Less than four weeks after proposing his $2.3 trillion American Jobs Plan (AJP), President Biden unveiled another $1.8 trillion in spending for his American Families Plan (AFP) last month. The AFP is being packaged as another part of Biden’s infrastructure bill, of which only 6 percent is devoted to roads, bridges, and highways. This comes on the heels of Biden signing into law the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan (ARP) in March.
All told, if Biden has his way, the American taxpayer will be on the hook for $6 trillion in new spending, and we’re not even halfway through the president’s first year in office.
“The American Families Plan is going to provide access to quality, affordable childcare, helping parents go back to work, providing a lifeline of benefits for children as they do better in school throughout their lives.” Biden said during a speech promoting the AFP on May 3.
There is no evidence that the AFP will provide quality child care, although there is ample evidence to suggest that children who spend a considerable amount of time in institutional care could suffer from social and emotional outcomes later on in adolescence. And considering that Biden continues to encourage lower-wage workers to stay home and collect unemployment checks from the government, there is also no evidence to suggest this plan will incentivize Americans to return to work. Only 266,000 U.S. jobs were added in April, 734,000 less than the one million that Wall Street economists projected.
But Biden intends to keep spending money as if there is no tomorrow. He seems content to further blow out our $28 trillion debt, create inflation, and bankrupt our country.
According to a White House Fact Sheet, the $1.8 trillion AFP calls for spending on the following, among other initiatives: $225 billion for a national paid family and medical leave program; $200 billion for free universal preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds; $109 billion for two years of free community college, including for the children of illegal immigrants; $62 billion to “strengthen completion and retention rates at community colleges”; $25 billion to provide free meals for all 29 million children receiving free or reduced-price meals in the U.S., including during the summer; $9 billion to “train, equip and diversify American teachers”; $2.8 billion for a year-long paid teacher residency program; $2 billion for a mentorship program for “new teachers and teachers of color”; and $1 billion for a school nutrition program.
Where free college has been tried in places such as Louisiana, it has had disastrous results, and has never served the people it was intended to help. Biden’s scheme will likely end up subsidizing mostly white middle- and upper-class families to send their children to school, while imposing a massive burden on taxpayers. To pay for the AFP, Biden will increase the corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 28 percent and raise the top income bracket from 37 percent to 39.6 percent. The capital gains tax will also increase to 39.6 percent for those making over $1 million annually. According to the Fact Sheet, Biden will also “eliminate the loophole that allows the wealthiest Americans to entirely escape tax on their wealth by passing it down to heirs.” In the name of “equity,” family members who wish to pass down to their children a farm or some other piece of property, which has been previously purchased and taxed, will now be penalized for doing so.
But Biden insists this massive tax increase, which will involve repealing the 2017 Trump Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), is necessary because “For too long, we’ve added an economy that gives every break in the world to the folks who need it the least. It’s time to grow the economy from the bottom up and the middle out.”
The truth about the Trump tax cuts could not be clearer, but very few, if any, in the national media bothered to fact-check Biden’s false claim that the TCJA amounted to a giveaway for the wealthy.
A recent study from the Tax Foundation that analyzed IRS data from 2018, the first year the TCJA was implemented, determined that the top 1 percent of income earners paid a higher share of individual income taxes (40.1 percent) than the bottom 90 percent combined (28.6 percent). Is that not paying their fair share?
The same study also determined that the top 50 percent of all taxpayers paid 97.1 percent of all individual income taxes, while the bottom 50 percent paid just 2.9 percent. Is that not paying their fair share?
But it does not appear that there will ever be a tax rate that is progressive or “fair” enough to satisfy the Democrat Party.
While most Democrats are pleased with Biden’s radical agenda and out-of-control spending, some progressives want it to go further. As Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow last month, “If we could wave a magic wand, and progressives in the House were able to name any number and get it through … we’re talking about, realistically, $10 trillion over 10 years.”
So what are Republicans doing to push back against the AFP?
Last week Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he believes he can “pretty safely say none of my Republican colleagues are going to support a $4.1 trillion infrastructure package, only part of which is for infrastructure.” Ranking Republican members have countered with a $568 billion offer that is unlikely to receive any Democrat support.
But Biden doesn’t seem to mind. “I think there’s overwhelming bipartisan support for this. If you look at the polling data, Republican voters overwhelmingly support it. Now I just got to get some of my Republican colleagues to support it,” the president said on May 3. Actually, polling indicates that only 13 percent of Republican voters support Biden’s plan.
On Monday, Biden met at the White House with West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, one of the only Democrats who has voiced his concern about the price tag of the president’s bill. On Thursday, he will meet with West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito and other Senate Republicans to discuss their $568 billion proposal.
Regardless of his rhetoric, the president likely won’t settle for a penny less than what he has already proposed. Like with the ARP, if Manchin is on board, congressional Democrats can use the budget reconciliation process to ram this bill through the Senate without any Republican support.
For Biden, “unity” means his way or the highway. Then again, his infrastructure bill has almost nothing to do with highways anyway.
David Keltz was a speechwriter for the Administrator at the U.S. General Services Administration from 2020–21 and is the author of the new book The Campaign of His Life and Media Bias in the Trump Presidency and the Extinction of the Conservative Millennial. He previously served as a White House Intern for Vice President Mike Pence. You can follow him on Twitter @david_keltz or email at email@example.com.