Biden Budget Must Be Measured in Human Suffering | Opinion

By the numbers, the $3.5 trillion Biden budget is dizzying. If each dollar were instead one minute in time, the total amount would be more than 665,000 years—that's more than three times as long as homo sapiens has been on this planet. If that weren't staggering enough, the president's budget places a nearly $70 trillion burden on the shoulders of American taxpayers over the next decade. If dollars were exchanged for miles, that would take one to Tau Ceti, an Earth-like planet 12 light years away.

But the most appropriate way to measure the Biden plan is in terms of the human suffering it would produce.

Nearly $5.5 trillion would be diverted from the private sector to new government spending over the next 10 years, according to one analysis. Americans would be obliged to pay for all of this spending through higher tax rates on their work, savings and investments.

The drag on the U.S. economy could mean a $3 trillion loss in economic output over the next decade, during which time workers' paychecks would drop $1.6 trillion. Try to picture how hard a $10,000 pay cut would hit an employee—then imagine that average slashed from every American worker's yearly income. Young workers could look forward to being robbed of 4 percent of their lifetime living standards.

As if coping with lost earnings weren't enough, Americans would be clobbered by titanic tax increases, more than $3.6 trillion over the next decade, by the White House's own admission. Candidate Biden promised, "Nobody making under 400,000 bucks would have their taxes raised, period, bingo." But even the progressive Tax Policy Center admits this is a lie—75 percent of middle-class families will get hit with higher taxes next year, and 95 percent in ten years.

The transformation of communities would be dramatic. Picture a row of empty houses with such telltale signs of foreclosure as weathered paint and broken glass. A steady parade of trucks pass by with repossessed cars in tow. Near the shopping center at the end of the road, a faded "opening soon" sign stands amid tall weeds. Consider the intangibles: colleges and vocational training deferred, marriages and new families postponed, perhaps forever. Tighter credit would mean fewer loans for cars or homes. Vacations would exist only in fond memories.

Joe Biden
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 27: U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks ahead of receiving a third dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in the South Court Auditorium in the White House September 27, 2021 in Washington, DC. Last week President Biden announced that Americans 65 and older and frontline workers who received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine over six months ago would be eligible for booster shots. Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Not even retirees would be spared. In reducing the capital stock and depressing rates of return on investments, Biden's budget plan would punch a $1 trillion-plus hole in financial wealth, draining tens of millions of current and future retirees' nest eggs.

The Biden administration also seems oblivious to the fact that in punishing job creators, it also punishes job seekers. Ratcheting up corporate tax rates from 21 percent to 28 percent would hike taxes by $858 billion. Assertions from the White House that corporations don't pass on tax hikes to consumers aren't fooling anyone. Even an overwhelming 76 percent of Democrats acknowledge that raising corporate tax rates will lead to higher prices for consumers, according to a new poll.

When added to existing state corporate taxes, the United States would have the highest tax burden on businesses in the developed world—a massive competitive disadvantage. The Biden plan would take an additional $534 billion bite out of American companies by increasing the global minimum tax, and would increase the double taxation of investment for an additional $322 billion grab, thus subjecting American investors to the highest capital gains tax rate in the developed world. The family saving for college by investing in these companies, and the retirees who have prudently bought stocks over the years, are the ones who would be hurt.

By increasing the IRS budget by $80 billion as part of its plan, the Biden administration hopes to squeeze an extra $700 billion out of taxpayers. And it gets worse. The bill contains a provision that would grant the IRS automatic access to nearly every American's bank account, without even the allegation of any financial irregularities. The plan would require banks to inform the IRS whenever an American makes a transaction of just $600 or more. Voters reject this invasion of their privacy by 73 percent. Just 18 percent think it's a good idea.

As a final insult, the Biden administration was overly rosy in its $3.5 trillion budget projection. The real price tag for taxpayers—excluding Biden's colossal infrastructure plan—will come in closer to $5.5 trillion.

In greedily gorging itself upon America's gross domestic product to feed its grandiose spending ambitions, the Biden administration's reconciliation bill will hasten our fiscal decline and seriously hamstring economic productivity, according to a recent study by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. But the final cost of the Biden budget plan cannot be measured on a ledger, but by the pain it needlessly inflicts on real Americans.

David McIntosh is the President of the Club for Growth.

The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.