Biden’s 2023 budget would hike taxes on the ultra-rich and corporations, boost defense spending

US President Joe Biden, with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen (L) and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin (R), speaks during a meeting with his cabinet at the White House in Washington, DC, on March 3, 2022.

Jim Watson | AFP | Getty Images

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden’s 2023 federal budget, released Monday, proposes tax hikes on the ultra-wealthy and corporations while providing billions of dollars in new spending at the Defense Department and the Justice Department.

The proposal sent to Congress touts a reduction in the federal budget deficit of more than $1 trillion over the next 10 years. This is paid for, in part, by raising the corporate tax rate from 21% up to 28%, a rate favored by progressive Democrats but opposed by key moderates. Biden also proposes a new 20% minimum tax on the top 0.01% earners and households worth more than $100 million.

This year over year deficit reduction was also achieved in large part by the phasing out of the Covid-19 pandemic’s most generous federal safety net programs.

On a call with reporters Monday, White House officials credited Biden’s economic policies with creating economic growth that was strong enough to justify cutting back pandemic assistance programs.

Overall, the 2023 budget shifts focus away from the pandemic, which has subsided after the massive Omicron wave late last year. Notably, there are no emergency pandemic or supplemental funds being requested.

In place of Covid, the budget focuses on the need to tackle crime and public safety, and the global peril created by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Here are some key items:

  • Approximately $31 billion in new defense spending, which will bring the total national defense spending up to $813 billion.
  • As part of that defense spending, $6.9 billion is directed to NATO, European defense, Ukraine and countering Russian aggression, according to the White House.
  • More than $32 billion in spending to fight crime at home, including more than $20.6 billion at the Justice Department and another $3.2 billion for state and local law enforcement grants and for hiring police officers.
  • Roughly $10.6 billion for global health security, which includes Covid as well as future pandemics.

The budget also serves as a blueprint for Democrats in Congress, who currently hold slim majorities in the House and Senate but face strong headwinds going into November’s midterm elections.

For them, the budget contains a little bit of everything. Progressives in deep blue districts are likely to focus on Biden’s proposed tax hikes and on the budget’s additional climate change funding.

For moderate Democrats, the additional funding for the Pentagon and for police will likely be popular with their constituencies.

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