White House homes in on Republican tax plans as budget debate escalates
White House official accuses GOP of plotting giveaways to the 'ultra-rich' and corporations
FIRST ON FOX: The White House is slamming House Republicans for their approach to taxes, telling Fox News Digital that the budget being discussed by GOP lawmakers is simply "deficit-escalating tax welfare for the rich."
White House Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates on Tuesday told Fox News Digital that President Biden has been calling on House Republicans to "share their budget vision with the American people."
Bates said those budgets underline "in certain terms what leaders value."
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"Apparently, Republicans in the House value tax welfare for rich special interests above all else," Bates said.
The White House has criticized Republicans for not yet formally introducing a budget, but Bates pointed to comments made by House Budget Committee Chairman Jodey Arrington at the House GOP conference this week.
Arrington, this week, vowed to work to "rein in the spending, reduce the debt," and "restore fiscal responsibility in our nation's capital."
Arrington echoed the White House sentiment that "budgets are more than just numbers on a balance sheet--they are values and they are a vision for the future."
But Arrington said he was "very concerned" about Biden's "vision."
Biden is seeking higher taxes to lower the deficit, which Republicans have rejected. The president calls for $2 trillion in tax hikes on individuals making more than $400,000 to keep Medicare solvent, as well as a 25% minimum tax hike on billionaires.
The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget warned earlier this month that Biden's $6.8 trillion budget would result in the country’s debt rising. That analysis said nominal debt would nearly double, growing from $24.6 trillion to $43.6 trillion over the next decade.
"We just have to intervene in a responsible way," Arrington said. "But to do nothing or to just repeat the same policies--which is what I see in the president's budget, highest sustained taxes, spending and deficits in the history of the country--he's either disconnected from what's going on in this country or he doesn't care."
Arrington added: "With all the spending and the taxing, you're going to get a deeper dive or spiral into recession."
The White House, though, has said Biden's budget will cut the federal deficit by nearly $3 trillion over the next decade.
But the White House said Arrington this week had announced that "House Republicans’ budget will extend the 2017 tax giveaways to the ultra-rich and big corporations that heaping trillions onto our deficits."
"What’s more, Arrington admitted that the Congressional Budget Office would correctly judge this as adding to our national debt, which is consistent with how the Trump tax welfare for the rich already harmed the nation’s balance sheet," Bates said, adding that Republicans plan to "trot out quack alternative experts to gaslight the American people about what is undeniable: that tax welfare for the wealthy increases our debt."
"Water is also wet," Bates quipped.
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Bates went a step further, claiming that House Republicans have "committed" to adding more than $3 trillion to the national debt "by extending the Trump tax cuts and with other giveaways for rich special interests."
"That includes repealing the Inflation Reduction Act, which would both add to the debt and be the biggest Medicare benefit cut in decades," Bates said, referring to calls from some Republicans to repeal the legislation.
Multiple analyses determined last year that the Inflation Reduction Act was not expected to reduce inflation.
Bates went on to quote Arrington, who said this week that he "could cut the entire federal government in half and I wouldn’t be totally satisfied."
"Cutting the federal government in half would mean turning Medicare, Social Security, and the Affordable Care Act into a shell," Bates said.
"President Biden wants to ensure that hard work pays off for middle-class families," Bates said. "That’s why he’s put his money where his mouth is and released a full budget to the American public that would cut costs for families, slash the deficit by $3 trillion, and extend the life of Medicare through 2050, all by having the most fortunate pay their fair share."
But Arrington slammed the president's budget in a statement to Fox News Digital on Tuesday.
"For two years, President Biden’s socialist agenda and woke and broke policies have failed hard-working, law-abiding Americans; and, no amount of false political fodder or swampy deflection tactics will spare him from being held accountable," Arrington told Fox News Digital. "I look forward to our first hearing on his delayed budget."
Republicans have argued that Biden's proposal to impose $3 trillion in new taxes on corporations and wealthy Americans would hurt the economy, while the billions in funding for progressive policy points are out-of-step with families that are suffering under inflation.
Democrats have lauded projections that show Biden’s budget will reduce the budget deficit over the next decade.
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Inflation rose 6.4% in January, but that is down from the 9.1% seen in June, which marked the highest inflation rate in almost 41 years.
Fox News' Elizabeth Elkind and Megan Henney contributed to this report.