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Biden lays out his 2023 plan in Philly.
Biden lays out his 2023 plan in Philly. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images.

Biden lays out his budget in Philadelphia, protecting Medicare and reducing the deficit

The POTUS delivered his budget proposal at a Northeast Philadelphia union hall earlier this afternoon, Thursday, Mar. 9.

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President Joe Biden was back in Philadelphia this afternoon, Thursday, March 9, at a Northeast Philadelphia union hall to deliver his budget proposal that outlined initiatives he says “invest in America.” 

“Here’s why I’m here today: For too long, working people have been breaking their necks. The economy’s left them behind, working people like you, while those at the top get away with everything,” Biden said.

The address came as he still contemplates a run for re-election but his long-term outlook with the budget’s measures are a likely sign that Biden is committed to the job beyond 2024. 

This is Biden’s third budget proposal of his presidency and his first delivered to a divided Congress. The over $6.8 trillion budget has increased funding for the military, and social programs for the middle-class and poor, while reducing the nation’s debt. 

Biden pitched his budget as one of cutting costs for families, protecting and expanding Medicare, strengthening Social Security, and cutting the federal deficit by roughly $3 trillion over the next decade.

Thursday’s visit to the Finishing Trades Institute, a site for training painters, drywall finishers, and glaziers, is one of many visits Biden has made to Philadelphia (and Pennsylvania) throughout his time in office, where he holds personal and political ties, and is the hometown of the First Lady Jill Biden. 

Biden forgoed the traditional budget roll-out at the White House and instead accepted the invitation from PA U.S. House Rep. Brendan Boyle — the top Democrat in the House Budget Committee — to come to the city. 

“I’m President because of you guys,” Biden told laborers at the union hall. 

The President’s budget plan will likely die in Congress as House Republicans have heavily denounced his proposed tax increases on the wealthy in the days leading up to Tuesday’s roll-out. They also hope to force Biden’s hand into steep spending cuts hurting a number of government services.

The budget also includes steep deficit reduction targets that many say will still be a political marker in Pennsylvania — a key swing state — in anticipation of a Biden reelection bid in 2024 and an imminent fight over the nation’s borrowing limit that is not too far from reaching a boiling point in the next few months. 

Biden announced a set of policies aimed at cutting federal budget deficits by at least $3 trillion over the next decade as the U.S. Government has spent more money than they receive in tax revenue every year since 2000. 

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office recently calculated that the deficit will grow this fiscal year, from $1.41 trillion to $1.375 trillion, but will increase to over $2 trillion by 2032. 

There is roughly $5 trillion in proposed tax increases on the rich and corporations over the next 10 years with a plan aimed to reduce budget deficits by roughly $3 trillion compared with the nation’s current fiscal trajectory. 

Biden’s proposal is the beginning of a long battle over the amount the U.S. Treasury is allowed to borrow to pay bills the government already incurred. Technically out of money, the Treasury is delaying a default with survival to run out in the coming months. 

The Republican Congress has to raise or suspend the limit to avoid a default, but they are looking to cut future spending before agreeing to do so. 

The 182-page budget proposal also wants to restore the expanded child tax credit and make permanent enhanced Obamacare subsidies that were enacted in the American Rescue Plan in 2021. 

For the expansion of the child credit, it would increase it to $3,600 per child for those under age six and $3,000 for older children. It would also permanently make the credit fully refundable so more low-income families would qualify. 

Biden’s budget also improves Medicare’s finances, with the President looking to beef up Medicare’s hospital insurance trust fund, known as Part A, by raising taxes on those earning more than $400,000 a year. 

According to the most recent forecast by its trustees, Medicare, which covers over 65 million senior citizens and people with disabilities, will be allowed to fully pay out until 2028 when the well dries up. Biden’s proposal would extend Medicare’s solvency by 25 years or more, according to the White House. 

The proposal would increase the net investment income tax rate on earned and unearned income above $400,000 to 5%, an increase from 3.8%. It’d be imposed on the owners of certain pass-through firms who include business income on their personal tax returns. 

The revenue from the tax, which was created by the Affordable Care Act, would go to Medicare’s hospital insurance trust fund. 

Biden’s proposal is a continuation of the Inflation Reduction Act that Democrats passed last Summer, by allowing Medicare to negotiate more drug prices and bringing drugs into negotiation sooner after they launch. 

Notably, the budget also calls for capping the price of insulin at $35 a month for everyone, something the Inflation Reduction Act also did by limiting the price of each insulin prescription to $35 a month for Medicare beneficiaries as of this year. 

Seniors also have something in this budget with Biden looking to limit Medicare beneficiaries’ costs for generic drugs used for certain chronic conditions to no more than $2. Their costs would also drop if Medicare expanded its drug price negotiations. 

Biden’s proposal also requires private insurance companies that provide Medicaid coverage to pay back excess money they charge for the program even though it is more than they actually spend on patient care. 

This would give the Department of Health and Human Services the authority to negotiate additional, supplemental Medicaid drug rebates on the behalf of other states. 

For preschool and child care, the budget would provide funding for a new federal-state partnership program to provide universal and free preschool. It would also increase funding for existing federal early care and education programs. 

Biden is also looking for families with a measure in the budget that would establish a national paid family and medical leave program. 

These are 12 weeks of leave for eligible employees to take time off to care for and bond with a new child, a seriously ill loved one, their own serious illness, address circumstances arising from a loved one’s military deployment, or find safety from domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, according to the administration. 

Several Republicans immediately responded to Biden’s proposal after it was released earlier today before his speech, which included House Speaker Kevin McCarthy who led the effort in a GOP joint statement, calling Biden’s budget, “reckless.” 

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