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Biden unveils a budget that would cut costs for families and hike taxes for the rich

Shalanda Young, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, told NPR that the president's budget puts Congress on notice.
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Shalanda Young, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, told NPR that the president's budget puts Congress on notice.

Updated March 11, 2024 at 1:03 PM ET

The White House unveiled a new $7.3 trillion federal budget proposal on Monday, a plan that would hike taxes on billionaires and large corporations to pay for programs that would cut costs for families.

Presidential budgets generally are not blueprints for bills that will ever become law. Presidents are required by law to release a budget and the practice has become an opportunity to put price tags on White House spending proposals. It's up to Congress to pass actual spending bills, since it has the power of the purse in the Constitution.

But the budget sends a message to voters — and to lawmakers, Shalanda Young, the director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, told Morning Edition's A Martinez.

"What that means is this president, unlike many who talk about fiscal responsibility, pays for every investment in the budget," Young said on NPR. "So we call on Congress: if they want to do something about our fiscal path, take up the president's budget. Ask the wealthiest in this country to begin to pay their fair share."

Young said the budget would cut taxes for millions of low and middle income families and would bring down the costs of prescription drugs and utility bills.

House Republican leaders dismissed the proposal, calling it "misguided" and full of "reckless spending."

The budget puts a price tag on Biden's plans from his State of the Union address

The budget builds on the State of the Union address Biden delivered last week, in which he outlined his administration's accomplishments and made the case for voters to reelect him, with a heavy dose of economic populism. It included tax credits for first-time homebuyers.

Speaking to the National League of Cities Monday, Biden said his plans would raise billions of dollars to help provide things that Americans need, like childcare, while also cutting the deficit.

"Look, I'm a capitalist. If you can make a billion bucks — wonderful," Biden said. "Just pay your fair share, man."

A debate on taxes is on the horizon

The plan would raise taxes on large corporations and make billionaires pay a minimum 25 percent rate, which would help reduce the federal government's budget deficit by some $3 trillion over a decade, the White House said.

"Congressional Republicans are on notice: You can't give your friends on Wall Street tax cuts, add to the debt, while middle-class and working families suffer," Young said.

Young said lawmakers will be pushed to have this debate soon, with several provisions of Republicans' 2017 tax law — which gave sweeping tax cuts to big corporations — set to expire next year. Biden will not support extending tax cuts for those that make over $400,000, Young said.

The president also wants to work with Congress on a mortgage reduction credit, which would give a $10,000 tax break to first-time homebuyers and people who sell their starter homes, among others.

"Families who are locked into mortgage rates that may be a bit higher but need to get to a bigger place — you have two kids and a third may have come along and you need a bigger place — we need to give these families a bridge so they can move to larger homes," Young said.

The broadcast interview was produced by Ben Abrams, Ana Perez and Shelby Hawkins.

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Rachel Treisman (she/her) is a writer and editor for the Morning Edition live blog, which she helped launch in early 2021.
Franco Ordoñez is a White House Correspondent for NPR's Washington Desk. Before he came to NPR in 2019, Ordoñez covered the White House for McClatchy. He has also written about diplomatic affairs, foreign policy and immigration, and has been a correspondent in Cuba, Colombia, Mexico and Haiti.