Even as the federal budget sinks deeper into debt, President Joe Biden’s proposal is even more big-government spending with roughly $5 trillion in new taxes to help pay for the largesse.
Attempting to boost his blue-collar bonafides in a speech he delivered in Pennsylvania on Thursday, he asserted: “For too long, working people [have] been breaking their necks, the economy’s left them behind — working people like you — while those at the top get away with everything.”
While Biden appeared keen to resonate with working-class voters ahead of a possible 2024 re-election bid, Republican critics say his bloated budget plan would put all Americans and the nation in financial jeopardy.
His plan was also a clear shot across the bow aimed at House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who has signaled his opposition to any debt ceiling hike without associated budget cuts.
“I want to make it clear I’m ready to meet with the speaker anytime, tomorrow, if he has his budget,” Biden said. “Lay it down, tell me what you want to do. I’ll show you what I want to do, see what we can agree on.”
In reference to the Republican lawmakers poised to reject his proposal, Biden taunted: “Watch me.”
Amid mounting uncertainty about the nation’s economic future, however, pushing for new tax hikes — even those aimed primarily at the wealthiest Americans — might not result in the political win that Biden and the Democrats are hoping to see.
A number of congressional Republicans reacted with shock to the audacity of Biden’s massive proposal. For his part, U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) called it “jaw-dropping” and asserted that it is “exactly the wrong approach to solving our fiscal problems.”
Biden’s budget is completely WOKE!
“Equity” was mentioned 63 times.
“Climate” 148 times.
“Environmental justice” 25 times.
“Transgender” 8 times.
“Intersex” 7 times. pic.twitter.com/ErrSIfpkcE
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) March 10, 2023
It was not just those on the right who bristled at the tax hike, which dwarfed anything proposed under the Democratic-controlled Congress during Biden’s first two years in office.
Jim Kessler of the centrist think tank Third Way admitted that he “didn’t expect to see a number that big,” but said he was not “alarmed by it” because he believes there is room to negotiate.
McCarthy offered his assessment of the budget proposal in a statement calling it “reckless” that continues the same leftist “spending policies that have led to record inflation and our current debt crisis.”