Biden unveils USD 6.9 trillion budget, raises taxes on rich, boosts spending on social programmes, infra

PTI | Washington DC | Updated: 10-03-2023 05:32 IST | Created: 10-03-2023 05:32 IST
Biden unveils USD 6.9 trillion budget, raises taxes on rich, boosts spending on social programmes, infra

US President Joe Biden on Thursday unveiled a USD 6.9 trillion annual budget for the year 2024, which proposes a hefty tax on the rich, massive spending on social measures and investment on building key infrastructure.

The budget was termed a ''non-starter'' by the Republicans who have a majority in the House of Representatives.

Biden at a rally in Philadelphia asserted that his budget reflects what ''we can do to'' lift the burden on hard working Americans and it would reduce the deficit this year by USD 160 billion.

''To support working parents, my budget expands access to affordable childcare for millions of families. And it's going to invest in paid family medical leave,'' Biden said, adding that his budget also invests in elder care and home care and restores the child tax credit.

Biden said the budget will deliver funding to help the US lead the world again. ''My budget also invests in critical issues that matter to families, increasing the supply of affordable housing, lower rental costs, and make it easier to buy a home, all of which will generate economic growth and prosperity,'' he said.

Asserting that he brought down the deficit of USD 1.7 trillion more than any president in American history, Biden said his latest budget is going to reduce the deficit by nearly USD 3 trillion over 10 years.

The budgetary proposals call for imposing a 25 per cent minimum tax on the wealthiest 0.01 per cent of households, quadrupling a one per cent surcharge on corporate stock buybacks, restoring the top marginal income tax rate to 39.6 per cent. It proposes to raise the corporate income tax rate from 21 per cent to 28 per cent.

''No billionaire should be paying a lower tax than somebody working as a schoolteacher or a firefighter or any of you in this room. So, my plan is to make sure the corporations begin to pay their fair share. It used to be 35 per cent. We cut it down to 21 per cent. I think we should be paying 28 per cent,'' he said.

''There's going to be a real fight in that but we should be paying more than 21 per cent. And I made clear under my plan, and I made this commitment when I ran and I haven't broken it yet and I never will,'' he said.

Acknowledging that there are sharp differences with the Republicans, Biden said he is willing to sit down with them to talk and negotiate.

''My budget is about investing in America and all of America, including places and people and folks who have been forgotten. Amid the economic upheaval of the past four decades, too many people have been left behind or treated like they're invisible. Not anymore,'' he said.

The opposition Republican party was very critical of the budget. ''President Joe Biden's budget is a reckless proposal doubling down on the same Far Left spending policies that have led to record inflation and our current debt crisis," said Speaker Kevin McCarthy, Majority Leader Steve Scalise, Majority Whip Tom Emmer, and Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik in a joint statement.

''After passing trillions of dollars in new deficit spending that we cannot afford, over the next 30 years, the national debt will be nearly twice the size of the entire economy. In the next ten years, the federal government will spend over USD 10 trillion on interest alone,'' they said.

Vice President Kamala Harris said the administration is investing in the full potential of the American people. ''Our budget will lower costs, invest in workers, and strengthen Medicare and Social Security. It does all of this while cutting the deficit and making sure billionaires pay their fair share,'' she said.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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