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Biden vows 'historic deficit reduction' with budget that raises tax on millionaires

Biden repeated his vow to not raise taxes on individuals and families earning less than $400,000 per year. 

Published: March 28, 2022 2:58pm

Updated: March 28, 2022 3:42pm

President Joe Biden said Monday his $5.8 trillion federal budget would lead to "historic deficit reduction" by raising taxes on millionaires.

Households worth over $100 million, if Congress passed the measure as is, would see a 20% minimum tax rate on income and unrealized capital gains.

Billionaires such as Tesla CEO Elon Musk have been critical of such a tax in the past, arguing that one day the federal government will "come for you" and raise everyone's taxes. 

Biden repeated his vow not raise taxes on individuals and families earning less than $400,000 a year. 

According to the Treasury Department, the federal government spent a record $6.6 trillion in fiscal 2020 and $6.82 trillion in the past fiscal year on regular appropriations and economic stimulus.

The deficit was $3 trillion in fiscal 2020, the year the pandemic hit, and $2.8 trillion in fiscal 2021. For comparison, the deficit was about 3 times less in fiscal 2019 than fiscal 2020 at $984 billion.

Biden, in a televised White House announcement, touted that he has cut the budget deficit from fiscal 2020 levels under former President Trump, as pandemic stimulus measures wind down.

The last stimulus package that passed was in March 2021 under Biden. Most of the COVID-related public benefits in that package came to an end in late 2021.

Biden said any further COVID stimulus funds would be "dramatically" lower than previous relief packages.

He also said federal government should not "defund" the police, similar to what he said earlier this month in his State of the Union address. The fiscal 2023 budget proposal helps put more officers on the street in local communities, Biden explained. 

The Democrat president said the request also "funds body cameras" and "crime prevention" programs as well as drug-treatment and criminal-justice-reform programs.

Biden said the budget would assist the U.S. military in maintaining its standing as the world's strongest fighting force.

The reporters' questions after Biden formally rolled out his budget focused mainly on the Russia-Ukraine war.

Biden's budget now moves to the Democratic-led Congress for consideration. It is expected to hit some roadblocks in the 50-50 Senate.

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