President Joe Biden on Monday said corporations and the wealthiest Americans need to pay their “fair share” of taxes to help fund his $4 trillion education and infrastructure plans.
Speaking at a community college in Norfolk, Va., Biden defended his aim to raise taxes on the most well-off and on highly profitable companies as a matter of fairness for working-class Americans to provide funds for childcare, free community college educations and other provisions of his proposals.
The $1.8 trillion American Families Plan, he said, “doesn’t add a single penny to our deficit. It’s paid for my making sure that corporate America and the wealthiest 1 percent just pay their fair share.”
Biden asserted that coming from Delaware — “the corporate capital of the world” — he is “not anti-corporate.”
“But it’s about time they started paying their fair share,” he said. “It’s about making a choice. This year, you have 50 corporations making $40 billion that didn’t pay a single penny in taxes. Not a single penny.
“I don’t want to punish anybody, but everybody should chip in, everybody should pay something along the road here. The choice is about who the economy serves, and so I plan on giving tax breaks to the working-class folks and making everybody pay their fair share.”
Among the provisions of Biden’s proposal are “universal, quality-preschool” to all 3- and 4-year-olds and two years of free community college. It would also extend tax cuts benefiting lower- and middle-income workers such as the Child Tax Credit, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit.
To help pay for it, the plan would restore the top tax rate on the wealthiest Americans to 39.6% after it was cut to 37% three years ago, and end capital income tax breaks for households making more than $1 million.
“If you ask the top 1 percent to pay the same tax rate they paid in 2001 when George Bush was president, that would generate $13 billion per year,” Biden said. “That’s enough for us to take around $11 billion of that and provide for two years of community college free for every student in America.”
The president and first lady Jill Biden also visited an elementary school Monday as they touted the American Families Plan as well as a separate $2.2 trillion jobs and infrastructure plan that would be paid for in part by raising the corporate income tax.
The Virginia trip was part of Biden’s “Getting America Back on Track Tour” that began last week in Pennsylvania and expands on elements of the plans laid out in his address to a joint session of Congress.
Biden marked his 100th day in office last Thursday with a trip to Georgia and spoke at a drive-in rally in Duluth. There, he promoted his economic agenda and met with former President Jimmy Carter. He visited Philadelphia on Friday to celebrate Amtrak’s 50th anniversary and push for his infrastructure proposal, which includes $80 billion in federal funding to improve the nation’s rail transit.
Vice President Kamala Harris and other members of the administration also are planning trips across the country to pitch both spending plans. Harris will visit Milwaukee on Tuesday.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will visit Colorado and Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra will travel to Seattle.
Biden will travel to Louisiana on Thursday as part of the tour.
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