Biden's budget proposal is reckless

by Tom Cole

Earlier this month, President Joe Biden submitted his fiscal year 2024 budget request to Congress, and to use his own words, “Come on, man.” Although this is simply a proposed outline and government funding will be sorted out through the appropriations process in the coming months in Congress, this reckless tax-and-spend budget certainly shows his priorities are not in line with the American people.

Americans have been crushed under runaway inflation caused by Democrats’ reckless spending throughout the past two years, and we cannot continue down that road. Once again, he has proposed too much inflationary domestic spending and not enough defense spending. While President Biden requested more in defense spending from last fiscal year, due to inflation, this number is still an effective cut. We live in a dangerous world, and with growing tensions around the globe, this budget only shows that this administration is unwilling to prepare our military to confront the wide range of strategic threats we face.

The president proposes increased spending on Green New Deal policies that have already nearly destroyed North American energy independence, including $1.8 billion for environmental justice grants, $366 million to study the effects of climate change and to measure greenhouse gas emissions on federal lands and $13 million to strengthen the environmental justice mission of Department of Energy’s Office of Legacy Management Boosts.

In addition, the president’s budget also calls for setting dangerous price controls on prescription drugs that would reduce innovation and research to find life-saving medications. He has also proposed a 15 percent increase for the IRS’s budget – on top of the $80 billion he already gave them through his misnamed Inflation Reduction Act – that will unleash a new wave of audits that threatens to harass hard-working Americans.

To pay for these costly domestic initiatives, the president has proposed significant tax increases of $3 trillion on American individuals and American businesses. This includes a corporate tax rate increase to 28 percent from 21 percent, making the U.S. rate among the highest in the developed world and hindering the prosperity of businesses of every size. Indeed, 70 percent of the companies that would be hit by this tax increase are small businesses. His proposal even calls for individuals making less than $400,000 a year to pay higher taxes, despite his promise to not raise taxes on these income earners. At a time when the United States government has more tax revenue coming in than at any other time, it is wrong to raise taxes on Americans and businesses that are already struggling under the crushing weight of inflation.

Furthermore, despite President Biden claiming to cut America’s deficit over the next decade, his own budget projects the deficit rising from $1.38 trillion in 2022 to $2.04 trillion in 2033. In that time, the national debt will grow by nearly $20 trillion to 110 percent of our Gross Domestic Product, up from 97 percent.

President Biden’s budget shows just how out of touch he is with the real issues our country is facing. In a divided government, he must come to the table to negotiate and find common ground with House Republicans. Unfortunately, he has chosen not to do so. As we begin the appropriations process, I look forward to working with my colleagues to responsibly fund the government.