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Biden Releases Strong Domestic Budget, But $813 Billion for the Pentagon is Astronomically Wasteful

WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Joe Biden today released an $5.8 trillion budget request for fiscal year 2023. Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, released the following statement:

“If budgets are a show of priorities, President Biden continues to signal a desire to invest in improving the lives of everyday Americans. His proposal includes a minimum income tax for billionaires that would finally require the wealthiest Americans to pay at least some yearly taxes on their wealth, just like the rest of us pay annual income tax on our paychecks. It also includes a corporate tax rate hike from 21% to 28%, a welcome change. Among many positive components, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission would get more funding to protect investors and move forward with requiring important disclosures. And we support the pushes to invest in a clean energy transition and grapple with children’s mental health and maternal health.

“But spending $813 billion on weaponry and military contractor pay-offs and calling it ‘defense spending’ is ill-advised and enormously wasteful. The greatest threats to Americans in the 21st century are not external adversaries, but rather skyrocketing wealth inequality, impending climate chaos, public health crises, and corporate greed. The broken Washington consensus that sky-high Pentagon spending will somehow keep Americans safe works to prop up the military-industrial complex while siphoning resources away from real solutions to these problems and true, urgent human needs. Congress must resist the growing pressures to increase militarized spending at all costs, and instead put that funding to work for everyday people.”