going to — we’re going to try to put an end to this. Not fleece them — 28 percent. If you’re a mom, a dad, a cop, firefighter, police officer, et cetera, you’re paying close to that in your income tax.
I’ve also proposed a global minimum tax, which is being proposed around the world for U.S. corporations, of 21 percent. Let me tell you that means. It means that companies aren’t going to be able to hide their income in places like the Cayman Islands and Bermuda, in tax havens. We’re going to also eliminate deductions used by corporations for offshoring jobs and shifting assets overseas. They offshore the jobs, shift the assets overseas, and then don’t have to pay taxes on all they make there.
And we’ll significantly ramp up IRS enforcement against corporations and the super wealthy who either failed to report their income or underreported. Estimated, that would raise tens of billions of dollars. It adds up to more than what I proposed in just 15 years. It’s honest. It’s fair. It’s fiscally responsible. And it pays for what we need and reduces the debt over the long haul.
And, by the way, I didn’t hear any of our friends, who are criticizing this plan, say that the corporate tax cut, which added $2 trillion to the debt — the Trump tax cut, $2 trillion — $1.9 trillion in debt — wasn’t paid for, the vast majority of which went to the top 1 percent of the wage earners. I didn’t hear anybody hollering in this recovery — the so-called — before I became President — this “K-shaped” recovery, where billionaires made $300 billion more dollars during this period. Where’s the outrage there?
I’m not trying to punish anybody. But damn it, maybe it’s because I come from a middle-class neighborhood, I’m sick and tired of ordinary people being fleeced.
Let me close by saying this: Whatever partisan divisions there are around other issues, there don’t have to be around this one. The divisions of the moment shouldn’t stop us from doing the right thing for the future. These aren’t Republican bridges, Democratic airports, Republican hospitals, or a Democratic power grid. Think of the transcontinental railroad, Interstate Highway System, or the Space Race. We’re one nation, united and connected.
As I said last week, I’m going to bring Republicans to the White House. I invite them to come. We’ll have good-faith negotiations. And any Republican who wants to get this done, I invite. I invite them. We have to get this — things done.
We’re at an inflection point in American democracy. This is a moment where we prove whether or not democracy can deliver. Whether it can lay the foundation for an economy built from the bottom up and the middle out, not trickle-down economics from the very top. Whether it can lay a good foundation for good jobs in a 21st century economy.
I tell the kids — the young people who work for me and to all my kids — when I go on college campuses, they’re going to see more change in the next 10 years than we’ve seen in the last 50 years. We’re going to talk about commercial aircraft flying at subsonic speeds — supersonic speeds. Be able to, figuratively, if you may — if we decided to do it, traverse the world in about an hour, travel 21,000 miles an hour. So much is changing. We have got to lead it.
I believe democracy can come through when the American people come together. We saw it in the American Rescue Plan. We’re seeing it with the Jobs Plan. And the American Rescue Plan, which got so badly criticized — how many of my Republican colleagues have you seen gone on your stations or your newspapers and say, “Boy, people in my state really like it”? Because it would be improper having permission. The number of Republicans and Democrats who were hesitant and have called me saying, “God, this really works.”
Overwhelming majority of the American people — Democrats, Republics, and independents — support infrastructure investments that meets the moment.
So, I urge the Congress: Listen to your constituents and, together, we can lay a foundation for an economy that works for everyone and allows America to remain the world leader. When we do that, I believe, as I said last week, that in 50 years from now, when people look back, they’ll say this was the moment, together, that we won America’s future. I really believe that.
Thank you all. And God bless you. And may God protect our troops. Thank you.
Q Mr. President, are you willing to go lower than the 28 percent corporate tax rate?
THE PRESIDENT: I’m willing to listen to that. I’m willing to — I’m wide open to, but we’ve got to pay for this. We got to pay. There’s many other ways we can do it, but I’m willing to negotiate that.
I’ve come — I’ve come forward with the best, most rational way — in my view, the fairest way, to pay for it. But there are many other ways as well, and I’m open.
Q Will you have failed on your promise of bipartisanship if you don’t get Republicans on board with this plan? Your first plan passed along party lines.
THE PRESIDENT: Look, what I said was I would try to work with my friends on the other side. There are things we’re working on together — some of which we’ve passed and some we will pass.
But the last plan I laid out what was available, what I was suggesting, and how I’d deal with it. And a bipartisan group came to see me. And then a Republican group came to see me. And they started off at $600 billion, and that was it.
If they come forward with a plan that did the bulk of it and it was a billion — three or four, two or three — that allowed me to have pieces of all that was in there, I would have been — I would’ve been prepared to compromise, but they didn’t. They didn’t move an inch. Not an inch.
But, for example, I am dealing with a bipartisan group that came to see me. Now it’s about — what? — three, four weeks ago when they came about computer chips and about — and they said, “Look, we have to have our own supply. We have to work together.” We’re working on that. Chuck Schumer and, I think, McConnell are about to introduce a bill along those lines.
So I’m prepared to work. I really am. But to automatically say that the only thing that’s infrastructure is a highway, a bridge, or whatever — that’s just not rational. It really isn’t.
I think the vast majority of Americans think everything from the sewer pipes, to the — to the — the sewer facilities, to the water pipes — I think they’re infrastructure.
Hurricane Harvey had just devastated Texas, the worst natural disaster up until two weeks later when the entire state of Florida was about to be destroyed by Hurricane Irma, as whole Caribbean island nations as well as the US territory of Puerto Rico had their infrastructure utterly decimated. And Hurricane Jose was on Irma’s tail. Meanwhile, Los Angeles and Oregon were being consumed by record wildfires. Congress had authorized $15 billion toward Hurricane Harvey relief and to replenish the nearly depleted funds of FEMA.
Indeed, in North Dakota on September 6, as Hurricane Irma was barreling toward Florida, Trump, the Tax-Cheat-in-Chief, gave an incoherent speech touting his tax plan that began with his incredulity in discovering that North Dakota was undergoing a massive drought.
“I just said to the governor, I didn’t know you had droughts this far north. Guess what? You have them. But we’re working hard on it and it’ll disappear. It will all go away,” Trump said.
Accuweather is projecting the cost of Harvey and Irma alone at $290 billion, or 1.5% of total GDP, which would erase the growth of the economy through year-end, according to Dr. Joel N. Myers, president and chairman.
That’s also more than one-fourth of the $1 trillion that Trump proposed for a 10-year infrastructure plan. Where will the money come from? And if all infrastructure spending has to be directed to Texas and Florida, where does that leave the rest of the country? Not to mention the $1 billion Trump is demanding as down payment on a $70 billion border wall.
Does this get you thinking that Trump and his administration, especially EPA Administrator and shill for the oil industry Scott Pruitt, should rethink their self-serving notion of climate change denial (self-serving because it is used to fuel their argument that they can overturn environmental regulations on the massively profitable fossil fuel industry)? Of course not.
But it should also cause them to rethink their totally corrupt plan for tax reform which is intended to starve the federal government of funds, balloon the budget deficit and national debt, all to shift more of wealth to the already fabulously wealthy. Especially when so many people have lost their businesses and jobs, which will certainly impact tax revenues.
Let’s just consider for a moment what taxes are supposed to be for. And yes, a considerable amount goes to pay for interest on bonds, but bonds are what are used to pay for infrastructure – they represent an investment in the future. And as we are considering how to replace the destroyed and decimated infrastructure, why not build back with sustainability in mind.
Just as in his speech declaring his decision to withdraw the US from the Paris Climate Agreement (forged with US leadership and signed by 195 countries), Trump, who took a $900 million tax deduction on his failed Atlantic City casino and probably has never paid 40% tax in his life,lies to rationalize his tax plan, beginning with the lie that the US is the highest taxed nation in the world (not true) and that workers wages will increase if only shareholders and CEOs and the wealthiest 1% could keep an even greater percentage of their money (history shows the opposite). (See New York Times, The False Promises in President Trump’s Tax Plan)
Remember: the wealthiest people used to be taxed at 90% – that was after World War II when the nation had to rebuild its treasury. We were able to afford the GI Bill which probably did more to create a middle class than anything since the New Deal. Now the wealthiest pay something between 35 to 40% – except that they don’t.
Trump (and Ryan) want to give a $170,000 annual windfall to the wealthiest Americans, while crumbs ($700) to the middle class who will lose the only tax deductions they can use. $170,000 times four years worth mean in terms of free money (from tax-paying schnooks) is a lot of dough to invest in politicians and policy with a spectacular return: policies like enabling Big Pharma Sharks to hike up life-saving drugs by 5000%; Oil Barons to make sure incentives for wind and solar energy don’t help these industries develop into competitors; real estate developers who can delight in the tax advantages that let them take a $900 million deduction and build without interfering regulations on lands that are needed to soak up flood waters and health insurance companies to raise premiums to pad profits.
Now this nation is looking at more than $290 billion just to recover from the climate disasters which are becoming more and more frequent, hitting the high density developed urban centers.
If taxes for those who have the means to pay don’t cover the cost, who does? Ryan and the Republicans love to talk about “sacrifice” but the only ones they demand sacrifices from are not the wealthiest or the corporations, but Social Security and Medicare recipients, struggling middle class kids who need to take out loans to pay for college. Their concept is to take money out of the consumer economy, which starts a downward unvirtuous cycle of economic contraction. How do we know?” Because we have seen this movie before: the Bush tax cuts. Meanwhile, median income has risen to its highest levels in 1999 (under Bill Clinton) and 2016 (under Barack Obama) and their tax-and-spending plans.
The Trump/Ryan tax “plan” requires a federal budget that slashes spending for infrastructure, for research and development, for education, for environmental protection (and of course, eradicating any mention of climate change), even slashing spending for diplomacy and foreign aid. It depends on slashing Medicaid and subsidies to keep health insurance affordable (that’s why they are so desperate to repeal Obamacare).
It slashes the tax rate for corporations which already do not pay the nominal 35% rate. Many highly profitable corporations – including General Electric, Pepco Holdings, PG&E Corp., Priceline and Duke Energy – paid nothing into federal coffers from 2008-2015 yet benefit from all the services the government provides including roads, public safety, an educated workforce, mass transit, a military to defend their shipping.
To get to a tax cut without obscenely increasing the national debt, the Republicans say they will get rid of “loopholes” like the mortgage credit and property taxes – that would only complete the decimation of the Middle Class and destroy any semblance of an American Dream. What would make more sense, if they really cared to “reform” the tax code and stop the income distribution from middle class to the already fabulous rich, is to take away the mortgage tax credits on 2nd, 3rd homes and such, and take away the many special deductions that real estate developers like Trump has benefited from, as well as the loopholes that let hedge fund managers shield all but a fraction of their income from taxes that wage-earners pay.
Indeed, the policies that Trump are proposing – specifically, eliminating the tax deduction for state and local property taxes – would hurt blue-states that tend to have higher state and local taxes because they tend to have higher property taxes but provide more services and get less in federal payments than they send to the government, while red-states that have low state and local taxes (and crappy schools and health care) get more from the federal government (paid for by blue states) than they send.
And what about Puerto Rico. which already was in economic disaster – having defaulted on $70 billion in debt – and basically written off by the US government. It’s infrastructure is now totally destroyed. How will it be rebuilt? Here’s what I imagine: Trump is so transactional, I can see a foreign country (China?) with big bucks and an interest in having a foothold in the Western Hemisphere buying Puerto Rico from the US. After all, what is $100 billion or $200 billion to put the island right?
Of course Trump’s tax “reform” plan – sketched out as if on the back of an envelope without any analysis – is really all about tax cuts to the wealthiest and to corporations. As Hillary Clinton said during a debate (which she won): “trickle down economics on steroids” from the guy who took a $900 million deduction for a failed real estate deal, which taxpayers – normal working stiffs – wind up paying for.
Those who have actually analyzed the plan have said that the wealthiest people – who have done astronomically well for decades, while middle class Americans have scarcely had a salary increase in 40 years, so that the gap between rich and poor has reached Grand Canyon proportions – would get a tax windfall of $170,000 a year, while middle class families would get something like $700. Where do the 1 percenters put that extra money which they scarcely need? Well, they invest in buying politicians and influencing policy, of course.
Tax “reform” figures into the Trump obsession with repealing Obamacare and leaving 32 million people without health insurance. It figures into the administration’s dismissal of the Gateway Tunnel project so important to the New York region’s infrastructure and economy.
But now, Trump’s Republican states are being whacked with climate catastrophes, and the money has to come from somewhere.
And let’s also be reminded that the growth in the economy – first, saving the nation from plunging into another Great Depression, and now rebounding to the highest median income, lowest unemployment rate ever and highest rate of health insurance coverage while reducing the poverty rate – happened because of Obama Administration policies and would have been even more effective in terms of raising wages and living standards if the Trump Administration did not steamroll back policies, like overtime pay, parental leave, and federal minimum wage and obstruct infrastructure development and the transition to clean, renewable energy.
People remark that the devastation in their neighborhoods from these massive climate disasters is like a bomb went off. Well, in wartime, taxes are raised – that’s how the rate on the wealthiest hit 90%, to pay off the World War II debt. This is wartime. This nation has to rebuild, and sustainably, responsibly. We need to invest in 21st and 22nd century technologies, to keep the United States a global leader. Otherwise, we will cede our leverage to China which has basically embraced the American model of spreading its political ideology (nominally, “Democracy”) through capitalism (nominally “free market” as opposed to centralized control) and is literally buying up influence over Africa and Asia.
Of course, Trump’s tax plan is Paul Ryan’s tax plan (Trump never actually had a plan), and the Republicans are content to let Trump destroy the nation and end the social safety net including Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid, and possibly embroil us in World War III, until they can get jam through the tax plan they have coveted since Reagan.
Dozens of concerned Long Islanders gathered outside of Congressman Peter King’s office at 1003 Park Boulevard, Massapequa Park on Thursday morning to demand that he pledge to oppose any cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as Congress prepares to reconvene.
The House Appropriations Committee has approved slashing the EPA’s budget by hundreds of millions of dollars, undermining its ability to protect Long Island’s water, air, and climate. The entire House is set to vote on the proposal in September.
“We hope that Rep. Peter King, having lived through Superstorm Sandy, and seeing the current devastation of Hurricane Harvey and other recent hurricanes, will oppose any cuts to funding for the Environmental Protection Agency,” Lisa Oldendorp, lead organizer of Move Forward Long Island, said. Long Islanders are acutely aware of the need for clean water, air, and soil. Suffolk County has the worst air quality in NY State and the toxic Grumman plume is heading south towards Massapequa. We hope that Rep. King will oppose any and all budget cuts to the EPA.”
“Our hope is that Peter King will uphold his commitment to protecting Long Island families from the impacts of water and air pollution by refusing to accept a budget that cuts any funding to the Environmental Protection Agency,” Ryan Madden, sustainability organizer with the Long Island Progressive Coalition, said. “His decision to join the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus is a step in the right direction in tackling the biggest crisis we face as a nation but will be meaningless if the agency tasked with protecting our natural world is dismantled.”
Shay O’Reilly, organizing representative for the Sierra Club, stated, “The EPA budget today is already 20% smaller than it was in 2010. Rep. King must listen to his constituents and stand up for the health and well-being of communities in his district by voting against any budget that cuts funding to the EPA.”
Margaret Maher, a volunteer with Food & Water Watch and a constituent of Rep. King’s, said: “The five-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, and the devastation in Texas, are a reminder of the tragic reality of climate change. Long Islanders need the EPA to protect our water, air and climate. Representative King must draw a line in the sand against any cuts to the EPA budget.”
With Harvey reaping its terror and Hurricane Irma warming up for its debut, Texas’ climate catastrophe is the latest example of how tragically foolish it is to invest billions to combat ISIS (hardly an existential threat), $70 billion to build a wall along the Mexico border, $1 trillion to rebuild the nuclear weapons arsenal, yet deny the reality of climate change with the attendant costs in the multi-billions of every single one of these climate catastrophes – the cost to the Treasury and taxpayers to rebuild infrastructure, to pay for public health consequences, to lose the productivity of the workforce.
“This is the costliest and worst natural disaster in American history,” Dr. Joel N. Myers, founder, president and chairman of AccuWeather, stated. “AccuWeather has raised its estimate of the impact to the nation’s gross national produce, or GDP, to $190 billion or a full one percent, which exceeds totals of economic impact of Katrina and Sandy combined. The GDP is $19 trillion currently. Business leaders and the Federal Reserve, major banks, insurance companies, etc. should begin to factor in the negative impact this catastrophe will have on business, corporate earnings and employment. The disaster is just beginning in certain areas. Parts of Houston, the United States’ fourth largest city will be uninhabitable for weeks and possibly months due to water damage, mold, disease-ridden water and all that will follow this 1,000-year flood.”
Meanwhile, around the globe there are even greater flooding disasters –1,200 have died so far and 900,000 homes destroyed in floods in India, Nepal and Bangladesh, taking with it farms and crops that will lead to the next climate catastrophe, famine.
Now Congress will soon take up a budget that proposes to slash the EPA into nothing (Scott Pruitt has already scrubbed any research and mention of climate change from the website and is doing his level best to stop any data collection), cuts to FEMA that was already $25 billion in debt before Harvey, cuts to Health & Human Services and every other social safety net. But Trump threatens to shut down government if he doesn’t get nearly $2 billion (a downpayment on $70 billion) for his border wall with Mexico.
Which has posed more of a national security threat to Americans? Climate disasters or ISIS? The wrong-headed approach to national security came to a head with a rally that drew about 60 people on short notice on Thursday, August 31 at the Massapequa, Long Island office of Congressman Peter King, who makes a great show of concern for protecting national security but drops the ball on the national security implications of climate change. (See story)
You only have to compare the horrid waste of blood and treasure because of a disdain for addressing the realities of climate change to the results of the efforts of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) consisting of New York State along with eight other Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states (not New Jersey because Governor Chris Christie thought it would better position him to become the GOP presidential candidate if he withdrew from RGGI and denied the reality of climate change). Founded in 2005, the RGGI, the nation’s first program to use an innovative market-based mechanism to cap and cost-effectively reduce the carbon dioxide emissions that cause climate change, is updating its goal to lower carbon pollution by reducing the cap on power plant emissions an additional 30% below 2020 levels by 2030. With this change, the regional cap in 2030 will be 65% below the 2009 starting level.
RGGI has already contributed to a 50% percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from affected power plants in New York, and a 90% reduction in coal-fired power generation in the state. To date, New York has generated more than $1 billion in RGGI proceeds, which are applied to fund energy efficiency, clean energy and emission reduction programs.
RGGI continues to exceed expectations and has provided more than $2 billion in regional economic benefits and $5.7 billion in public health benefits while reducing emissions in excess of the declining cap’s requirements. Analysis by Abt Associates – found participating member states had 16,000 avoided respiratory illnesses, as many as 390 avoided heart attacks, and 300 to 830 avoided deaths by reducing pollution. The health benefits in New York alone are estimated to have exceeded $1.7 billion in avoided costs and other economic benefits.
And contrary to the lie that clean, renewable energy and sustainable development will hurt the economy and increase consumer costs, the economies of RGGI states are outpacing the rest of the country and regional electricity prices have fallen even as prices in other states have increased. So even as the RGGI states reduced their carbon emissions by 16% more than other states, they are experiencing 3.6% more in economic growth. Each of the three-year control periods contributed approximately 4,500 job years to New York’s economy and 14,000 to 16,000 job years region-wide.
Meanwhile, New York consumers who have participated in RGGI-supported projects through December 2016 will realize $3.7 billion in cumulative energy bill savings over the lifetime of the projects, according to New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).
New York is actively promoting clean energy innovation through its Reforming the Energy Vision strategy and initiatives. Additionally, programs including the Clean Energy Fund, $1 billion NY-Sun Initiative, $1 billion NY Green Bank, $40 million NY-Prize competition for community microgrids, and others, ensure that progress toward reducing emissions will be accelerated.
New York has devised a host of programs to incentivize local projects aimed at developing clean, renewable energy and sustainability. Most recently, NYSERDA has developed a Solar PILOT Toolkit to assist municipalities in negotiating payment-in-lieu-of taxes (PILOT) agreements for solar projects larger than 1 MW, including community solar projects.
How ironic is the climate catastrophe in Texas, the leading proponent of fossil fuels and opponent of programs incentivizing the transition to clean, renewable energy (and the localized independence that wind, solar and geothermal bring), that Harvey has damaged its oil refining infrastructure, which is already resulting in higher gas prices, not to mention taxpayer money that will be channeled to rebuild the devastation. None of those private, profit-making companies which have gouged and inflicted public health horrors should get funding from taxpayers.
Now Texas will be coming to Congress for billions in aid.
Congress should pass a law: no federal help for states that deny climate change (Florida and North Carolina actually have legislation banning the use of the term) and therefore do nothing to mitigate the consequences, and which deny altogether the concept of a federal, “one nation” government to collect taxes and provide services on behalf of all. Texas, which has cheered the notion of secession, continually supports policies intended to shrink the federal government to a size it can be flushed down a toilet, including dismantling the Environmental Protection Administration and ending environmental regulations. So let them see what that actually means. Let’s also be reminded the Texas’ Republican delegation obstructed federal aid to New York and New Jersey after Superstorm Sandy.
Too harsh? The climate deniers are dooming the entire nation and the planet to such tragic, devastating and costly climate catastrophes. Hundreds of thousands of Texans will emerge from Harvey with their homes, retirement, college funds decimated, very possibly their jobs flushed away along with the floodwaters. Tens of thousands will become climate refugees – just a small fraction of the estimated 200 million worldwide who will be forced to flee flooded coasts as sea levels continue to rise, and storms continue to ravage.
But, since Trump is so keen to dish out taxpayer billions to those he considers his base (one wonders what would happen if and when California is hit with an earthquake), Congress should impose conditions on the billions that will be sent to Texas to rebuild its infrastructure and housing: Texas should do what every other community has done that underwent such devastation: rebuild and transition to clean, renewable energy sources and sustainable, climate-friendly, low-carbon emitting structures.
Congress, which Trump just dared to defy on his tax “reform” (that is, giveaway to the wealthiest 1% and corporations while starving federal government of funding), should make sure that EPA has the people and resources it needs, that climate action is a priority, that the Interior Department does not give away Americans’ legacy (and property) for environment-destroying development, that FEMA and Housing & Human Services (now in the command of a man who dismisses poverty and bad things that happen to some dereliction of personal responsibility) are properly funded and staffed.