Decoding Biden’s Budget: How the $6 trillion plan impacts you

  • President Joe Biden’s budget proposal for 2022 marks a level of federal spending that was only previously seen post-World War II. 
  • A significant amount of the budget is allocated towards infrastructure, fighting climate change and education. 
  • The proposed changes will be financed by raising taxes on big corporations and the wealthy. 

NEEHARA SANJIVI

President Joe Biden unveiled his budget plans for 2022 and it largely focussed on bridging the wealth inequality through societal change. The proposed changes look to rebuild the economy from the losses suffered due to the Covid-19 pandemic and addressing climate change. The proposal is essentially a wishlist that Congress has to pass for the changes to be implemented. 

Infrastructure

The main priority of the budget is to widen the social safety net for Americans by boosting infrastructure through the American Jobs Plan and the American Families plan. 

The budget proposal outlines an upgrade to the existing infrastructure and social programs. The government plans to spend $17 billion in the next year making improvements to bridges, roads, and airports and replacing lead water pipes across the country. 

There are plans to expand high-speed broadband internet across the country and provide universal preschool, where teachers at these schools will earn $15 an hour. The plan also includes providing 2 years of free community college and investments in high-poverty schools to raise the quality of education provided. 

Additionally, the budget proposes $8.8 billion on direct spending towards families that includes affordable child and elder care and paid leave. 

Climate change

Biden’s budget proposal has allocated $36 billion towards addressing climate change. The focus of the spending would be aimed at clean energy, sustainability research, and water infrastructure. Biden also envisions the creation of millions of jobs as a byproduct of these investments. 

These investments could potentially cut down the U.S.’s carbon emissions by 50% by the year 2030 and move the country towards carbon neutrality. 

Taxes

To finance the proposed budget, Biden has promised a hike in corporate taxes to the tune of $2 trillion. There would also be an increase in capital gains taxes for the rich, including inherited capital gains that were previously tax-free.

As a result of the increases in taxes, the government plans to raise per-child tax credits and lower taxes for low and middle-income families. The proposal also states that taxes will not be raised on individuals earning less than $400,000 per year.

Healthcare 

Healthcare accessibility is another major focus of the President’s budget proposal. The plan outlines an additional $500 billion for home health workers and health insurance subsidies for low and middle-income families.

The President proposed $134 billion in discretionary funding towards the Department of Health and Human Services to fund existing health insurance programs and expansion of public health funds.

Public health is a significant focus of the Biden budget that aims at making healthcare accessible to all, in addition to addressing gun violence, HIV and the opioid epidemic. 

Biden aims to boost the economy and achieve more stable, long-term growth by enabling those who fall in the low and middle-income brackets. Additionally, the administration has prioritized addressing the racial injustice within the system that significantly denies minority communities a fair chance at making being successful. The goal of the policies is not just towards economic growth but to also ensure that the growth is equitable.

While it is unclear how many of the proposals outlined in the 2022 budget are likely to be approved in Congress, Biden is at an advantage since the House and Senate are both controlled by Democrats – even if it is by a very narrow margin. If passed, this could be a historic move in America.