The White House releases Thursday a framework for the Build Back Better agenda—a massive, $1.75 trillion spending bill that will radically transform the American way of life as we know it—and Democrats in Congress are intent on rapidly moving it immediately. We asked The Heritage Foundation analysts for their opinions on the bill text. We will update their responses as soon as they are received:
President Biden’s newest big government socialism framework makes no mention of repealing the cap on the deduction for state and local taxes—popularly known as “SALT.”
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act included a significant reform to limit the amount of tax owed. SALT deduction10,000. The SALT deduction helps to subsidize high taxes imposed on state and local governments. The SALT deduction benefits the primary beneficiary. high-income taxpayers in high-tax states. Before the cap was put in place, the average millionaire from New York and California was $2.5 million. deductedThe average Texas millionaire deducted approximately $50,000 per year in SALT. This results in a federal tax liability that is nearly $180,000 higher than their high taxes state counterparts.
It has been possible to restore subsidies for high-income taxpayers in high-tax states. priority for some blue-state lawmakers that have said “No SALT, no deal”. There have been reports that Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Rep, Richard Neal, D-Mass., chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, “have given NJ/NY Democrats assurance it will be in bill.”
This harmful proposal should be abandoned and Congress should complete the job. repealThe SALT deduction
President Joe Biden’s framework would spend $40 billion to increase the maximum Pell Grant award by $550, send additional subsidies to historically black colleges and universities and minority-serving institutions, and provide additional funding for community colleges and workforce development.
These federal subsidies will only encourage schools at higher prices, shifting more of that burden from the student to the taxpayers who benefit.
Colleges will have received an additional $76 billion in federal spending over the past year and a half in response to COVID-19—a monumental sum nearly equivalent to the Department of Education’s entire annual discretionary budget. This plan would add many more billions.
Colleges have had to correct their course for decades. New federal subsidies will continue enabling general fiscal maladministration, avoiding structural reforms and changes at university level that would actually lower college costs.
For example, administrators and employees who are not teachers grew in the period 2001-2011. 50% fasterRather than teaching faculty. For the first time, non-instructional staff is now included. more than halfPayroll costs at universities
Ever-increasing college costs fueled in part by federal subsidies have muddied colleges’ value proposition. All across the country, tuition fees and fees for in-state students attending four year universities have nearly doubled. tripled in real termsSince 1990. Inflation-adjusted tuition rates since 1970 have quintupledBoth private and public colleges.
Federal subsidies have seen a dramatic increase in spending on student loans, which has increased by 328 percent over the past 30 years, from $20.4 million during the 1989-1990 school year. $87.5 billionDuring the 2019-20 schoolyear. As University of Ohio economist Richard Vedder explains:
[I]t takes more resources today to educate a postsecondary student than a generation ago… Relative to other sectors of the economy, universities are becoming less efficient, less productive, and, consequently, more costly.
This spending package will add $40 billion more in federal subsidies to fuel this trend. It will also increase education costs and shift more of the burden onto taxpayers.
– Lindsey Burke is the director of The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Education Policy and the Mark A. Kolokotrones fellow in Education.
The Biden administration has turned the U.S. immigration system into immigration chaos, and now the left wants American taxpayers to pay for it. The Democrats will continue to try to ram through amnesty using budget tricks. This will effectively reward illegal immigrants and will fuel the surge we are seeing play out every day at our southern border.
The Biden administration has itself to blame for inflating the backlog of immigration benefit applications. When they continue to add hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens to the application line, those who followed the law and apply for legitimate benefits are forced to wait years longer to have their application adjudicated.
What’s more, immigration benefits are fee-based. This is sound fiscal strategy as applicants, and not taxpayers, should pay their own benefit application. To force U.S. taxpayers to pay for the Biden administration’s own backlog punishes Americans, fails to hold the administration accountable for their open border policies, and hurts lawful immigrants, their family members, and employers.
“Expanding legal representation” is a euphemism for taxpayer-funded attorneys for deportable aliens. Aliens already have the right to counsel in (civil), immigration proceedings. The government does not have to pay for it. For decades, the left has tried to undermine this sound fiscal strategy, starting with illegal minors.
Requiring taxpayers to fund attorneys would be a fiscal bottomless pit, given the unknown millions of illegal aliens already in the country, plus the unending flow of illegal aliens currently crossing the border, plus the years’ long immigration court backlogs.
It would also treat deportable aliens more favorably than U.S citizens, who don’t have the right to taxpayer-funded lawyers in civil proceedings.
The left continues to ruin our asylum system while calling it “efficient and humane.” Asylum is intended to protect those who suffered or have a well-founded fear of persecution based on their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. The left, however, equates general violence, crime and climate change with membership in a specific social group and labels them asylees.
These applicants are not eligible for asylum because they do not meet the criteria. People who have experienced or fear persecution are not eligible for asylum. This is inhumane and chaotic.
– Lora Ries is the director of The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Technology Policy and a senior research fellow focused on homeland security at Heritage’s Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy
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