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Biden Looking for Hefty Tax Hikes But Reports Fuzzy Numbers to Pay for Plans

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What will it cost to enact President Joe Biden’s massive expansion of social programs?

Congress has authorized spending up to $3.5 trillion over a decade, but Biden is prodding Democrats to fully cover the cost of the legislation — by raising taxes on corporations and the wealthy, negotiating the price of prescription drugs and dialing up other sources of federal revenue such as increased IRS funding.

The idea is that entire package should pay for itself.

Defending a bill not yet fully drafted, Democrats are determined to avoid a deficit financed spending spree. They are growing frustrated by the focus on the proposed $3.5 trillion spending total, arguing far too little attention is being paid to the work they are doing to balance the books. Biden on Friday said he would prefer the price tag described as “zero.”

“We pay for everything we spend,” Biden said at the White House. “It’s going to be zero. Zero.”

But the revenue side of the equation is vexing, and it’s emerged as a core challenge for Democratic bargainers as they labor to construct one of the largest legislative efforts in a generation. Their success or failure could help determine whether the bulk of Biden’s agenda becomes law and can withstand the political attacks to come.

Republicans, lockstep in opposition, aren’t waiting for the details. They’ve trained their focus on the $3.5 trillion spending ceiling set by Democrats, pillorying that sum as fiscally reckless, misguided, big government at its worst.

“The radical left is pushing in all their chips — they want to use this terrible but temporary pandemic as a Trojan horse for permanent socialism,” Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said Thursday. “Trillions upon trillions more in government spending when families are already facing inflation.”

Part of the problem for Democratic leaders is the lack of a consensus about which programs to fund and for how long. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., acknowledge the price will likely come down and say they have a “menu” of revenue raisers to pay for it. But without certainty on what initiatives will be included, no final decisions can be made.

“This is not about price tag,” Pelosi said Thursday. “This is about what’s in the bill.”

Biden and administration officials stress the plan is as much about fairness as dollars and cents. By taxing the wealthy and corporations, they hope to fund paid family leave and child tax credits that help those reaching for the middle class, all while adopting environmental and economic policies that help the U.S. compete with China. But the haggling over a final spending target is overshadowing the policy goals they are trying achieve.

Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal, a lead negotiator for House progressives, said Friday that reporters should not depict the measure as costing trillions of dollars when the accompanying proposed tax increases would cover the cost.

“I just believe that this is going to be a zero-dollar-bill — that’s the No. 1 priority,” she said.

Sharron Parrott, president of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a liberal think tank based in Washington, warned Democrats that emphasizing the $3.5 trillion figure could detract from what they are trying to achieve.

“The debate so far has been overly focused on a single number: the $3.5 trillion in gross new investments over the next ten years — including both spending increases and tax cuts — that may be included in the package,” Parrott wrote in an August blog post. “True fiscal stewardship requires a focus on the net cost of the package and, even more fundamentally, a focus on the merits of the investment and offset proposals themselves.”

What Biden is really pushing are two goals that can easily come into conflict. He wants to restore the middle class to the epicenter of economic growth, but do so without worsening the national debt or raising taxes on people earning less than $400,000 a year.

Further complicating things is that many of his spending policies are actually tax cuts for the poor and middle class, which means he is raising taxes for one group in order to cut them for another.

Democrats also have to contend with how the measures are assessed by the Congressional Budget Office, the final arbiter of how the legislation will affect the federal balance sheet.

The Democrats’ expanded child credit and dependent care credits, enacted earlier this year, are counted as costs in a CBO score. Biden wants to extend these programs as part of the budget, which he is now arguing amounts to one of the largest middle-class tax cuts in U.S. history.

“It’s reducing taxes, not increasing taxes,” Biden said Friday.

It’s not entirely clear whether Biden’s claim of “zero” cost is feasible under the 10-year outlook used by the CBO to assess the economic impacts of legislation. Biden’s own budget officials earlier this year estimated that his agenda would increase the national debt by nearly $1.4 trillion over the decade.

Biden on Friday described the multi-tiered talks with legislators as at a “stalemate.” More meetings are expected in coming days.

In the evenly split Senate, key Democratic senators such as West Virginia’s Joe Manchin and Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema have qualms about the total spending. Democratic moderates are jockeying for advantage against their liberal counterparts. With time running short, Biden is asking for more patience to get the numbers right so that the votes will follow.

“This is a process,” he said. “But it’s just gonna take some time.”

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Survey shows majority of Americans reject Build Back Better: More think Biden’s infrastructure spending bill will hurt them more than help them

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In a total inversion of what Democrats had expected, Americans have dismissed the expensive framework bill with gigantic social projects incorporated into it. Another survey shows that more Americans repel the Democrats’ $1.75 trillion spending proposition than welcome it.

As indicated by another ABC News/Ipsos survey delivered on Sunday, public help for President Joe Biden’s bills to expand spending on framework and social projects has blurred.

The overview tracked down that 32% of Americans feel that the spending bills would hurt individuals like them if they became law, while 25% said they accept the bills would help them. Close to 66% (64%) of Republicans figure the bills would hurt individuals like them, and 29% of free thinkers feel something very similar. In spite of being the significant system of Biden’s administration, less than half of Democrats (47%) accept the two bills would help them.

A CBS News survey from recently tracked down that 36% of respondents said it would help them and their family versus 33% who said it would hurt their friends and family. The overview additionally said that 79% of review members said that expansion was brought about by supply and assembling issues after the pandemic and 66% said it was brought about by U.S. government strategy. “And when asked about potential causes of inflation right now, two-thirds cited U.S. government policy,” the outlet stated.

The poll showed that just 37% of Americans thought that Biden and the Democrats were centered around issues they care very much about.

This sad survey for Biden and the Democrats shows up on that very days as a NBC News review that shows the president at unsurpassed lows. The NBC News surveys found that Biden was submerged interestingly of his administration – 42% endorsement rating versus 54% who object.

The survey likewise showed that 71% said the nation is “off on the wrong track” – including 48% of Democrats.

“When you see a wrong track of 71%, it is a flashing red light,” Republican pollster Bill McInturff of Public Opinion Strategies said. “These folks are telling us that this is not going well.”

That is a huge increment from one more survey in September that said 61% of Americans felt like the country has “pretty seriously gotten off on the wrong track.”

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President Biden says the Pope advised him to continue to take communion and considered him a ‘good Catholic’

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President Joe Biden said that Pope Francis let him know he was a “good Catholic” and said he could keep on taking communion regardless of the complaints of numerous U.S. bishops.

Biden made the case after a private gathering with the pontiff at the Vatican on Friday.

“We just talked about the fact he was happy that I was a good Catholic and I should keep receiving Communion,” Biden said about the gathering.

He added that the topic of abortion didn’t come up in the gathering.

An assertion from the White House showed that Biden said thanks to the Pope for pushing for an “equitable global economic recovery” and for battling global warming.

“Biden thanked His Holiness for his advocacy for the world’s poor and those suffering from hunger, conflict, and persecution,” the assertion added.

The Vatican didn’t affirm Biden’s case in their official statement about their gathering.

Biden’s claim will probably disappoint and outrage many conservative Catholics in the U.S. who have called for communion to be declined to politicians who stand behind abortion, which is in opposition to Catholic church teaching.

The issue will be taken up by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops following upon a vote during their June plenary meeting to address it generally. After Biden met with the Pope, they delivered an assertion saying that they would not single out a particular legislator if they vote to say something about the issue.

The Pope had recently reacted to the contention by approaching the diocesans to try not to politicize the congregation’s most elevated holy observance, which would transform it into a “source of discord rather than unity within the episcopate and the larger church in the United States.”

Here’s additional info on the gathering between the Pope and Biden:

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Gold Star father tears into Biden over supposed arrangement to give large installments to illegal migrant families

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Gold Star father David Horton slammed President Joe Biden in a meeting Sunday, scrutinizing the Biden organization’s accounted for plan to convey huge financial installments to some migrant families.

The Wall Street Journal announced last week about the arrangement to pay migrant families affected by previous President Donald Trump’s zero-tolerance illegal immigration policies.

The Biden administration is in talks to offer immigrant families that were separated during the Trump administration around $450,000 a person in compensation, according to people familiar with the matter, as several agencies work to resolve lawsuits filed on behalf of parents and children who say the government subjected them to lasting psychological trauma.

The U.S. Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services are considering payments that could amount to close to $1 million a family, though the final numbers could shift, the people familiar with the matter said. Most of the families that crossed the border illegally from Mexico to seek asylum in the U.S. included one parent and one child, the people said. Many families would likely get smaller payouts, depending on their circumstances, the people said.

Among the issues pundits have raised with the arrangement, the greatest is that non-citizens remain to get additional cash from the U.S. government than gold star families if the arrangement becomes reality.

As of now, the U.S. government pays the group of fallen assistance individuals $100,000 in “death gratuity”; the installments are tax excluded. The families of service members additionally have the choice to gather a limit of $400,000 in extra security, however administration individuals need to pay into the protection intend to accept its advantages.

Speaking on “Fox and Friends,” Horton — whose son, Army Spc. Christopher Horton, was killed in Afghanistan in 2011 — proclaimed the Biden administration’s arrangement “an insult” and clarified it disrespects military families.

“I think it’s another — yet another insult … against our military families and Gold Star families and veterans’ families,” Horton said. “It’s just another another slap in the face. It’s completely disrespectful.”

“To compare an illegal person who has broken our country’s border laws … they’ve broken the law coming in on our borders and to compare that with someone, a patriot like my son, who gave his all on the battlefield of Afghanistan, and to just say, ‘Oh well, the value is more for someone who has broken our laws’ … and now to say, ‘Oh, we owe you money — and it’s more money than we would pay a patriot — I am outraged,” Horton said.

“You just wonder, where is the outcry against some of these policies that are just there? Unbelievable to me,” Horton added.

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