The Biden Budget: A responsible roadmap to meet the demands of our time 


March 12, 2024

Editor’s note: The following statement was released by Deborah Weinstein, Executive Director, Coalition on Human Needs, on Tuesday, March 12:  

President Biden’s FY 2025 budget lays out important steps to meet our nation’s needs, provides help to those who need it most, invests in our future, and reduces the deficit over the next decade.  These investments and deficit reduction are possible because the budget requires profitable corporations and the wealthy to pay more of their fair share in taxes.  This combination of equity and investment make the Biden budget a highly responsible roadmap for the next decade and beyond. 

Americans deserve effective plans to meet the demands of our time:  the need to extend opportunity and prosperity to people and communities now struggling, strengthening and expanding the middle class; protecting our people’s health through affordable services, access to care, and strong environmental and public health responses; and ensuring economic security by raising adequate revenues from fair sources; and making savings by targeting wasteful spending, not needed services. 

The Biden budget provides responsible and effective plans in all these areas.   

The budget promotes opportunity and prosperity by  

  • reducing housing costs for home buyers and renters;  
  • substantially reducing the cost of child care and expanding access to community-based care for the aging and people with disabilities, as well as for children;  
  • proposing a comprehensive national paid family and medical leave policy and paid sick leave for every worker; 
  • lowering the costs of education from pre-k through college, including student debt;  
  • keeping food affordable through adequate funding of WIC and SNAP;  
  • lowering prescription drug costs, maintaining health insurance subsidies and providing health coverage to people with very low incomes in states that have refused to expand their Medicaid programs;  
  • restoring the poverty-fighting expanded Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit as they were in 2021;  
  • protecting Social Security, SSI, and Medicare while improving (not reducing) benefits; and 
  • promoting economic growth through infrastructure, expanding the care economy, and other development in rural, urban and suburban areas alike, with special attention to green jobs and growth in poor communities left behind because of discrimination by race, ethnicity, or tribal status. 

The budget is built around the recognition that sustained prosperity is achieved when low-, moderate- and middle-income people can make gains in income and savings in basic costs.  The budget makes important strides towards meeting the needs of families.  Today, families may be held back by high rent, food, child or adult care, looming student debt, and difficulties paying for early childhood and post-secondary education.  This budget provides practical help, for example, by 

  • providing or expanding rental voucher assistance to 400,000 veterans and 20,000 youth aging out of foster care; 
  • increasing the affordable housing supply by building or preserving 2 million units; 
  • ensuring that the WIC nutrition program can serve an additional 800,000 mothers, infants and children per month; 
  • providing affordable child care to 16 million children by limiting costs to $0 – $10/day for families with incomes below $200,000; 
  • providing universal free pre-kindergarten for 4 million four-year-olds; 
  • reducing the cost of additional prescription drugs as the Administration expands its price negotiations with drug manufacturers; 
  • making permanent lower-cost health insurance premiums through the Affordable Care Act marketplace, providing poor individuals with coverage similar to Medicaid in states that have refused to provide such care, and making sure more children do not face interruptions in their health coverage; 
  • continuing and expanding access to low-cost high-speed internet, including in rural and tribal areas; and  
  • reducing many consumer fees, including credit card and banking fees that have plunged many low-income families into spiraling debt. 

Added to these practical measures are other proposals to increase pay for care workers and pre-school teachers, to increase access to post-secondary education that will lead to better-paying jobs, and to build on already-started progress in added manufacturing and infrastructure jobs. 

These initiatives are paid for by requiring the wealthy and corporations to pay more of their fair share.  Some examples of this greater fairness in our tax code include a 25 percent minimum tax on individuals with more than $100 million in wealth; repealing the Trump tax cuts for the wealthy; taxing capital gains at the same rate as earnings for those with over $1 million in income; increasing the corporate tax rate to 28 percent and raising the corporate minimum tax rate  from 15 percent to 21 percent for billion-dollar corporations; and increasing Medicare tax rates for those earning over $400,000.  The Administration also commits to continuing the increased IRS capacity to prevent tax evasion among the highest income individuals and corporations.  All these strategies to raise revenue from fair sources pay for the economy-building measures cited above, while still allowing a $3 trillion reduction in the deficit over 10 years. 

This budget rejects the assertion that we can cut our way to prosperity.  Instead of envisioning a nation a decade from now in which more people can barely pay for necessities, have fewer opportunities to move into good-paying jobs, can neither work at a decent wage providing care nor afford care for their family members, live amidst a crumbling infrastructure, and suffer from more health problems, we can build towards a nation with shared prosperity.   

Through its equitably paid-for investments that reach all Americans and build economic security, the Biden budget is responsible.  Congress should follow its path. 

Budget and Appropriations