Manuel Balce Ceneta, File/AP Photo
- Biden called out House Republicans for introducing plans that he said would worsen inflation.
- This comes after new promising data on Thursday that found the economy is continuing to grow.
- One GOP plan to strip funding from the IRS would add $114 billion to the deficit over ten years, the CBO found.
In a lengthy — and sometimes loud — speech on Thursday, President Joe Biden took aim at the House GOP’s economic priorities.
“They seem determined to be the party of chaos and catastrophe,” Biden said.
Leading up to the midterm elections, Republican lawmakers frequently criticized the Biden administration for high inflation, and they vowed that if elected, their economic plans would lower costs for Americans.
“They campaigned on inflation,” Biden said. “Then, safely elected, they plan to make it worse.”
Current Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, for example, blamed Biden and Democrats for soaring food prices, saying in October that “that’s why when you go to the store, eggs are higher. You’ve got milk higher, your gasoline prices higher. It is the Democrat policies that brought that.”
Biden took aim at GOP proposals to abolish the income tax and estate tax and enact a flat 30% sales tax instead, saying that it would be imposed on everything from “eggs to automobiles.” Flat sales taxes are likely regressive, as lower-income households spend a greater proportion of their income on goods than wealthier households. Republicans are targeting income taxes because “that’s the only way that millionaires and billionaires have to pay any taxes,” Biden said.
Upon winning the House majority, GOP lawmakers put forward legislation to rescind $80 billion earmarked for the IRS in an attempt to cut spending. However, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found that that legislation would actually add a net $114 billion to the deficit.
The GOP’s economic agenda actually wouldn’t tackle inflation, according to Biden. Meanwhile, the US continues to receive promising economic data that show the economy is recovering from the pandemic.
For example, new data on Thursday found that the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew at an annualized rate of 2.9% in the last quarter of 2022, showing growth amid recession concerns. The Consumer Price Index, which measures inflation, rose 6.5% year-over-year in December — still high, but a slowdown from November’s reading of 7.1%.
Despite frequent GOP pushback on how the administration is handling inflation, Biden and other Democratic lawmakers continue to tout its progress — and how the country is inching closer to achieving the 2% inflation level Americans saw pre-pandemic. The Federal Reserve is also likely to adopt a slower pace for its interest rate increases over the course of the year, given the inflation slowdown.
“We’re moving in the right direction now,” Biden said during his Thursday speech. “We gotta protect those gains that our policies have generated, protect them from the MAGA Republicans in the House of Representatives who are threatening to destroy this progress.”