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GOP, conservatives balk at Biden's $5.8T budget, say it will swell inflation, national debt

The gross national debt would jump from $31.3 trillion to $44.8 trillion by fiscal 2032 under Biden's budget, the White House projected

Published: March 28, 2022 3:43pm

Updated: March 28, 2022 11:11pm

Conservatives in Congress are blasting President Biden's proposed $5.8 trillion budget for failing to deal with record inflation that is already stretching paychecks and family budgets. 

The inflation rate in February was 7.9%, representing a 40-year high. However, Biden's budget assumes an inflation rate of 4.7% for calendar year 2022 and just 2.3% for calendar year 2023.

According to Kiplinger's economic forecast, March's inflation rate will be close to 10%. 

GOP lawmakers are also criticizing the budget, officially announced Monday by Biden, for setting the stage for a rapid increase in the national debt.

Much of Biden's plan to bring down the deficit lies in his minimum tax on millionaires' income and unrealized capital gains.

Despite the estimated deficit reduction from Biden's proposed tax hikes, the White House projected that the nation's gross debt would jump from $31.3 trillion to $44.8 trillion by fiscal 2032 under the president's budget path.

“Under President Biden, the American people are finding it more difficult and more expensive to put food on their tables, gas in their cars, and clothes on their backs. The president has presided over one developing crisis after another – none of which are happening by accident," said Missouri Rep. Jason Smith, the top Republican on the House Budget Committee.

"This budget submission from the president shows he has learned nothing over the past year – nothing about how his policies have failed the American people," Smith continued. "He intends to double down on those very policies. The president's 2023 budget deliberately makes every crisis he created worse." 

Smith estimated that Biden's budget would slap "job creators" with $58 trillion in taxes.

"With our debt crisis having crossed $30 trillion, Joe Biden told Americans that he was going to get serious about tackling trillion-dollar yearly deficits, but the reality is his budget grows America's debt to $45 trillion by 2032 – a $15 trillion addition to the nation’s debt," he also said.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, the Senate Budget Committee's top Republican, suggested Biden's budget is filled with gimmicks and shell games.

"The Biden Budget is not serious about deficit reduction," Graham said in a statement. "In reality, it takes credit for near-term deficit reduction because emergency COVID-19 spending is going to end soon.

"President Biden's partisan ARP [American Rescue Plan] legislation was responsible for more than $1 trillion of the deficit in 2021. The president's own budget documents show cumulative deficits of $14.4 trillion over the next ten years."

Michigan Republican Rep. Tim Walberg suggested Biden in his budget proposal fails to fully comprehend how rising costs are hurting American families.

"President Biden's budget is about as out of touch as it gets," he said. "At a time when so many families are feeling the pain of sky-high inflation, the president's proposal of trillions in higher taxes and new debt is a recipe for making the inflation crisis even worse."

Tea Party Patriots Action had a similar response.

"Either he's not paying attention, or he just doesn't get it," said Jenny Beth Martin, the honorary chairman of the anti- tax and big government group. "We are already suffering under the worst inflation in 40 years because of the Democrats' spending spree during his first year in office, and his response is to increase spending AND taxes? That’s absurd."

Vance Ginn, chief economist at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, suggested the budget proposal includes over-optimistic inflation assumptions.

"This is with highly rosy econ assumptions with too high growth & too low inflation & interest rates compared to reality and what’s likely, so debt likely more. Recall raising taxes hurts growth," he tweeted.

The Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts raises similar concerns about mis-reading the economy.

“Excessive government spending and costly energy regulations are the two most significant reasons Americans are suffering from record-high inflation," he said. "This tone-deaf budget does absolutely nothing to address the disastrous policies that caused prices to spike for oil and gas, housing, food and other things that Americans rely on every day."

Tennessee GOP Sen. Marsha Blackburn seemed to go a step further, saying the proposal is "packed full of socialism" including universal Pre-K and climate change initiatives.

Senate Budget Chairman Bernie Sanders, a key architect of Biden's original Build Back Better spending package, said he looks forward to fully reviewing the president's proposal.

"At a time when over 700 billionaires in America became nearly $2 trillion richer during the pandemic while tens of millions continue to struggle, we need a budget that demands that the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share of taxes and substantially improves the lives of working families with children, the elderly, the sick and the poor," the Vermont Independent said in a statement.

Sanders has scheduled a committee hearing Wednesday to consider the budget.

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