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AFSCME president calls Biden’s budget ‘a bold plan to invest in working families’

Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
AFSCME president calls Biden’s budget ‘a bold plan to invest in working families’
By AFSCME Staff ·

AFSCME President Lee Saunders praised the 2024 budget proposal unveiled by President Joe Biden on Thursday as “a bold plan to invest in working families.”

Biden’s budget proposal for the next fiscal year seeks to build on his administration’s accomplishments. Over the past two years, the economy has added more than 12 million jobs, the unemployment rate is at its lowest in more than half a century, and the government has made much-needed investments to improve our nation’s infrastructure and combat climate change, among other things.

The president’s budget blueprint would continue to invest in our country, lower costs for families, protect and strengthen Social Security and Medicare, and raise taxes on billionaires to lower the federal deficit.

“President Biden’s priorities are working families’ priorities,” Saunders said in a statement.

“The budget proposed today would shore up Medicare, ensuring that people will receive the health benefits they’ve earned, and protect Social Security from any cuts,” Saunders said. “While securing the future of these essential programs, his budget empowers working families by investing in child care, capping insulin costs and expanding paid family and medical leave. It would also boost Medicare’s ability to negotiate lower prescription drug prices, in addition to easing the burden of rising home prices.”

In an op-ed published this week in The New York Times, Biden said his budget would make Medicare solvent beyond 2050 “without cutting a penny in benefits.” It would do this by strengthening Medicare’s ability to negotiate drug prices, putting the savings directly into the Medicare trust fund, and by asking the wealthiest to pay a little bit more in taxes.

The Biden proposal also includes an expansion of the Child Tax Credit; a national program that provides up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave; universal preschool; and funding to expand free community college. Funding would come from a 25% minimum tax on billionaires and the reversal of Trump-era tax cuts.

As the country nears another debt ceiling crisis, the president’s budget offers a stark contrast in fiscal responsibility to the policies pursued by members of Congress led by Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) While Republican proposals would add $3 trillion to the federal debt over the next decade, the White House says the president’s proposal would lower the federal deficit by nearly $3 trillion over 10 years by making billionaires and wealthy corporations pay their fair share of taxes and by cutting wasteful spending on Big Pharma, Big Oil and other special interests.

In a speech in Philadelphia on Thursday, Biden recalled that his administration has already brought down the deficit by $1.7 trillion in two years. He said his proposal would continue to reduce the deficit by raising taxes on those who can afford to pay more.

“No billionaire should be paying a lower tax rate than somebody working as a school teacher, a firefighter or any of you in this room,” Biden said, speaking inside a union hall.

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