The former vice president’s proposals include new investment in universal pre-K, tuition-free community college classes and clean energy — a slate that reflects priorities that emerged across the field in the Democratic primary.
Though Biden’s proposals are far smaller than those offered by his progressive former rivals for the nomination, Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, they still amount to the largest policy package in decades, according to an analysis released Monday by the Penn Wharton Budget Model.
It is more than twice the size of Hillary Clinton’s plan in 2016, though that doesn’t account for inflation or the pandemic.
Penn Wharton found that Biden’s platform would raise $3.4 trillion in new tax revenue between fiscal 2021 and 2030 while increasing spending by $5.4 trillion. Almost 80% of the increase in taxes would hit the top 1% of earners.
This would increase the federal debt by 0.1% and shrink the economy by 0.4% in 2030, after taking into account macroeconomics and Americans’ improved health effects.
By 2050, however, the federal debt would fall by 6.1%, while the economy would increase by 0.8%. This is partly because some of Biden’s spending proposals ramp down after the first decade and partly because his package would increase worker productivity.
Biden also would broaden access to Medicare and Affordable Care Act coverage and expand long-term elder care, which would cost $352 billion.
The Biden campaign took issue with several points in the analysis, primarily that it did not include several middle-class tax credits and that the former vice president’s corporate tax increase will lead to higher taxes on workers. (The study referred to after-tax income, not taxes.)
“Biden is committed to paying for the ongoing cost of his bold agenda in the long run by making sure big corporations and the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share — with no one making under $400,000 seeing an increase in their taxes,” said Michael Gwin, the campaign’s deputy rapid response director.
Biden’s plan comes as federal spending is projected to hit 32% of the gross domestic product in 2020, about 50% larger than last year and the highest percentage since 1945, according to the Congressional Budget Office. This is mainly because of massive relief packages aimed at stemming the economic upheaval caused by the coronavirus pandemic.