Public Citizen Statement on Biden’s FY24 Budget Proposal
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Biden administration today released its fiscal year 2024 budget proposal. Lisa Gilbert, executive vice president of Public Citizen, released the following statement:
“Billionaires should not pay less in taxes than average working Americans. The president’s budget embraces this principle and requires the wealthiest to pay just a little bit closer to their fair share. It closes loopholes and raises taxes to 39.6%, up from 37%, on those making more than $400,000.
“The president’s proposal also takes on corporate wealth by raising the corporate tax rate to 28% and with urgently needed stock buybacks reform. Corporations that spend billions on buybacks are not investing in railroad repairs, paying workers a living wage, or manufacturing safe airplanes. They’re simply goosing their stock price to benefit management, and that must end.
“The proposed budget protects Medicare – fully funding it for another generation and making its trust fund solvent through 2050. It does this by lowering drug prices and making sure the wealthy pay their fair share in taxes – a critical step in the right direction – yet there is more the administration can do.
“Looking ahead, the administration should crack down on Medicare Advantage plans that profit by cherry-picking healthy seniors and restricting care for enrollees; expand dental, vision, and hearing benefits for Medicare enrollees; work with Congress to cap out-of-pocket expenses for seniors; and take a bolder stand against Big Pharma greed by expanding drug price negotiation to bring down the prices of more drugs sooner and cover all Americans, not just people on Medicare.
“Importantly, the budget provides a 7% increase for non-defense discretionary spending. This funding goes to programs ranging from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children to education to health care. This is a critical increase that the administration deserves applause for.
“However the proposed Pentagon topline level makes no sense. There is no excuse for our country’s reckless overspending on the Pentagon, and the FY24 proposal continues this dangerous trajectory. The Defense Department has never once passed an audit and is infamous for wasting funds with impunity. The president’s proposal would bring U.S. military spending to its highest level in history at an astronomical $886 billion. Continuing to throw this much money at weapons, war, and defense contractor profits is unacceptable.”