WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden outlined his administration’s goal of raising taxes on the wealthy to strengthen the middle class and boost the economy in remarks Thursday afternoon at the White House.
"The data is absolutely clear: Over the past 40 years, the wealthy have gotten wealthier and too many corporations have lost their sense of responsibility to their workers, their communities, and the country," Biden said.
Biden said that the U.S. economy works for the wealthiest taxpayers and biggest corporations while failing to give middle-class families or low-income communities a fair shot.
"Big corporations and the super-wealthy have to start paying their fair share of taxes, it's long overdue," said Biden. "I'm not out to punish anyone. I'm a capitalist, if you can make a million or a billion dollars that's great, god bless you, all I'm asking is pay your fair share."
The president plans to give the IRS tools to crack down on the wealthiest Americans who have evaded paying taxes, the White House said in a fact sheet about the plan. Biden plans to emphasize that his administration will protect Americans earning less than $400,000 a year.
To deliver these changes, the president is counting on Congress to pass his infrastructure plan, which he has said would create millions of well-paying jobs, and the $3.5 trillion bill to implement his Build Back Better agenda to expand the social safety net. Democrats face an uphill climb to pass both pieces of legislation because of divisions between moderates and progressives.
Biden acknowledges there is “a long way to go” yet, but he says he believes both the bipartisan infrastructure bill, as well as the reconciliation bill, will eventually end up on his desk to be signed.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said during a press briefing that Biden will meet virtually with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on Thursday to discuss the budget reconciliation bill and other legislative priorities.
Biden's speech comes a few weeks after a weaker-than-expected jobs report from August, which he attributed to the delta variant that has become the dominant coronavirus strain nationwide. The House returns next week for the first time in about a month to continue work on the Democrats' legislative agenda.