White House releases details of fiscal year 2022 budget proposal

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    CNBC’s Eamon Javers reports on the White House’s fiscal year 2022 budget proposal. For access to live and exclusive video from CNBC subscribe to CNBC PRO: https://cnb.cx/2NGeIvi

    President Joe Biden released his fiscal year 2022 budget request to Congress on Friday, the first formal budget of his presidency and a sharp departure from his predecessor Donald Trump.

    Biden’s budget incorporates his two signature domestic proposals, the American Families Plan and the American Jobs Plan, neither of which has been seriously debated by Congress yet.

    It also illustrates how different Biden’s priorities are from Trump’s. For example, it requests an increase of 41% for the Department of Education over last year, plus 23% more for the Department of Health and Human Services, and 22% more for the Environmental Protection Agency.

    Funding for the Department of Homeland Security, which carried out Trump’s aggressive immigration policies, would decrease by a tenth of a percent. Another Trump priority, the Department of Defense, would see an increase in funding of just 2%.

    On a personal level, Biden views his budget as a reflection of his values. He often quotes his own father as having said, “Don’t tell me what you value. Show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value.”

    The topline budget request for 2022 is $6 trillion. But of this, only $300 billion is new spending requested for next year. Instead, as in every presidential budget, the vast majority of the money in it will be spent on programs the government is obligated by law to fund, such as Medicare, Social Security and interest on the national debt.

    All told, around $1.5 trillion was requested for discretionary items in FY 2022, which includes the funding of all federal agencies. Approximately half of that is already marked for the Defense Department.

    On the pay-for side, Biden’s budget incorporates a wide variety of changes to the tax code that the White House says can fund his multitrillion-dollar domestic spending plans. Chief among these are an increase in the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%, as well as increased IRS enforcement and higher taxes on the wealthiest taxpayers.

    The tax changes also include a set of “Made in America” tax changes that penalize U.S. companies for offshoring jobs, especially to make goods that are then sold back to American consumers.

    As with most presidential budgets, the White House relies on optimistic projections of unemployment rates and GDP growth to argue that the expensive spending plans will pay for themselves in increased growth.

    Unemployment, the White House projects, will fall to 4.7% by the end of the year, 4.1% in 2022 and 3.8% the following year. After that, it projects unemployment will remain at 3.8% for the ensuing seven years.

    Biden’s budget also projects that inflation will reach no more than 2.3% annually over the next 10 years, reflecting the administration’s belief that concerns among some economists about runaway inflation are overblown.

    Speaking to reporters prior to the release of the plan Friday, Cecilia Rouse, the chair of Biden’s Council of Economic Advisers, said that historically low interest rates make now an ideal time for the federal government to take on additional debt to modernize the economy and expand the social safety net.

    Shalanda Young, the acting director of OMB, said interest rates will rise slightly over time, but she believes they will remain comparatively low thanks to “a global, persistent phenomenon” of lower interest.

    The White House projects that over time, Biden’s proposals would increase productivity and consumer spending enough to pay for themselves and eventually decrease the deficit in 15 years.

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