Biden’s $6.8 tn Budget faces hurdles in Congress


Biden had laid out a $6.8 trillion budget that seeks to enhance military spending and introduce a range of new social welfare programmes while at the same, attempt to reduce future budget deficits….reports T.N. ASHOK

US President Joe Biden’s $6.8 trillion budget is unlikely to pass muster in the Republican-dominated House of Representatives as it proposes higher taxes on big businesses and the rich and elite, even as the Republicans are gridlocked with Democrats on the debt ceiling issue and are demanding spending cuts.

Biden has asked the Congress for funds worth trillions in new spending that’s unlikely to go through the Republican house even as he seeks to reduce deficits by raising taxes on business houses and the rich and the elite, media reports say.

Having lost the majority in the house in the 2022 midterm elections, his persistent arguments and even the White House statement that monies would be spent on social welfare programmes and deficit would be cut by $3 trillion over the next decade has not cut much ice with the representative across the aisle.

A White House statement said President Biden has long believed that we need to grow the economy from the bottom up and middle out, not the top down. Biden’s economic strategy has produced historic progress for the American people despite several odds and hurdles facing the economy, it said.

More than 12 million jobs – more than what any President has created in a four-year term – including 800,000 manufacturing jobs, have been added. The unemployment rate has fallen to 3.4 per cent, the lowest in 54 years. The Black and Hispanic unemployment rates are near record lows.

The President has given families more breathing room, cutting prescription drug costs, health insurance premiums, and energy bills, while driving the uninsured rate to historic lows. His plan is rebuilding America’s infrastructure, making the economy more competitive, investing in American innovation and industries that will define the future, and fuelling 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 White House statement said.

President Biden has cut the deficit by more than $1.7 trillion against his predecessor who had raised it during his first two years in office. 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, it added.

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: No one earning less than $400,000 per year will pay a penny in new taxes.

Meanwhile, the New York Times outlined the reasons for why Biden’s budget was unlikely to come through the house as it contained some $5 trillion in proposed tax increases on high earners and corporations over a decade, much of which would offset new spending programmes aimed at the middle class and the poor

Biden had laid out a $6.8 trillion budget that seeks to enhance military spending and introduce a range of new social welfare programmes while at the same, attempt to reduce future budget deficits. This defied the Republicans’ calls to scale back government spending reasserting his economic vision before an expected re-election campaign for a 2nd presidential run in 2024.

He firmly believes he can stem the recurring debt burden from weighing on the economy while expanding spending and protecting popular safety-net programmes – almost entirely by asking companies and the wealthy to pay more in taxes. Republicans think it’s a specious argument and it won’t work.

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