President Biden plans to unveil his budget proposal on Thursday, during which he’ll advocate raising taxes on Americans who earn more than $400,000 a year.
Biden plans to announce his budget during a trip to Philadelphia Thursday. Doing so in the battleground state that locked in his 2020 electoral victory suggests his proposal is part of a bigger political push to connect with voters. During his speech in Pennsylvania, Biden plans to say that taxes on the wealthy can reduce federal deficits and spare cuts to popular programs such as Social Security and Medicare.
Biden has not yet officially announced he’s running for reelection in 2024, but First Lady Jill Biden suggested it was only a matter of time during an interview Friday. “He’s not finished what he’s started,” she said while traveling in Kenya. “And that’s what’s important.”
Many of the plans in Biden’s budget proposal are unlikely to become law, however, as tax increases of any kind will almost certainly be voted down in the Republican-led House.
But in focusing on Medicare, Biden is reportedly seeking to sharpen how he contrasts with Republicans and position himself as a defender of social safety net programs. It’s a strategy that targets both his likely reelection bid and the anticipated showdown with Republicans over raising the debt ceiling to avoid default.
In an op-ed published in The New York Times on Tuesday, Biden wrote, “For decades, I’ve listened to my Republican friends claim that the only way to be serious about preserving Medicare is to cut benefits, including by making it a voucher program worth less and less every year. Some have threatened our economy unless I agree to benefit cuts. Only in Washington can people claim that they are saving something by destroying it.”
Biden went on to claim that his budget proposal will make Medicare “solvent beyond 2050 without cutting a penny in benefits.”
By contrast, Republicans have long promoted a series of safety-net changes that they see as necessary “reforms,” including an eligibility age hike, a reduction of benefits for wealthier seniors and a modification in cost-of-living adjustments to produce long-term government savings.
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