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Biden proposes nearly $6 trillion budget with widespread spending hikes

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Mar 29, 2022 - 12:07 PM

WASHINGTON (AA) – US President Joe Biden sent to Congress on Monday a nearly $6 trillion budget proposal that includes sweeping spending increases across the federal government, and tax hikes on the richest Americans.

Biden’s $5.8 trillion plan to fund the government for the fiscal year that begins in October would cut the federal deficit by more than $1 trillion over the next 10 years, the White House said in a statement.

It would do so, in part, by establishing a new minimum tax of 20% on billionaires, and households with over $100 million in total income. That would apply to about 0.01% of households, the White House said.

It would also raise taxes on corporations to 28%, levels seen before sweeping corporate cuts in 2017 dropped the rate to 21%, and impose “additional measures” to ensure US firms cannot use foreign tax havens to circumvent a global minimum tax Biden brokered with over 130 countries last year.

“Budgets are statements of values, and the budget I am releasing today sends a clear message that we value fiscal responsibility, safety and security at home and around the world, and the investments needed to continue our equitable growth and build a better America,” Biden said in a statement.

The president’s budget includes a dramatic increase in spending for the Pentagon, with Biden seeking $813 billion for the department and defense-related activities. That includes roughly $40 billion for programs at external agencies for fiscal year 2023.

Just $650 billion is being requested for non-defense spending. The rest of the nearly $6 trillion plan is being allocated for what are known as “mandatory programs,” such as Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid, and interest owed on the national debt.

It includes $682 million for Ukraine, an increase of $219 million above the level lawmakers approved for the 2021 fiscal year “to counter Russian malign influence and to meet emerging needs related to security, energy, cybersecurity issues, disinformation, macroeconomic stabilization, and civil society resilience.”

It also proposes $6.9 billion for the European Deterrence Initiative and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Biden is seeking a nearly 20% boost in funding for the State Department, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), and other international programs. In all, he is seeking $67.6 billion, which excludes emergency funding.

The president’s proposal also includes a 31% bump for the Commerce Department, a 21% increase for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, a 20% increase for the Department of the Interior, and a 27% increase for the Department of Health and Human Services.

Biden’s budget is merely a proposal, and will have to be taken up in Congress where it is certain to see massive revisions from lawmakers as they allocate government funding.

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