Biden budget calls for tax law revamp

President Joe Biden's budget request calls for Congress to spick to a spending agreement brokered last year and to revamp tax laws.


National News

March 11, 2024 - 2:22 PM

President Joe Biden. Photo by (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden released his budget request for the upcoming fiscal year Monday, calling on Congress to stick to the spending agreement brokered last year and to revamp tax laws so that the “wealthy pay their fair share.”

The $7.266 trillion budget request doesn’t actually spend any money since Congress controls the power of the purse. But it contains details about what the president believes the federal government should change and how it should direct taxpayer dollars.

The fiscal 2025 budget request, which totals 188 pages, comes at an especially crucial time for Biden as he increasingly turns his attention toward winning reelection this fall, and follows by days his State of the Union speech. It reflects a budget year that would begin on Oct. 1.

“The story of America is one of progress and resilience, of always moving forward and never giving up. It is a story unique among nations,” Biden wrote in a message released alongside his latest budget request. “We are the only nation that has emerged from every crisis we have entered stronger than we went in.”

“While my administration has seen great progress since day one, there is still work to do,” Biden added. “My budget will help make that promise real.”

That total spending level would go toward numerous budget categories, including $900 billion on defense discretionary and $1.029 trillion on domestic discretionary spending.

Mandatory programs, which are mostly funded outside the annual budget and appropriations process in line with the laws that created them, would take up the rest of the government spending, with Social Security accounting for $1.543 trillion, Medicare spending $936 billion and Medicaid requiring $589 billion.

Another $965 billion in government spending would go toward interest payments on the country’s debt.

The budget request proposes a $1.781 trillion deficit during  fiscal 2025, which would decrease during the following four fiscal years before increasing again toward the end of the 10-year budget window.

The deficit would never drop below the $1 trillion mark.

Child tax credit, Medicare, Social Security

The budget calls on Congress to expand the child tax credit to the levels that were in place during the COVID-19 pandemic, “which helped cut child poverty nearly in half in 2021 to its lowest level in history,” the proposal says.

“The Budget would expand the credit from $2,000 per child to $3,000 per child for children six years old and above, and to $3,600 per child for children under six,” the request says.

The budget calls on U.S. lawmakers to bolster Medicare by “modestly increasing the Medicare tax rate on incomes above $400,000” and by “closing loopholes in existing Medicare taxes.”

The budget request says Biden “remains committed to working with the Congress to protect Medicare and Social Security for this and future generations,” but it doesn’t include any concrete proposals for avoiding a nearly 25% drop off in Social Security benefits in a decade when the trust fund becomes insolvent.