Biden Proposes Taxing Billionaires, Rest of Budget Kinda Sucks

President Biden's new budget proposal taxes the super rich, inflates our defense and police spending and fails to cancel student loans.

Biden Proposes Taxing Billionaires, Rest of Budget Kinda Sucks
Photo: (AP)

Well, President Biden’s new budget proposal just dropped, and we have good news and bad news. First, the good: His plan includes a “Billionaire Minimum Income Tax,” which would institute a minimum 20% tax rate on income above $100 million dollars. Great! The 700-ish American billionaires this affects probably won’t even notice, and the government gets more money to do things.

Here’s the bad news: Along with this tax on the .001 percent, a little treat for the progressive base, Biden is promising increases to an already bloated defense budget and isn’t going to forgive your student loans any time soon, like he promised.

Biden’s plan proposes a $813,000,000,000 Pentagon budget—a $31 billion increase from 2021—and a whopping $33.2 billion for law enforcement, crime prevention and community violence intervention programs. And if that seems suspect to you, fret not, because police “reform”—whatever that even means anymore—is still very much on the menu, with $367 million allocated for the Justice Department’s budget to support it, along with prosecution of hate crimes (presumably those the police don’t themselves commit) and the regulation of voting rights.

Yet another bone—albeit a far smaller one—Biden is tossing at progressives is $50 billion toward climate change programs. Healthcare, on the other hand, remains a hopeless endeavor for anyone hoping the president will recognize it as a human right as opposed to an employment bonus. Biden didn’t have much to offer on the issue, with the exception of $5 billion for an advanced health-research agency for cancer, diabetes and dementia research and an “expansion” of mental health services.

Speaking of healthcare, as for the enduring, evolving coronavirus pandemic—a new, more contagious variant of which has emerged—Biden allotted $40 billion for the development and manufacturing of vaccines, treatments and tests aimed at “future” threats. As for the one we’re experiencing right now? Another $28 billion would be given to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for surveillance, lab capacity, and the public health workforce.

Meanwhile, let us recall with fondness that about $15 billion in funding for pandemic aid like vaccines, tests, and treatments was just dropped in lieu of a $1.5 trillion spending bill.

Now I guess we’ll have to wait for the president’s posse of TikTok teens to explain why debt relief, a livable wage, pandemic aid, or comprehensive healthcare isn’t actually necessary with emboldened cops on every corner a military with the ability to perpetuate and exacerbate global harms at higher and more frequent rates. But kudos to the man for making billionaires help out the country, if even just a little more.

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