Biden Budget Amounts to Top-Down Central Planning, Lacks Needed Reforms

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President Biden today unveiled his latest budget submitted to Congress. CEI experts take a dim view of the agenda of excess spending and regulation with little to no reforms that avert future financial woes.

Wayne Crews, CEI Fred L. Smith, Jr. Fellow in Regulatory Studies

“The administration’s actions are defined by top-down central planning like that characterizing American Rescue Plan, the Infrastructure law, the Inflation Act and the CHIPS and Science Ac – all highly regulatory as they are costly.

“Biden’s ‘Minimum Tax on Billionaires’ proposal is back (p. 44) with an eye on taxing the richest even on unsold assets, an astonishing and disquieting development. The ‘fair share’ for the wealthiest 0.01 percent is apparently 25 percent. This move marks an important step for the progressives’ broader wealth tax.

Is America really going to benefit from handing off these extraordinary sums to the federal government? Hardly. But unfortunately the opposition is weak, as evidenced by the fact much of Washington’s spending is bipartisan. And both political parties are united on the ‘protect Social Security and Medicare’ rhetoric rather than seeking needed reforms. Also there is bipartisan support for defense increases.

“As the debt limit battle looms, Republicans have some reflecting to do. Politicians indulge in pseudo debate over the federal government’s relative budgetary expenditures on entitlement, military, and domestic discretionary categories when the reality is they are each excessive.”  (See the full analysis on

Ryan Young, CEI Senior Economist

“President Biden’s proposed budget is only interested in treating symptoms of a problem rather than the root cause. The twin causes of today’s budget woes are Washington’s habitual overreaction to every crisis and its Social Security and Medicare promises that it cannot possibly keep. Biden’s budget proposal treats neither.

“Five trillion dollars in COVID spending went far beyond what was needed for public health. Congress and special interests piled on wish-list items from semiconductor subsidies to student loans and contributed to today’s inflation and deficits. Higher taxes are not enough to make up the shortfall; we need institutional safeguards against such abuses happening again during the next crisis. Biden’s budget proposal contains no such reforms.

“Social Security and Medicare have demographic problems that no amount of wishing can solve. They must evolve into defined-contribution models so they are sustainable for the long haul. Biden’s approach is to refuse to acknowledge the problem in the first place.”

Iain Murray, CEI Senior Fellow

“The President’s budget is primarily an act of political showmanship – it has no chance of being enacted. However, the philosophy behind it is frightening. It sees government as responsible for almost everything America has traditionally relied on individuals, families, associations and businesses for. If government takes over so much of our daily life, innovation, responsibility, and individual initiative will be crowded out. We cannot let that happen.”