US President Joe Biden on Thursday released the financial blueprint of a $6.9 trillion annual budget for 2024 which includes a series of measures from a hefty tax on the rich, massive spending on social measures, and investment in key infrastructure.
Republicans, who have a majority in the House of Representatives, called it a “non-starter” as Biden asserted that the budget reflects what “we can do to” lift the burden on hard-working Americans and it aimed to reduce the deficit this year by $160 billion, reported news agency PTI.
Check key highlights of the proposed Budget
Invests in elder care, restore the child tax credit
“To support working parents, my budget expands access to affordable childcare for millions of families. And it’s going to invest in paid family medical leave,” Biden said. The President added that the budget will invest in elder and home care besides restoring the child tax credit.
Biden said the budget will deliver funding to help the US lead the world again. “My budget also invests in critical issues that matter to families, increasing the supply of affordable housing, lower rental costs, and make it easier to buy a home, all of which will generate economic growth and prosperity,” he said.
Target deficit cut
Stressing that he succeeded in bringing down the deficit of $1.7 trillion more than any president in American history, Biden said his latest budget is going to reduce the deficit by nearly $3 trillion over 10 years.
Minimium tax on billionaires
The budgetary proposals also include a 25 per cent minimum tax on the wealthiest 0.01 per cent of households, quadrupling a one per cent surcharge on corporate stock buybacks, restoring the top marginal income tax rate to 39.6 per cent. The White House calls this a “minimum tax on billionaires.” The budget also proposes to raise the corporate income tax rate from 21 per cent to 28 per cent.
On the plan to tax the rich, Biden said, “No billionaire should be paying a lower tax than somebody working as a schoolteacher or a firefighter or any of you in this room. So, my plan is to make sure the corporations begin to pay their fair share. It used to be 35 per cent. We cut it down to 21 per cent. I think we should be paying 28 per cent.”. “There’s going to be a real fight in that but we should be paying more than 21 per cent. And I made clear under my plan, and I made this commitment when I ran and I haven’t broken it yet and I never will,” he added.
Promote clean energy
The Inflation Reduction Act last year provided hundreds of billions of dollars in financial incentives for the promotion of clean energy. The budget proposal would expand spending to push the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions which includes $4.5 billion to further clean energy development and $16.5 billion to develop new technologies and conduct scientific research. Apart from this, the proposal is targeting $7 billion, an increase of about $1 billion, to support economic revitalization and job creation in communities that relied on coal, oil and gas production.
Boost to medicare funding
A key trust fund that funds Medicare, targeted for health care to older adults, is on track to become insolvent in about five years. This would mean it will not be able to fully cover the cost of benefits. The White House says Biden’s plan would push that date back to the 2050s. Biden also aims to increase the Medicare tax rate from 3.8 per cent to 5 per cent on income exceeding $400,000 per year, including salaries and capital gains.