Biden Budget, Tax Hikes, Likely DOA


President Biden is proposing big tax and spending hikes, some that impact agriculture, in his FY 2024 budget that is unlikely to advance in a GOP-controlled House. Biden’s budget, seen as more of a political marker for a 2024 campaign, would hike taxes on companies and high earners while it claims to cut the federal deficit by three trillion dollars over ten years.

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, ahead of the budget release, on possible new real estate taxes; “If you got farmland and you got to survey every three months that farmland has gone up ten percent, does that mean the Grassley farm, I got to pay on that ten percent increase last year? But I think the bottom line of it is you don’t need to worry about that because Congress isn’t going to increase taxes.”

Biden’s budget would also end ‘like-kind exchange’ tax breaks, also important for Ag, raise the corporate tax, cut back billions in oil and gas, real estate investor, and other breaks, and hike Medicare taxes on the wealthy.

But first, expect a contentious House-White House fight over spending cuts versus higher federal borrowing and a fight within the House over farm bill funding.

“To put the baseline of the farm bill in perspective, all mandatory spending within it constitutes less than two percent of all federal spending. When you drill down further, the farm safety net—commodity programs and crop insurance combined—make up just two-tenths of one percent of all federal spending.”

Ag Chair GT Thompson stressed the need for a bigger baseline to get away from costly, inefficient ad hoc disaster aid, while top Ag Democrat David Scott stressed divisive SNAP increases but agreed with Thompson on the baseline.

“And I hope that our colleagues on the Budget Committee will take note of our specific requests and give us the level of funding we need to write this farm bill.”

Separately, the House GOP was advancing a repeal of the EPA’s controversial ‘Waters of the U.S.’ rule, with the Senate expected to take up an identical measure as soon as next week. Biden’s threatening a veto.