Budget busting time is here for the Biden administration. As Liberty Nation described in its two-part series on the construction of the federal budget, the process begins for all government agencies. On April 9, the White House released to Congress the proposed discretionary budget request for FY2022, and predictably it is just what you would expect from a far-left administration. One look and you quickly realize there is no drunken sailor in history who could throw money around like Biden.
Keep in mind this $1.5 trillion discretionary budget request is on top of the $1.9 trillion stimulus (American Rescue Plan) already passed and the $2.3 trillion infrastructure bill (American Jobs Plan) that is pending. Outside the Washington Beltway, that’s called spending 5.7 trillion taxpayer dollars.
But, not to worry, it’s just the discretionary budget, which covers all those appropriated funds that are not mandatory items such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid and those authorized by prior acts of Congress. Shalanda Young, acting director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), explained in her transmittal letter to Congress:
“The Administration looks forward to presenting its budget to you and the American people in the months ahead. As is typical in a transition year, however, the budget will not be available in time for the start of the Congress’s annual appropriations and budget process. Given the importance of that process proceeding on schedule, we are providing the Administration’s proposal for topline FY 2022 discretionary funding at this time.”
Of all the federal Cabinet-level agencies funded in the Biden budget, the two that Americans depend on most for national security in an increasingly dangerous world came out last in percentage increases over last fiscal year’s appropriations. The Department of Defense’s budget increased just 1.6%, and the Department of Homeland Security’s budget barely matched the inflation rate at 1.4%.
The Department of Homeland Security took honors for the least increased, at two-tenths of 1% over Donald Trump’s FY 2021 budget. The accompanying budget graphic highlights the losers.
The one ray of sunshine in this budget for Defense Department is that the funding narrative supports China’s hegemonic rush as the number one challenge facing the United States, along with Russia’s destabilizing actions. Deterring China and modifying Russia’s bad behavior on the geopolitical stage are worthy goals, but flattening DoD funding dilutes the seriousness of our situation.
Particularly troubling is effectively reducing — by increasing it less than inflation — Homeland Security’s budget, at a time when Customs and Border Protection responsibilities are soaring at the southern border. As LN’s Andrew Moran convincingly explained, the Biden administration is subsidizing illegal immigration, encouraging the very circumstances that Homeland Security is funded to prevent.
Some non-Cabinet agencies did really well in the budget. Can you guess which one tops the list? Here’s a hint: the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), with an increase in funding of 21%. The narrative explaining the growth for the EPA reads in part:
“Restores Critical Capacity to Carry Out EPA’s Core Mission. EPA has lost nearly 1,000 staff over the past four years, impacting the Agency’s ability to carry out its core duties and functions to protect public health and the environment. The discretionary request invests over $110 million to restore EPA’s critical staff capacity and to rebuild programmatic capabilities that focus on protecting clean air, land, and water.”
In typical far-left fashion, the Biden administration doesn’t understand that eliminating 1,000 staff over the last four years and the job-killing regulations that went with them was a good thing. And no Biden budget would be complete without addressing the obsession with climate change. Nearly the entire $2.0 billion increase for the EPA “Tackles Climate Change with the Urgency Science Demands.” Would someone please tell the White House that the American people do not give two hoots in a windstorm about climate change?
Americans were asked in a March Gallup poll: “What do you think is the most important problem facing the country today?” Climate change was not mentioned in the category of economic problems and ranked thirteenth in the non-economic problems. The Biden administration intends to drown the American taxpayer in insurmountable debt on an issue that no one sees as a problem.
According to Gallup, what the American people do care about is listed right after Coronavirus and Diseases: Government and Poor Leadership. President Biden, if nothing else, is keeping that concern at the top of the worry list.
The views expressed are those of the author and not of any other affiliation.
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