President Joe Biden told voters in an Atlanta suburb that his proposed tax increases on the wealthy would finance tax cuts for many more Americans, as he took to the road to sell his plans to build infrastructure and invest in education, child care and other priorities.
“This is a tax cut for more than two million families in Georgia,” Biden said of his proposals during a drive-in rally in Gwinnett County, marking his first 100 days in office.
“It’s about time the very wealthy and corporations start paying their fair share,” he said. “It’s about time. Simple as that.”
Biden traveled to the state — a political battleground after major Democratic victories in November and January — following his first address to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday. In the speech, he unveiled a sweeping $1.8 trillion proposal that would expand educational opportunities and child care for families, financed in part by the largest tax increases on wealthy Americans in decades.
Biden defended the proposal – and a $2.25 trillion companion infrastructure plan that would be partly funded through higher corporate tax rates – as a “once in a generation investment in America” that would create millions of jobs.
A 15% minimum “book tax” for US corporations, he said, would raise enough to “pay for all of this.”
He also repeated a jab at the investment class included in his address to Congress. “Wall Street didn’t build this country,” he said. “You did. The middle class did. And unions built the middle class.”
Biden was elected in part thanks to flipping Georgia to the Democratic column for the first time since 1992. Two Democrats, Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, subsequently won a pair of runoff elections for the US Senate early this year, giving the party control of the chamber and allowing Biden to pass a $1.9 trillion relief measure without any Republican votes.
“Because of you we passed one of the most consequential rescue bills in history,” Biden told his audience.
The White House said more than 6.2 million adults in Georgia received stimulus checks thanks to the legislation, while the state received $8.6 billion in local and state fiscal relief.
Biden had originally planned to hold his first rally in the state in March, but shootings in the Atlanta area that left eight people dead – six of whom were Asian women – led him to put off the event.
Earlier Thursday, the president and first lady Jill Biden visited with Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, at the former president’s home in Plains, Georgia. Jimmy Carter, 96, did not attend Biden’s inauguration because of health concerns during the coronavirus pandemic.
The visit was closed to reporters accompanying the president and neither the Carters nor the Bidens spoke to the press afterward.
Biden plans to continue promoting his spending proposals on Friday with a visit to Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station, where he’ll mark the 50th anniversary of Amtrak. When he was in the Senate, he regularly commuted from Delaware to Washington on the railroad.