99% PA Campaign Statement on President Biden’s Budget Proposal for 2023–2024
Yesterday, President Joe Biden visited Pennsylvania to unveil a bold 2023-24 budget proposal that makes crucial investments in our communities and builds broadly shared prosperity. The president’s plan would lower the cost of child care, pharmaceutical drugs, housing, and education and would fund these investments by making the ultra-rich and wealthy corporations pay something closer to their fair share in taxes. Doing this would expand opportunity for all, particularly for people and communities that, historically, have been excluded from these kinds of investments and opportunities.
The president’s proposal would help Pennsylvania families and workers by reinstating the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit expansions that were included in the American Rescue Plan, giving families with children $3,000–$3,600 per child from the CTC through 2025 and ensuring that very low-income families are not excluded from the full credit they so desperately need. President Biden’s plan would further strengthen families by guaranteeing workers twelve weeks of paid family and medical leave and seven days of sick leave. The budget also increases discretionary child care funding by nearly $1 billion and boosts investment in Head Start by $1.1 billion.
The proposed budget would make a ten-year investment of $150 billion to increase access to Medicaid-funded Home and Community Based Services, enabling many older people and people with disabilities to remain in their homes instead of being uprooted and placed in costly nursing homes. The president’s plan also takes critical steps to address the affordable housing crisis. It includes an additional $22 billion in rental assistance funding for vouchers over the next decade with $9 billion to support the estimated 20,000 youth who age out of foster care annually and $13 billion to expand assistance to nearly a half-million low-income veteran families. While these are important improvements, significantly more investment would be needed to protect the 16 million households that spend more than half of their income on rent or are already experiencing homelessness, housing instability, or overcrowding.
The president also called on Congress to strengthen federal nutrition assistance programs during this year’s debate over the farm bill by reauthorizing SNAP (formerly known as “food stamps”), which helps millions of households buy groceries, along with farm and conservation programs. While some MAGA Republicans in Congress are trying to make deep cuts to SNAP, President Biden is insisting on a farm bill that eliminates barriers to food assistance for vulnerable groups and moves the nation toward the goal of ensuring everyone has access to healthy, affordable food.
These important investments would be funded by making billionaires and powerful corporations pay their fair share. Central to President Biden’s proposed tax reforms is the Billionaire Minimum Income Tax (BMIT), which would ensure that households with wealth exceeding $100 million pay an effective tax rate of at least 25% on their total income and growth in wealth. Currently, billionaires enjoy an average effective tax rate of just 8%, with many paying nothing at all in federal taxes, while the average federal tax rate the rest of us pay is roughly 14%. The 25% billionaires’ tax would raise $437 billion over 10 years to invest in crucial programs and services.
The Biden budget also fully funds Medicare for the next 25 years, raising the Medicare tax rate on income above $400,000 to 5% from 3.8% by eliminating a tax loophole that allows an elite group of wealthy business owners avoid this tax and by expanding Medicare’s ability to negotiate prescription drug prices.
President Biden’s budget also calls for raising the domestic corporate tax rate from 21% to 28% and increasing the foreign tax rate on US corporate profits from 10.5% to 21%. Closing tax loopholes that encourage corporations to shift jobs and profits offshore would raise more than $2 trillion to invest in important priorities and effective policies.
The president’s budget charts a course for America’s future by making investments that are funded by requiring those who have benefited the most from our economy to pay a more reasonable amount in taxes. That path is one that leads to greater opportunity for all, improves economic and health security, reduces hardship, and creates the conditions that would allow everyone to thrive.
The 99% Pennsylvania is a campaign convened by the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, calling on Congress to take action to advance the well-being of the vast majority of Americans. It’s time for Congress to do something for the rest of us—the 99%.
Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, 412 N. 3rd Street, Harrisburg, PA 17101 | 717-255-7156
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