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Biden: My Record-Shattering $5.8 Trillion Budget is Really About 'Returning Our Fiscal House to Order'

President Biden introduced his budget proposal for fiscal year 2023 yesterday, and it's a behemoth.  We'll get into some of the numbers in a moment, but it was telling that Biden spent much of his time during the ensuing Q&A responding to questions about the gaffes and misstatements he made during his just-concluded trip to Europe.  On his ad-libbed statement that Vladimir Putin "cannot stay in power," Biden insisted that this was a personal expression of moral outrage, not a policy statement.  On my radio show minutes later, Four-Star General Jack Keane said what should be obvious: "There’s no such thing as a personal statement in a public speech by the president of the United States that it’s unfathomable that he actually concludes that he can do something like that." When a president is speaking -- especially during a serious, prepared, closely-watched speech in the middle of a shooting war -- there is no meaningful distinction between his personal opinion and his view of US policy.  Even non-experts understand this elementary point:

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Amazingly, reacting to a question from Fox's Peter Doocy, Biden simply denied that any of the weekend's rapid-fire walk-backs had taken place:


Point of fact: They all did indeed occur, they’re all on tape, and they were all publicly and immediately walked back.  There is a major credibility problem at play here, and it starts from top.  Speaking of which, let's return budget-related matters.  This is just brazen:


First, it's a fair knock that Trump and the Trump-era GOP were not remotely serious about constraining spending or making needed reforms to control the long-term debt.  I was very critical of this during the last administration, just as I was under President Obama.  But Biden's boast about reducing the Trump deficits is extremely misleading, for very simple reasons exposed by budget wonk Brian Riedl:

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That 2019 annual deficit was reckless and eye-popping.  Then the annual deficit exploded, thanks to bipartisan emergency pandemic spending, which soared even more under subsequent Democrat-only "COVID relief" spending (the large majority of which wasn't actually directly targeted at urgent COVID relief, hence the White House's current, insulting demand for even more spending on basic pandemic services such as testing and treatments). Biden's budget in no way, shape, or form 'restores order' to America's fiscal house.  It takes wildly inflated deficits fueled by once-in-a-lifetime emergency spending....and tries to lock in extraordinarily elevated spending levels -- all while claiming credit for reducing deficits by not keeping the jaw-dropping emergency spending levels fully intact. Labeling this maneuver "disingenuous," as Riedl does, is being kind.  Here's another point of comparison: President Trump's bloated FY 2020 budget, presented before Coronavirus disrupted the world, called for $4.75 Trillion in total federal spending, a fresh record at the time.  Biden's new proposal increases Trump's requested 2020 budget by more than $1 trillion:

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President Biden proposed a $5.8 trillion budget on Monday, a request that reflected the growing security and economic concerns at home and overseas, with billions set aside to invest in police departments and the military along with new taxes on the wealthiest Americans. While the White House budget is simply a request to Congress, which controls the government’s purse strings, it is a snapshot of a president’s priorities and where an administration wants to direct its energies going forward.

Much of the press is dutifully describing this as a 'moderate'-minded budget that makes an impressive "pivot" toward deficit reduction.  That is how the White House is spinning the document, and it's only "moderate" or geared toward reducing deficits as compared to even more irresponsible left-wing alternatives.  As noted above, it calls for more than one trillion additional dollars in federal spending, beyond what was laid out in Trump's final pre-pandemic budget.  The document calls for a wealth tax, a concept that utterly failed in Europe and was widely abandoned.  In selling this point, Biden repeated his frequent and false claim that no American earning less than $400,000 per year would see a tax increase under his plans.  Unfortunately for him, and especially unfortunately for millions of middle class families, that promise has already been broken by Congressional Democrats.  Virtually every single one of them supported the 'Build Back Better' plan, passed by Nancy Pelosi's House, which shattered that talking point:

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He told this exact lie as a candidate, and it wasn't true even back then.  He eagerly pledged to sign a mammoth spending plan that every single House Democrat voted to pass (with one lonely exception), while still mouthing the same bogus pledge, reiterating it at the State of the Union weeks ago.  And here he is trotting it out again.  Much of what comes out of his mouth is simply untrue, which is reflected in his low approval ratings.  Joe Biden promised America something much different than what he's delivering.  Voters are taking note.

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