Background Briefing: March 12, 2024


Of the $1.6 Trillion in Discretionary Spending in Biden’s 2025 Budget, a Trillion Goes to the Military and $499 Billion For Everything Else

We begin with Biden’s $7.266 trillion 2025 budget released Monday of which $1.6 trillion is discretionary spending and a trillion of that (69%) goes to the military while $499 billion (31%) goes for everything else like education, health, housing and environmental protection. Joining us is Lindsay Koshgarian, the Program Director of the National Priorities Project, where she oversees Her work on the federal budget includes analysis of the federal budget process and politics, military spending, and specifically how federal budget choices for different spending priorities and taxation interact. We will discuss her article at The National Priorities Project, “Militarized Funding in Biden Budget Totals Well Over $1 Trillion (and it will grow).”


Trump’s Mafia-Like Extortion of Corporate America

Then we examine Trump’s Mafia-like extortion of corporate America where he trashes companies like TikTok and Budweiser, then after they give him campaign donations, he changes his tune and praises and supports them. Joining us is Will Bunch, an award-winning national opinion columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer who blogs at He is the author of The Bern Identity: A Search for Bernie Sanders and the New American Dream and, most recently, After the Ivory Tower Falls: How College Broke the American Dream and Blew Up Our Politics—and How to Fix It. We discuss his latest article at the Philadelphia Inquirer, “Pennsylvania’s TikTok billionaire, Donald Trump, and ‘The Selling of the President 2024.”


In Hedging its Bet on Biden, Wall Street is Telling Itself Trump is Not That Bad Even Though They Know Better

 Then finally we assess how much Wall Street is hedging its bet on Biden by telling itself Trump is not that bad even though they know better. Joining us is William Cohan, a former senior Wall Street investment banker for 17 years at Lazard Frères & Co., Merrill Lynch and JPMorganChase, as well as a New York Times best-selling author whose books include Money and Power: How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World, House of Cards: A Tale of Hubris and Wretched Excess on Wall Street, and, most recently, Power Failure: The Rise and Fall of an American Icon. A founding partner at Puck News, we discuss his recent article at Puck, “Wall Street Hedges Its Bet on Biden.”