President Joe Biden released his first budget request to Congress on Friday, asking for big spending increases for domestic spending programs and leftist causes.
Biden’s budget requests a 16 percent increase in domestic spending from 2021, including a 41 percent increase for the Department of Education, a 28 percent increase for the Department of Commerce, and a 23.5 percent increase for the Department of Health and Human Services.
“These are just a handful of the significant new public investments that would result in a healthier, safer, more prosperous, and more just future for all Americans,” Acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget Shalanda D. Young wrote in a letter to Congress.
The 58-page discretionary request released Friday details some of Biden’s budgetary priorities for the upcoming fiscal year. The administration is expected to release a more detailed budget later in the year.
The administration boasted an increase of more than $14 billion in spending requests to reduce climate change and “the largest direct investment in environmental justice in history.”
Biden’s Infrastructure Plan Isn’t About Infrastructure. It’s About Paying Off Political Allies.
When everything’s infrastructure, nothing is.
As it turns out, a huge chunk of President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan doesn’t have much to do with infrastructure.
This is not much of a surprise, given that Biden’s pandemic recovery bill had almost nothing to do with the pandemic. But in some ways, it also misses the larger point. Even many of the parts of the bill that are nominally about actual physical infrastructure aren’t really about infrastructure. They’re about shoveling money in the direction of Democratic political allies—mostly unions. And that explains a lot of the rest of the bill, too.
Republicans have been circulating a talking point about how only 7 percent of the $2.25 trillion proposal is actually related to infrastructure. This is somewhat ungenerous, as it only counts a narrow category of spending on roads, bridges, waterways, ports, and airports.
But even a quite generous accounting still suggests that only a little more than half of the bill is targeted at anything that meets the definition of infrastructure, and that includes projects like $111 billion for drinking water and $328 billion for upgrading military health facilities and other federal buildings. As Politico notes, those sorts of projects involve some amount of physical building and construction but have never been previously categorized as infrastructure.