Here we go again.
Another year. More drama as the lines are drawn between Democratic and Republican budget proposals.
Actually, wait a minute. Republicans, divided between the reactionary branch and the MAGA reactionary we have no interest in governing wing of their party have not presented their version of a budget for the next fiscal year.
The reasons for Republicans’ inability to do that are simple. They can not agree on what to do and know what they propose will be viewed unfavorably by the majority of the American People, including a sizable portion of their own supporters.
Fortunately, the Biden/Harris Administration offered their budget blueprint…on time and consistent with the People’s First priorities this Presidency has advertised since the 2020 campaign.
It includes proposals to:
- Reduce the deficit by close to three trillion dollars. The bulk of this deficit reduction would come from tax increases on the wealthy and corporations including letting some Trump tax cuts lapse.
- Investments in child care, Pre-K, community college tuition, and Medicaid.
- Restoring the American Rescue Plan Child Tax Credit.
- $35 insulin for everyone that has diabetes.
- Improve Medicare solvency by giving the government more negotiating power on drug prices and increasing taxes on individuals making more than $400,000 annually.
- Cracking down on wasteful government programs like tax breaks for oil companies.
- Make the increased Obamacare subsidies permanent instead of expiring in 2025.
- Funds to combat food insecurity.
- Help reduce maternal mortality rates.
- Paid family and medical leave.
- More funds to combat climate change.
- Increase aid to Ukraine in its war with Russia.
What is there to be against in any of these budget proposals.
Speaking on the proposed budget, President Biden in remarks at the Finishing Trades Institute in
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, explained the rationale for his Administration ideas and reminded everyone that the ball is in Speaker McCarthy’s court now to produce his party’s ideas so they could start budget negotiations.:
“…I ran to grow the economy from the middle out and the bottom up and not the top down. And I know when I grew up — my dad’s kitchen table — not a whole lot trickled down on trickle-down economics onto my kitchen table for my dad…”
“…The fact is that the Speaker of the House has been — he’s a very conservative guy, and he has an even more conservative group with him.
But he and I met early on, and he said, “What are we going to do about the budget?” And I said, “Well, let’s make a deal. Let’s meet.” I said, “I’m going to introduce my budget on the 9th of March. You introduce yours. And we’ll sit down, and we’ll go line by line. And we’ll go through it. We’ll see what we can agree on and what we disagree on, and then fight it out in the Congress.”
So, I want to make it clear. I’m ready to meet with the Speaker anytime — tomorrow, if he has his budget. 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. What we don’t agree on, let’s see what we — we vote on…”
“…My dad had an expression. He — someone would come up to my dad say, “Let me tell you what I value, Joey.” And he’d say — my dad would say, “No, no, show me your budget. I’ll tell you what you value.”
No, I’m serious. My — it was an expression my dad would use. “Show me your budget. I will tell you what you value.”
Well, folks, let me tell you what I value with the budget I’m releasing today.
I value everyone having an even shot — not just labor, but a small-business owners, farmers, and so many other people who hold the country together who have been basically invisible for a long time.
So, at the end of the month, after working like the devil, they have just a little bit more breathing room, as my dad would say.
After you pay all your bills — you’re sitting at a kitchen table, writing out the last bill, do you have just a little bit of breathing room left?
So, my budget reflects what we can do to lift the burden on hardworking Americans, and there’s more than one way to do that…”
Later, in an exchange with reporters after returning to the White House on Marine One, President Biden said “watch me” when asked why bother to introduce his budget when Republicans say it is dead on arrival.
On the idea of compromise with Speaker McCarthy and the other Republicans, the President said:
“Well, we’ll see what their budget is. I’m ready to meet with him tomorrow if he shows me his budget.”
The Biden/Harris Administration budget proposals accomplish what all government fiscal proposals should do:
- Move the country forward.
- Lift people up.
- Be fiscally prudent.
In a normal negotiation, it would be okay to say let the games begin but Republicans have not presented anything to compare and negotiate on. Again, this is because they can not agree on what to propose and they know the American People will not stomach their ideas.
As an opening salvo into the 2024 Presidential campaign, this is a smart move by the Administration. If economic conditions remain close to what they are (another 311,000 jobs were created in February with Unemployment at full employment levels) and Republicans remain divided and intransigent on sensible moves like raising the debt ceiling, this could be the beginning of a Democratic landslide in 2024 if voters pay attention and are not swayed by the fear-mongering venom and fecal matter from the MAGA Trump Party (formerly the Party of Lincoln.)
What do you think?