Taxes are the price of living in a society that aspires to a brighter future. Citizen resistance rises, though, when politicians waste the fruits of their constituents’ labor with callous disregard — and demand still more money. Congressional Republicans should reject President Biden’s wanton $6.8 trillion spending plan — and his demands to lift the debt ceiling — until he cleans up the red ink he’s already spilled.
Mr. Biden’s fiscal 2024 budget for “the land of the free” calls for a lengthy list of new tax burdens meant to rake in $5.5 trillion over 10 years. They include raising the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28% — higher than communist China’s. The president would also hike the Medicare surtax from 3.8% to 5% for taxpayers making more than $400,000 per year, boost the capital gains tax from 20% to 39.6%, raise the top tax rate from 37% to 40%, and force taxpayers with more than $100 million in assets to pay a 25% minimum tax on their wealth — each year.
To hear Mr. Biden tell it, only the rich have flourished in America. “For too long, working people have been breaking their necks, but the economy has left them behind — working people like you — while those at the top get away with everything and get everything,” he said Thursday, introducing his budget to a friendly audience in Philadelphia.
To the contrary, the top 1% of wage earners pay more than 40% of federal income taxes, according to the Tax Foundation, and the bottom 50% pay a little more than 2%. Moreover, Mr. Biden’s Washington has benefited from a 20% surge in government gelt between 2020 and 2022, pinning Uncle Sam beneath an avalanche of revenue lifted from the rich. But it’s never enough for Democratic spendthrifts.
Projecting over the next decade, the president expects to rake in a record $65.2 trillion, while he wants to spend $82.2 trillion. Along the way, the projected fiscal 2023 deficit of $1.6 trillion would dip lower to $1.5 trillion in 2027 before spiking to $2 trillion in 2033. And as he prepares to add $17 trillion to the national debt, Mr. Biden expects Americans to applaud for not piling on another $3 trillion.
All the while, the Biden administration strews misspent tax dollars across the national landscape. A February Government Accountability Office audit of the federal books for fiscal 2021 and 2022 reported that “the fiscal year 2022 government-wide total of reported estimated improper payments was $247 billion, but it did not include estimates for some key government programs.” One of those “key” programs is federal unemployment insurance, which likely lost at least $191 billion in fraudulent COVID-related claims, according to the Labor Department.
As a condition of raising the nation’s $31.4 trillion debt ceiling, House Freedom Caucus Republicans are seeking White House concessions that include cancellation of the president’s $400 billion student debt forgiveness proposal, recovery of unspent COVID-19 relief funds, rescission of $80 billion for fortifying the IRS, and discretionary spending limits of 1% annual growth for 10 years.
Americans seeking a better tomorrow should join Republicans in refusing to follow where President Biden would go: broke.