(Update 1650ET): As Amazon workers in Bessemer, Ala. fight to unionize, Biden kicked off his speech with a warm-up act, a worker from a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 29 named “Mike”, to drive home the fact that he’s “a union guy” and has “always been a union guy”.
After some remarks about COVID, during which Biden revealed he keeps a piece of paper in his pocket with the number of COVID dead written on it, the president launched into the bulk of the speech, which focused on the provisions of his $2.25 trillion “American Jobs Plan”, and how the administration plans to pay for building bridges and roads, expanding access to high-speed internet, improving public transit and encouraging adoption of electric vehicles.
Biden says leading economists are now predicting the U.S. economy will grow 6.5% this year as it bounces back, but still there’s much more work to be done.
“What I’m proposing is a one-time capital investment of roughly $2 trillion…that will be spread over 8 years.” Biden continued that infrastructure investments “are among the highest value investments we can make.” He also warned about the risks of “crumbling infrastructure” – “and our infrastructure is crumbling,” he said. “We’re ranked 13th in the world.”[…]
“I’m convinced that if we act now, in 50 years people will look back and say: This was the moment that America won future.”
Addressing criticisms of the tax hikes needed to pay for the plan, Biden said Biden said “this is not to target those who’ve made it…it’s about opening opportunities for everybody else.”
He noted that leading economists are now predicting the US economy will grow 6.5% this year, the fastest rate in decades, and closer to levels seen in emerging economies like China.
He then launched into a rundown of various provisions of his plan which includes:
- Modernizing 20,000 miles of highways, roads and streets that “are in difficult, difficult shape right now.”
- Expanding access to high speed Internet in rural areas.
- Replacing the nation’s lead pipes (Biden cited the crisis in Flint. Mich.)
- Ramping up IRS enforcement of corporations, which he said could raise hundreds of billions of dollars.
- Establishing a minimum tax of 21% on corporations’ global earnings, which could bring in $1 trillion over a decade.
- Biden says some on Wall Street have estimated his plan could create 18 million jobs.
- While Biden’s plan earlier didn’t include any details beyond $80 billion for Amtrak, Biden said that money would be used to create high-speed rails.
- Contracts will go to American companies, and products purchased will be made in America (proposals first pushed by President Trump).
- Creating 500k electric charging stations.
As for how he intends to pay for it, Biden said that “no one can be upset” about a corporate tax increase to 28%, which he said was the level that both Dems and Republicans had once agreed would be more appropriate than the 30%+ baseline beforehand. He added that he would be “open” to new ideas, so long as they don’t require raising federal taxes on families earning less than $400K per year. – READ MORE
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