Flipping the Script, Biden Says GOP Would Add Trillions in Debt
The Debt

Flipping the Script, Biden Says GOP Would Add Trillions in Debt


As the Congressional Budget Office projected a worsening fiscal outlook, President Joe Biden on Wednesday sought to portray his economic plans as both successful and fiscally responsible and draw a contrast with Republicans, whom he painted as hypocritical and irresponsible.

In a speech before the IBEW Local Union 26 in Lanham, Maryland, Biden said his forthcoming budget plan would reduce the deficit by $2 trillion over 10 years while protecting Social Security and Medicare. By contrast, he claimed that Republican economic plans would add $3 trillion to the nation’s debt.

Biden this week has continued his attacks on Republican lawmakers, whom he has criticized repeatedly since his State of the Union address last week for proposals that he said could threaten Social Security and Medicare.

House Republicans say they are aiming to balance the federal budget within a decade. In speeches Tuesday and Wednesday, Biden called new House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) a “decent guy.” But he said that McCarthy made clear his agenda when they met recently. “He says he’s not going to raise any taxes at all on anybody. He just wants to cut programs,” Biden said Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Biden touted his plans to grow the economy and cut the deficit, in large part by raising taxes on the wealthy. He contrasted that approach with a GOP agenda that he labeled “top-down, trickle-down economics.”

The president said that Republicans should lay out their budget proposals as he plans to next month and the two sides could then compare their blueprints. Biden insisted that GOP legislative proposals would leave a gaping fiscal hole.

Biden criticized Republicans for slashing IRS funding and defended the money Democrats for the agency last year to crack down on tax cheats. And he said that Republicans want to extend their 2017 tax cuts and that doing so without paying for it would add another $2.7 trillion to deficits while giving a $175,000 tax cut to people making over $4 million a year.

“It would explode the deficit and leave the American taxpayer holding the bag,” Biden said. “Look folks, let’s be crystal clear about what’s happening. If you add up the proposals that my Republican friends have offered just so far — they’ve offered these now — it would add more than $3 trillion to the debt over 10 years.”

Biden and Democrats will look to keep some of those 2017 tax cuts benefitting lower- and middle-income households. The president has pledged repeatedly not to raise taxes on anyone making less than $400,000 a year.

The bottom line: Biden is trying to flip the “fiscal responsibility” script so often used by Republicans who criticize Democrats for “runaway government spending.” He plans to roll out his budget on March 9.