It didn't take long for President Joe Biden's 2024 $6.8 trillion federal government budget proposal to spark misinformation.

Because of opposition in Congress, the plan has very little chance of becoming law. But that didn't stop media outlets and politicians from spreading misleading claims on what the plan will and won't do.

Jump to:

  1. Misleading Claims from News Sources, Politicians
  2. Context on Debt and Deficit
  3. Conclusion



The Associated Press (Lean Left bias) reported that "Biden’s budget would reduce the debt."

The Washington Examiner (Lean Right bias) reported that the plan "would result in a $1.8 trillion deficit, further adding to the country’s high debt," Its headline stated that the proposal would not "stabilize the debt."

Both reports spun data-based estimates to portray misleading conclusions. Estimates from budget watchdogs contain more context.

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget reported that under Biden’s proposed budget, "debt would rise at a slower rate than projected under current law but still reach a new record as a share of the economy by 2027." So debt would likely still rise, just at a slower pace.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said the proposal was “doubling down on the same Far Left spending policies that have led to record inflation and our current debt crisis.” It is not accurate to pin the debt crisis entirely on the left, as McCarthy does here. Since the last time the federal government recorded a budget surplus in 2001, two of four U.S. presidents have been Republicans. During those administrations, Republicans held majorities in both chambers of Congress for three congressional sessions. The two Democratic presidents held majorities in both chambers of Congress for one congressional session. 

In the proposal, Biden states that “we” have cut the deficit “by more than $1.7 trillion in the first 2 years of my Administration—the largest reduction in American history.” This is technically true, but lacks crucial context on the unique economic challenges faced in 2020 as the country responded to COVID-19. In 2019 for example, before the pandemic, the deficit was $0.98 trillion, lower than estimates state it would be under Biden’s proposed budget.

Another claim circulating among politicians is that the Republican-controlled House of Representatives is responsible for blocking the proposal from turning into legislation.

Some Republican lawmakers are taking credit for blocking the proposal, citing Republican control of the House of Representatives as a stopgap on Biden’s agenda. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said that “the American people can thank the Republican House” for blocking the proposal.

While united Republican opposition to the proposal will certainly stop it, Democratic support is not guaranteed, either. Biden faced pushback on spending bills before the midterm elections, when Democrats controlled both chambers of Congress. This plan includes spending proposals similar to Biden’s ‘Build Back Better’ plan from earlier in his administration. ‘Build Back Better’ was opposed by Republicans in Congress, but it was Democratic defectors like Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) who doomed its chances of passing. It’s possible that this budget proposal would have the same opposition from centrist Democrats as ‘Build Back Better’ did.

That's true, but the proposal was not guaranteed to get full support from Democrats. 


Context on Federal Debt and the Federal Deficit 

A federal deficit is the difference between how much money the government brings in and how much money it spends. When the government spends more than it brings in, it makes up the difference by taking on debt — primarily by issuing bonds and other Treasury-backed securities.

The last time the federal government did not spend more than it brought in was in 2001; before that, the federal budget contained a deficit every year from 1969 to 1997.

The largest deficit the federal government has ever recorded in one year was in 2020 under President Donald Trump, when federal spending reached record levels during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

There are generally three ways to reduce a deficit: reduce spending, increase taxes, or some combination of both.

These days, Democrats prefer raising taxes on the wealthy and businesses while Republicans prefer to cut taxes or at least not increase them. When it comes to social entitlement programs, which make up about half of the U.S. budget and are growing with the aging population, Democrats oppose cuts with some wanting to further increase social spending, while Republicans prefer to reform entitlement programs for future generations with some wanting more immediate cuts.

Both Democrats and Republicans tend to support military spending, which more than doubled in the decade after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. Biden’s proposed budget would see an increase in taxes on corporations and Americans earning over $400,000 per year.



Biden's proposal neither eliminates the deficit nor stabilizes debt, according to estimates. Saying definitely that it would — as some outlets did — qualifies as misinformation.

However, no President of any party has done this in 22 years. The federal deficit increased every year of the Trump Administration, and so far has decreased every year of the Biden Administration, largely due to the end of many pandemic-era spending programs. The plan does not get rid of the deficit, which is expected to grow over the next decade due to multiple Biden-era investments in infrastructure, climate tech, manufacturing, and more.

The White House estimates it would lower deficits “by nearly $3 trillion over the next decade.” That remains to be seen.

The proposal would not stabilize or reduce the national debt, as critics on the right have noted. It estimates a reduction to the federal deficit by slowing down the accumulation of new debt, which budget watchdogs also believe it could do.

Don't allow misleading media reports to dictate your feelings on a story. Seek out multiple perspectives to get the full picture, especially when it comes to how the government plans to tax and spend your money.


Isaiah Anthony is a News Curator at AllSides. He has a Center bias.

This piece was reviewed by Managing Editor Henry A. Brechter (Center bias), Daily News Editor Joseph Ratliff (Lean Left bias), CEO John Gable (Lean Right bias), and Julie Mastrine, Director of Marketing and Media Bias Ratings (Lean Right bias).