President Joe Biden is releasing an aspirational budget for 2024 Thursday, one that revives components of his Build Back Better agenda that weren’t included in the infrastructure and climate bills that passed last year. That includes investments in the care economy, cradle to grave, making child care affordable, expanding pre-K, paid family leave, and elder care.
With a series of tax hikes on the very wealthy, it would allow for some of the care economy spending Biden promised in his campaign, and would restore the COVID-19 temporary expanded child tax credit that had lifted millions of children out of poverty. A White House official told The Washington Post it would boost federal child care programs by more than $30 billion, and create a new state/federal partnership for “high-quality, universal, free preschool.”
That results from the big—and popular—increases on taxes for the very wealthy. It would levy a 25% tax on billionaires, sources tell Bloomberg, and almost double the capital gains tax rate from the current 20% to 39.6%. It would reverse some of the Trump tax scam cuts, increasing the top rate for income over $400,000 to 39.6%, up from 37% and increased the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%. There’s an existing loophole that allows some business owners and high earners to avoid paying Medicare hospital trust fund taxes that Biden would close. All this new revenue would reduce the deficit by $3 trillion over the next ten years compared to current estimates, the administration projects.
“There’s a vision here and there’s a contrast,” Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young told CNN. “You can be fiscally responsible and invest in the American people, or you can pull the rug out from people by going after programs that people absolutely need.”
“What we want to make clear is you can do investment in American people, childcare, paid leave, food assistance, health care, all while bringing down the deficit,” Young continued. “But you do have to ask the wealthy in this country to pay their fair share.”
That would be what House Republicans want to do, pushing cuts that are “increasingly outlandish,” as one person in the mix characterized them while talking to the Post for a profile of Barely Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s seasoned chief of staff, Don Meyer. Meyer has been around establishment GOP politics for the entirety of his long career, but he’s now facing a whole new GOP. “He knows it’s tough and that it’s going to be tough,” the colleague said. “The situation he’s in is horrendous.”
That situation is entirely of McCarthy’s creation, promising everything to the Freedom Caucus maniacs in order to secure the speakership. Mostly he agreed to an absurd and impossible balanced budget in 10 years without cutting Social Security and Medicare and without raising any taxes. The only way in which that would be possible is cutting absolutely everything else by 80%-85%.
To put a pin in just how absurd McCarthy’s budget goals are, remember that the first policy vote for his crew was to repeal the new $80 billion in IRS funding at a cost of $114 billion over the next decade. Nothing demonstrates how bankrupt these guys are of ideas better than losing $24 billion supposedly in the name of deficit reduction.
McCarthy is trying to blame the fact that he hasn’t come up with a budget yet on Biden not yet meeting with him again to discuss the debt ceiling, two issues the president has insisted be kept separate. The White House won’t negotiate the debt ceiling with economic terrorists, and has insisted that McCarthy show his cards on the budget and show what he can get through the House.
“It would be interesting to see what they want to cut and what their numbers add up to,” Biden said last week. “Are they going to cut Medicaid? Are they going to cut the Affordable Care Act? Are they going to cut Medicare or veterans benefits? Aid to rural communities?”
As far as anyone knows at this point, all of the above. Which is not going to look good for McCarthy and his insistence that he can manage to get a majority of his own House GOP members behind a bill along with Biden and the Senate. Good luck, Kev.
You know about the DSCC and DCCC, but have you heard of DASS? You'll want to! We're talking with Kim Rogers, the executive director of the not-especially-well-known but crucially important Democratic Association of Secretaries of State on this week's edition of The Downballot. Rogers explains how her organization helps recruit candidates, deploy resources, and win races for secretary of state across the country—and why these elections operate so differently from many others. She also tells us about what Democratic secretaries are doing to fight disinformation and expand voting rights, and the most bonkers thing she heard come out of the mouth of a 2022 election denier.