On Monday, March 28, President Joe Biden unveiled his 2023 federal budget proposal. According to CNN, the three main tenants of the proposal are fiscal responsibility, safety and security, and investments to “build a better America.”
While the proposal does reduce the deficit, key figures admit that inflation could continue to be troublesome for the U.S. economy. Addressing the deficit, which was increased by former President Trump, Biden commented, “After my…predecessor’s fiscal mismanagement, we’re reducing the Trump deficits and returning our fiscal house to order.” He also added that his proposed $1.3 trillion budget cut would stand to be “the largest one-year reduction in the deficit in U.S. history.”
Shalanda Young, director of the Office of Management and Budget, told reporters in a call, “Stepping back, what this budget shows is that we can grow the economy from the bottom up and middle out and invest in the American people and that we can do it in a smart, fiscally responsible way.”
Per USA Today, the highlights of the budget proposal are as follows:
- A minimum tax of 20% would be levied on households worth more than $100 million. Over half of the revenue from the tax would come from billionaires.
- $30 billion in mandatory spending would be allotted to support law enforcement, crime prevention, and community violence intervention, including funding for more community policing officers.
- $1.7 billion to be allotted to expand gun-tracking strike forces.
- $773 billion to be allotted to military spending—a 9.8% increase—to bolster support for Ukraine.
These highlights are themes that President Biden and Democrats will be focusing on in the upcoming midterm elections.
The amount allotted for military spending generated strong opinions on both sides of the aisle. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Biden’s budget was “woefully short on defense spending.” Democrats swung in the opposite direction, with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders summarizing his party’s thoughts by stating, “We do not need a massive increase in the defense budget” when the United States is “already spending more on the military than the next 11 countries combined.”
When accused of the funding for crime intervention being a political move, Biden simply responded that the measure was what he felt the nation needed.
Shalanda Young expanded on this in her statements to reporters. “Here at home, it includes critical investments to keep our communities safe, fund crime prevention and community violence intervention, put more cops on the beat for community policing, fight gun violence, and advance criminal justice reform.”
President Biden’s spending plan is the starting point for negotiations between the White House and Congress, with lawmakers writing the federal budget.