“Don’t tell me what you value,” President Joe Biden said back in 2008, reciting one of his father’s expressions. “Show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value.”
Coming off of two Russian cybersecurity hacks — one that crippled the gas supply on the East Coast leading to massive shortages and another which halted beef production in the U.S. — one would think the Biden administration would value investments in our national cyber defense.
On Sunday, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said U.S. adversaries currently have the capability to shut down the nation’s power grid. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo concurred, commenting that cyberattacks on our nation’s infrastructure “are here to stay and, if anything will intensify.”
Yet, Mr. Biden‘s proposed budget doesn’t reflect combatting these threats. The Department of Homeland Security, which houses the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, is slated to get no new funding. And when accounting for inflation, Mr. Biden‘s budget actually cuts Department of Defense spending. By 2031, under Mr. Biden‘s proposal, the U.S. would spend more on servicing our debt than our military.
But that’s not to say Mr. Biden‘s overall budget isn’t huge — it’s a massive $6 trillion proposal whereby federal debt as a share of the economy would rise to its highest level in history by 2024, eclipsing a World War II-era record. By 2031, U.S. spending would increase to $8.2 trillion, more than double what it was in any year of the Obama administration.
So what exactly does Mr. Biden value?
Enacting the Green New Deal. While former President Donald J. Trump’s 2020 budget didn’t mention the word “climate” once, Mr. Biden‘s proposal mentions it 146 times.
Mr. Biden‘s plan adds $14 billion in new annual spending to address climate change across all relevant government agencies. Forty percent of those funds would go to “marginalized communities,” disproportionately impacted.
There’s $10 billion directed toward clean energy innovation and research, $1.7 billion toward building energy efficiency in homes, $1.4 billion to pursue “environmental justice,” $2.4 billion to electrify Postal Service vehicles and a $1.2 billion dedicated to the Green Climate Fund, a United Nations organization created by the Paris Agreement.
At a time when energy and gas prices are surging, Mr. Biden‘s budget seeks to place $146 billion in taxes on traditional energy.
When Mr. Biden said on the campaign trail last year he would “love to make sure we can’t use any oil or gas, period,” and that he would “end” and “get rid of” fossil fuels under his administration, willingly sacrificing hundreds of thousands of fossil fuel jobs in pursuit of his anti-energy policy, he was to be believed.
Mr. Biden‘s budget doesn’t value the geopolitical threats of Russia and China — for it wholly neglects DHS and DOD. But it certainly has put a price on addressing climate change — and it’s a hefty one.