Video screenshot, Washington Post

Joe Biden is getting ready to submit his first annual budget request to Congress, and it reflects a lot of big spending on things that would improve the economy and Americans' lives. And while it would rival the levels of government spending in World War II as a portion of the US economy, it also anticipates paying for Biden's biggest legislative priorities, the American Jobs Plan and the American Family Plan, through higher taxes on corporations and the wealthy. The budget also anticipates that those higher tax rates would eventually lead to reductions in the federal deficit in the 2030s, and that inflation would be held to no more than 2.3 percent.

Now, it's worth pointing out that for decades, presidential budget requests have increasingly become more a matter of laying out policy and spending priorities than actual plans for government spending, especially in years when Congress and the White House were held by different parties. With Democrats running both houses of Congress, Biden's budget is far more likely to resemble what Congress ends up passing than in recent years. Donald Trump's budgets would regularly zero out entire agencies, and then even congressional Republicans would ignore what he asked for.


The Biden budget request calls for roughly $5 trillion in new spending over the next 10 years, with most of the new spending — $4.1 trillion over the decade — going to the Jobs and Families plans.

That new spending would be offset by $3.6 trillion in new revenues, mostly from Biden's fairly popular plan to raise corporate tax rates and the income tax rate for the richest Americans. That would result in a net deficit of $1.4 trillion, which would start going down after 2030. The plan is that the two big spending packages would run over 10 years, and then the tax increases would pay off the entire amount within 15 years.

Go ahead, show us a Republican plan that actually did the math without wishful thinking.

Let's just remind you of some of what Biden has in mind here, as the New York Times sums up:

The levels of taxation and spending in Mr. Biden's plans would expand the federal fiscal footprint to levels rarely seen in the postwar era to fund investments that his administration says are crucial to keeping America competitive. That includes money for roads, water pipes, broadband internet, electric vehicle charging stations and advanced manufacturing research. But it also envisions funding for affordable child care, universal prekindergarten and a national paid leave program — initiatives that Republicans have balked at bankrolling. Military spending would also grow, though it would decline as a share of the economy.

Promoting his plans in Cleveland yesterday (where he also got himself some ice cream), Biden said it's time to do some building back better. Noting that we're making good progress on the pandemic and the recession that resulted from it, Biden said we need to ask, "What kind of economy are we going to build for tomorrow? What are we going to do?" He called for rebuilding the economy "from the bottom up and the middle out," instead of handing all the money to the rich and hoping some of it will trickle to the rest of us.

Now is the time to build the foundation that we've laid — to make bold investments in our families, in our communities, in our nation. We know from history that these kinds of investments raise both the floor and the ceiling of the economy for everybody.

Biden directly compared his infrastructure and social spending plans to the New Deal and postwar programs like the GI Bill and the creation of the interstate highway system. (He didn't bring it up in this speech, but he has in other speeches pointed out that we absolutely need to avoid those previous programs' built-in racial discrimination, so that the benefits truly are equitable.)

Biden emphasized that his proposals would help to "restore the connection between the success of our economy and the people who produce that success — hardworking Americans," instead of the investor class that's seen its wealth expand for decades, while the middle and working classes have seen stagnant wages.

Biden's budget plan envisions a far larger role for the government in the economy, which we New Deal fans are entirely happy with, because frankly, we think Bill Clinton was way too eager to join Republicans in their rhetorical posturing against "big government." Here's a breakdown of just how big that change would be, from the Times:

In each year of Mr. Biden's budget, the government would spend more as a share of the economy than all but two years since World War II: 2020 and 2021, which were marked by trillions of dollars in federal spending to help people and businesses endure the pandemic-induced recession.

Also too, supply-siders always seem to miss this detail:

By 2028, when Mr. Biden could be finishing a second term in office, the government would be collecting more tax revenue as a share of the economy than at almost any point in the last century; the only other comparable period was the end of President Bill Clinton's second term, when the economy was roaring and the budget was in surplus.

Oh no. Not a roaring economy that's creating clean jobs!

We're willing to risk it.

[CNBC / White House / NYT]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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