Biden Slams Wealthy Crypto Traders as U.S. Budget Talks Resume
May 21, 2023

Biden Slams Wealthy Crypto Traders as U.S. Budget Talks Resume

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Wrapping up his participation in the Group of Seven (G7) forum in Japan, U.S. President Joe Biden took a swipe at “wealthy tax cheats and crypto traders” as undeserving beneficiaries of Republican lawmakers with whom his administration is negotiating a new budget—without which the American government could potentially default on its debt payments on June 1.

The G7 is an intergovernmental political forum in which Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States engage in multilateral talks and negotiations. In a conference closing press conference, Biden said that his latest proposed budget cut spending by more than a trillion dollars, on top of nearly $3 trillion in deficit reductions that his administration had previously proposed through both spending cuts and new revenue.

“Before I left for this trip, I met with all four congressional leaders, and we agreed the only way to move forward was in a bipartisan agreement,” Biden said. “I’ve done my part… now it’s time for the other side to move there from their extreme positions, because much of what they’ve already proposed is simply, quite frankly, unacceptable.”

Biden then launched into a this-versus-that litany of things he said Republicans favored compared to those backed by Democrats.

“Let me be clear, I’m not going to agree to… a deal that protects wealthy tax cheats and crypto traders while putting food assistance at risk for nearly 1 million Americans,” he said.

Other unacceptable trade-offs the President listed included $30 billion in tax breaks for the oil industry and $200 billion in “excess payments” for the pharmaceutical industry, rather than preserving Medicaid or preserving the jobs of 100,000 school teachers or 30,000 law enforcement offices.

“It’s time for Republicans to accept that there’s no bipartisan deal to be made solely on their partisan terms,” Biden said.

His remarks echoed a series of “this or that” Twitter posts earlier this month that claimed that “MAGA House Republicans” support “tax loopholes that help wealthy crypto investors,” and oppose food safety inspections.”

In his $6.9 billion budget plan, the President has highlighted the need to “modernize rules, including those for digital assets” and “apply the wash sale rules to digital assets and address related party transactions,” essentially making it so crypto assets abide by the same rules as more traditional investments.

Biden’s White House has meanwhile pushed for a 30% excise tax on the cost of electricity used for cryptocurrency mining—although some lawmakers say the proposal is a non-starter.

As Biden returns to Washington, D.C., the Washington Post reported today that Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy agreed to restart negotiations Sunday in the hopes of avoiding “an economic catastrophe as few as 11 days away.”

“”Default is not an option,” Biden said, noting that negotiations will resume while he’s in flight en route back to the U.S. “America has never defaulted on debt and it never will.”

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