Biden Targets Trump Economy: Need New Way To Define Success
Former Vice President Joe Biden argued in his first 2020 presidential campaign speech that the United States needs to redefine what constitutes a successful economy to better compensate the middle class.
Speaking before a crowd of union workers near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Monday, the Democratic candidate offered little in how to accomplish this goal beyond stating the 2017 Republican tax cuts did not help and advocating for a mandatory nationwide $15 per hour minimum wage.
“I think we have to rethink how we define what constitutes a successful economy,” Biden said. “It’s not enough for the stock market to rise. That’s not a bad thing, but it’s just not enough. Workers feel powerless, too often humiliated. I call it an abuse of power.”
Regarding the GOP tax cuts, the former vice president said, “There was a $2 trillion tax cut last year. Did you feel it? Did you get anything from it?”
Many in the audience of hundreds at the Teamsters union hall in Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania, yelled out, “No!”
.@JoeBiden first presidential rally:
“We need a president who works for all Americans.” Says President Trump is first president who decided to not represent the entire country.
“We have to choose hope over fear…truth over lies.” pic.twitter.com/erkUVoFAIN
— Bo Erickson (@BoKnowsNews) April 29, 2019
“All of it went to the folks at the top and corporations that pay no taxes,” he said. “The number of corporations that pay no taxes now has doubled since [then].”
The GOP plan cut $1.9 trillion taxes for companies and individuals of all income levels over ten years. The Congressional Budget Office determined about $461 billion of that amount will be offset by increased revenues, due to economic growth.
The left-leaning Washington, D.C., think tank the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy released a report earlier this month finding twice as many corporations “used a ‘diverse array of legal tax breaks,’ including accelerated depreciation, stock options and energy-related tax subsidies to ‘zero out’ their federal income taxes,” The Hill reported.
ITEP noted that many of the tax breaks predated the GOP tax plan, which lowered the corporate tax rate from 35 percent — the highest in the industrialized world — to 21 percent, slightly below average.
Corporations pay other forms of federal taxes, most notably, Social Security taxes for all of their employees.
The Tax Policy Center reported the payroll receipts for 2017 were over $850 billion, a significant portion of which came from corporate employers, who pay half the tax, while employees pay the other half. Those who are self-employed must pay the entire 12.4 percent of their salaries.
Following Biden’s speech, Trump tweeted, “Pittsburgh jobless rate hits lowest point since the early 1970s (maybe even better than that) and Sleepy Joe just had his first rally there. Fact is, every economic aspect of our Country is the best it has ever been!”
Pittsburgh jobless rate hits lowest point since the early 1970s (maybe even better than that) and Sleepy Joe just had his first rally there. Fact is, every economic aspect of our Country is the best it has ever been! https://t.co/kWriC0DIuW
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 29, 2019
In tweets earlier in the day, Trump wrote, “Sleepy Joe Biden is having his first rally in the Great State of Pennsylvania. He obviously doesn’t know that Pennsylvania is having one of the best economic years in its history, with lowest unemployment EVER, a now thriving Steel Industry (that was dead) & great future!”
Sleepy Joe Biden is having his first rally in the Great State of Pennsylvania. He obviously doesn’t know that Pennsylvania is having one of the best economic years in its history, with lowest unemployment EVER, a now thriving Steel Industry (that was dead) & great future!……..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 29, 2019
The Georgetown Institute of Politics and Public Service “Battleground Poll” found that 58 percent of voters approve of how Trump handles the economy, NBC News reported.
Earlier this month, the Department of Labor determined the number of Americans filing for jobless benefits fell to a nearly 50-year low.
The Washington Post reported last fall that U.S. workers are seeing the fastest wage growth in a decade, dating back before President Barack Obama and Biden took office in January 2009.
Additionally, the Gross Domestic Product grew at a rate of 3.2 percent in the first quarter, greatly exceeding economists’ expectations.
Trump’s top economic adviser Larry Kudlow made the case at the Conservative Political Action Conference earlier this year that the economic policies enacted under the administration have led to the current boom.
“It’s the hottest economy in the world,” he said.
He recounted that the keys to unleashing economic growth have been lowering tax rates on businesses and individuals, cutting regulations, unleashing the energy sector, and negotiating new trade deals. All these policies stand in contrast to those implemented during the Obama/Biden years.
“Our opponents are proposing to overturn America’s success and its greatness,” Kudlow said. “It’s crazy stuff … high taxes, health care take over, impoverished poverty traps … socialism.”
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