All President Biden’s New Spending

It is the news title. I feel the title implies mockery but can not figure out exactly. I see 'all' is an adjective because it comes before a noun but I am not able to find any appropriate meaning in dictionaries.

Please someone explain it with plain English. Thanks.

  • 2
    It's poorly written, even for a newspaper headline, which are notorious for using weird grammatical constructions.
    – JonathanZ
    Commented Mar 10, 2023 at 5:09
  • 3
    Shin, the title does not "imply mockery". It's a completely neutral title. (Also FYI. You don't "imply mockery". The writer is either mocking someone, or not.)
    – Fattie
    Commented Mar 10, 2023 at 12:01
  • 3
    @Fattie I feel like Shin's statement is reasonable, they understood the phrasing as suggesting that the writer might be mocking Biden, something that it is reasonable to describe as implying mockery. The writer is either mocking someone or not, but the subject of implies is the title, not the writer
    – Tristan
    Commented Mar 10, 2023 at 14:29
  • Hmm, I'm not sure if I can agree, Tristan. I can "imply" that Steve cheats on his taxes." (If I said something like "Steve's taxes are interesting aren't they?") However, if I am mocking Steve ("Steve always sounds like a doofus, 'heyyyyy guyssss', Steve talks so slowly! Har!") I am simply mocking Steve. I can't "imply mocking" Steve. I can imply some characteristic of Steve. But "mocking" is something I do to Steve. Hence, for me, "implies mockery" doesn't really work.
    – Fattie
    Commented Mar 10, 2023 at 17:38
  • (Yes, I appreciate the title, not the writer, is the subject. For me it would be like saying "the title implies being long" or "the title implies a spelling error". Rather, "the title is long" or "the title has a spelling error")
    – Fattie
    Commented Mar 10, 2023 at 17:39

3 Answers 3


Not "All President", but "All spending".

The word "President Biden's" is a determiner of "spending", and "All" is a predeterminer. Both are linked to "Spending".

This could be paraphrased as "All spending by President Biden".

You can't tell if a word is an adjective just because it comes before a noun. Determiners ("the", "my", "John's" "Some" etc) also come before nouns. Determiners are not adjectives. Also nouns can come before nouns "chicken soup, company policy".

There is no apparent mockery in the headline.

  • 4
    I guess the OP is parsing it similar to phrases like "Former President Trump's ...". Grammatically, it's ambiguous what "All" modifies, you have to examine the entire sentence to figure out what makes sense.
    – Barmar
    Commented Mar 9, 2023 at 14:26
  • 3
    @MikeB That's why I said "grammatically". The grammar doesn't indicate what "All" modifies, you have to determine what is a realistic interpretation.
    – Barmar
    Commented Mar 9, 2023 at 15:41
  • 3
    Native english speaker and I couldn't parse it. The best I could figure was "All-President Biden's Spending." Like "All-father" or "All-spice". So I understand the reading of it as some kind of mocking honorific. Commented Mar 9, 2023 at 18:22
  • 14
    Another way to look at it: "All [of] President Biden's New Spending".
    – Teepeemm
    Commented Mar 9, 2023 at 20:28
  • 6
    James K, congratulations on becoming the highest-rep user on ELL - it may also interest you to know that you're only the 2nd user on the entire SE network (after Gilles) to reach six-figure reputation on three different sites (on all of which you were the second highest-rep user at the time). Commented Mar 9, 2023 at 20:58

It's "All [of] President Biden's Spending". All of the spending done by President Biden. Those words aren't mocking, just by themselves, though the article may or may not be. If you did a graph of the sentence you'd see that "all" and "spending" belong together, "President Biden's" specifies which spending we're talking about.

Whose spending? President Biden's!

How much spending? All of it!


"All" modifies "Spending", not "President". Taking the headline one piece at a time, right to left:

  • Spending — Money that is planned to be spent by the US federal government.
  • New Spending — The spending is new, i.e., part of the new 2024 budget proposal just released today, as opposed to existing spending carried over from the 2023 budget.
  • President Biden's New Spending — The budget proposal was made by President Joe Biden. In the United States, Congress ultimately has the power over fiscal decisions, but the President's budget is considered an important starting point for negotiations. If a member of Congress, such as Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, were to write up a counterproposal, then news websites would start contrasting “McCarthy's budget” with “Biden's budget”.
  • All President Biden's New Spending — The Wall Street Journal purports to be listing all of the new spending items, rather than just some of them.

Note that newspaper headlines tend to be written in an abbreviated headlinese style of English. In particular, stop words are often omitted. Perhaps you would find the alternative wording “All of President Biden's Spending” less confusing.

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