Progressives push back criticism of Biden’s budget

Progressives fended off criticism on Friday President BidenJoe Biden Paul Ryan: Voters Won’t Be Impressed by ‘Yes-Men and Flatterers Flock to Mar-a-Lago’ Intelligence told the White House they had unexamined evidence on the origins of the coronavirus : Milley report says US plans potential evacuation of Afghan translators from region CONTINUEDhis budget plan, which would drive $ 1 trillion in deficits for a decade and raise the debt burden beyond its highest level on record.

“For too long, self-inflicted austerity has been confused with fiscal responsibility, to the detriment of American families and our nation’s economy,” said the chairman of the House budget committee. John yarmuthJohn Allen YarmuthDemocrats see political winner in tax fight McConnell knocks out Kentucky Democrat over support for crackdown on filibuster Democrats vow to be bold – with or without GOP MORE (D-Ky.) Said.

“The Biden Budget ends this era of chronic underinvestment in American potential and addresses the deficits in our communities that have been exposed and exacerbated by the pandemic.”

Compared to February Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projections, which did not include the latest $ 1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill already enacted, Biden’s proposal would increase deficits by 2, $ 3 trillion over a decade and would bring the country’s overall debt burden to 117 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).

Deficit hawks watched in horror as the nation’s borrowing rose dramatically over the Trump years, from $ 666 billion to just under $ 1 trillion before the COVID-19 pandemic, and a record 3.1 trillions of dollars in 2020 as the government increases budget support for the sick. economy.

According to Biden’s plans, the deficit would hit a new high of $ 3.6 trillion this year before dropping to $ 1.8 trillion the next time around, and would remain in the 1.3 trillion to 1.6 trillion range. dollars until the end of the decade.

Yarmuth says it makes sense to spend on infrastructure and rebuilding the economy.

“Investing in the American people has always been a good bet, but with low interest rates and high needs it’s a sure thing,” he said.

“As past crises have shown, doing too little will cost us a lot more in the end.”

While deficit watchers praised Biden’s plans to boost investment and raise $ 2.4 trillion in taxes to cover some of the costs of his key spending proposals, they said the commitments were wrong. far enough.

“The budget offers $ 5,000 billion in spending and tax breaks and pays only three-quarters of the cost, leaving nearly $ 1.4 trillion in higher debt. Under-budget debt would hit new records almost every year, ”said Maya MacGuineas, chair of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, which advocates debt reduction.

“Also, before we enact trillions of dollars in new initiatives, we need a plan to fund or scale back what we have already committed. Any comprehensive investment plan for the future must take into account our unsustainable financial outlook.

Biden’s infrastructure proposal, for example, spends money over 8 years, but pays more than 15 – a scenario that is unlikely to unfold without Congressional intervention in recent years.

“Ensuring an inclusive, just, prosperous and moral economic system means not only responding to today’s pressing challenges responsibly, but also securing our long-term fiscal position,” said Michael Peterson, CEO of the Peterson Foundation, an anti-deficit group. .

“In order to have the strength and resources we need to truly meet our critical long-term challenges, we must build our economic future on a sustainable fiscal basis.”

But progressives are pushing back, challenging the long-held belief that high debt will put the economy down to slower speed.

The left-wing economic policy institute said the budget “shows what true ‘fiscal responsibility’ means” by making investments to tackle inequality and level the playing field in the labor market.

A variety of progressive groups have come together to counter traditional arguments about fiscal policy, calling themselves “Stop Deficit Squawks”.

“We have heard from a select group of organizations for a decade, more than that, that we have to constantly worry about the debt and the deficit. They are getting much quieter when it comes to discussing tax cuts for businesses, ”said Maura Quint, managing director of Tax March, one of the progressive groups.

“What we have seen time and time again is that it does not bear fruit.”

But the pullback has not satisfied those who warn that debt is already eating away at growth and could potentially tip the economy into crisis.

“While emergency government intervention was warranted to deal with recent health and economic crises, the continuation of these fiscal trends will hurt future generations of Americans, who will have to both pay increasing interest and repay debt. national growth, “the Bipartisan Policy Center said in a statement in response to the budget.

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