Biden said his new $700 billion plan would rebuild the American economy, spur innovation, and create as many as five million new jobs in the United States.
Joe Biden on Thursday unveiled a $700 billion proposal to rebuild the American economy, which has been decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The presumptive Democratic nominee’s plan is centered around ramping up spending on American products and technological development. Biden is calling for a $400 billion increase in government purchases of American goods and services over four years, plus an additional $300 billion in new research and development spending in technology such as electric vehicles, artificial intelligence, and 5G cellular networks.
Speaking at a metalworks factory in Dunsmore, Pennsylvania, near his childhood home in Scranton, Biden also proposed strengthening existing “Buy American” laws that are intended to benefit American companies.
“When the federal government spends taxpayers’ money, we should use it to buy American products and support American jobs. My plan would tighten the rules to make this a reality,” Biden said. “Let’s use this opportunity to make bold investments in American industry and innovation so the future is made in America, and in all of America.”
The former vice president said his plan would spur innovation and reduce America’s dependence on foreign manufacturing, while creating as many as five million new jobs and helping the country to recover from the recession.
Biden described his plan as a level of investment “not seen since the Great Depression and World War II” and promised that it would be distributed equally across geographic areas in the United States and across races.
“This money will be used purposefully to ensure all of America is in on the deal, including communities that historically have been left out: Black, brown and Native American entrepreneurs; cities and towns everywhere,” he said.
Biden also pointed out that while COVID-19 has unquestionably made things worse, many Americans were already struggling before the pandemic. The U.S. experienced record income inequality in 2019 and 70% of Americans said they struggled with at least one aspect of financial stability, such as paying bills or saving money, according to one survey. Biden also pointed out that American manufacturing was already in a recession prior to the pandemic, despite false promises from President Trump to bring back manufacturing jobs.
Biden blasted Trump for worrying only about the stock market. “Throughout this crisis, Donald Trump has been almost singularly focused on the stock market, the Dow, Nasdaq,” Biden said. “Not you. Not your families.”
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The former vice president promised he would be different and would focus on helping working families through the current crisis.
“This is our moment to imagine and build a new American economy for our families and for our communities,” Biden continued. “An economy that says investing in American people and working families is more important than the nearly $2 trillion in tax breaks, predominantly handed out to the super wealthy,” Biden added, referencing the 2017 Republican tax cut.
Biden did not specify how he plans to pay for his new proposal, but has previously announced plans to reverse some of Trump’s tax cuts for corporations and raise taxes on wealthy Americans, which collectively would total nearly $4 trillion in tax increases.
“It’s time corporate America paid their fair share of taxes,” Biden said on Thursday. “The days of Amazon paying nothing in federal income tax will be over.”
Biden unveiled his proposal amid Great Depression-era levels of unemployment. More than 48 million Americans have filed for unemployment since March, including 1.3 million who filed for the first time last week.
His new economic proposal comes less than a month after Biden unveiled another plan to safely reopen the economy. That effort included federally funded testing and personal protective equipment for all workers called back to their jobs, guaranteed paid sick leave for workers affected by COVID-19, a federal jobs program to identify and isolate new coronavirus cases, and funding to safely reopen schools and day care centers.
Biden also plans to roll out three additional plans in the coming weeks as part of his new Build Back Better plan. Those proposals include:
- an energy and infrastructure plan that his campaign says would address climate change, build a clean energy economy, and “create millions of good-paying union jobs”;
- a package to make child care and elder care more affordable for working parents, especially women, and simultaneously create more jobs and increase the pay and benefits for caregivers and educators;
- an agenda focused on advancing racial equity by expanding affordable housing; investing in Black, Latino, and Native American entrepreneurs and communities; and advancing policing and criminal justice reform.
The former vice president also wants to pass:
- the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, which would provide public service and federal government workers with bargaining rights;
- the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would help ensure women are paid equally for equal work;
- universal paid sick days and 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave;
- a public option, providing every American with access to health care.
In addition to laying out his own case for the presidency, Biden criticized Trump for his record and response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Donald Trump loves to talk and talk and talk, but after three and a half years of big promises, what do the American people have to show for all the talk?” Biden asked. “His failures come with a terrible human cost and deep economic toll. Time and again, working families are paying the price for this administration’s incompetence.”