Biden Speech: ‘America Is On the Move Again,’ President Says to Congress

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  • Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Biden Speech: ‘America Is On the Move Again,’ President Says to Congress” – below is their description.

    President Joe Biden declared the U.S. has turned the corner on the coronavirus pandemic that’s killed more than half a million Americans and crippled the economy, promising tax increases on the wealthy to pay for ambitious plans to spend trillions on infrastructure, education and other Democratic priorities.

    “America is on the move again,” Biden said in his first address to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday. “Turning peril into possibility. Crisis into opportunity. Setback into strength.”

    But he warned corporations and wealthy Americans that he expects them to carry more of the burden of financing the nation’s advancements.

    “It’s time for corporate America and the wealthiest 1% of Americans to pay their fair share,” he said, promising to “reward work, not wealth” by raising taxes for the richest 1% and ordering an Internal Revenue Service “crackdown on millionaires and billionaires who cheat on their taxes.”

    He would restore the top personal income tax rate to 39.6% for people earning more than $400,000 a year, tax capital gains at the same rate for people earning $1 million or more, and end a capital gains tax break on inheritances as well as the “carried interest” tax break utilized by fund managers.

    “What I’ve proposed is fair. It’s fiscally responsible,” he said, promising programs financed in part by the tax increases would “create millions of jobs and grow the economy.”

    Biden’s 65-minute speech laid out a broad vision for the country’s recovery from the pandemic, centered around a vastly expanded role for the federal government. His aides say he regards the nation’s emergence from a year of lockdowns, death and economic collapse as a unique opportunity to persuade voters that the country is more united — and poised for massive taxpayer investments.

    In the speech, the president unveiled his American Families Plan, a $1.8 trillion package of tax credits and domestic priorities including child care, paid family leave, and tuition-free community college that would be funded in part by the largest tax increases on wealthy Americans in decades.

    He also touted his previously proposed $2 trillion infrastructure bill, casting it as a jobs-maker especially for people without college degrees — Americans who largely supported his predecessor, former President Donald Trump.

    “Nearly 90% of the infrastructure jobs created in the American Jobs Plan don’t require a college degree,” he said. “Seventy-five percent do not require an associate’s degree.”

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