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On Russia, coronavirus and taxes: the most important of Biden's speech to Congress

US President Joe Biden said that after 100 days of his presidency, his administration was able to restore faith in democracy and begin the process of recovering the economy affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. He spoke about this during a speech at a joint meeting of both chambers of the Congress writes Voice of America.

Photo: Shutterstock

The president's speech became epoch-making in its own way. For the first time in the history of the country behind the back of the president sat two women - Vice President Kamala Harris and Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi.

Biden noted that the most visible results are seen in the campaign to vaccinate the population against COVID-19. He stressed that in 100 days more than 220 million doses of the vaccine were introduced in the country.

In addition to his successes, Biden also spoke about the priorities and future plans of the administration for the coming year.

The head of state noted that 100 days ago he took the oath and took under his wing a country in crisis. The country that is experiencing the worst pandemic in 100 years, the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression (1929-1939) and the worst attack on democracy since the Civil War (1861-1865).

“Now, in just a hundred days,” Biden said, “I can tell the Americans that the United States is on its feet again, turning dangers into new opportunities, turning the crisis into prospects, and failures into our strength.”

Success in the first 100 days of presidency

According to the head of state, in the first hundred days of his presidency, more than 1,3 million jobs were created in the economy - this is a record figure.

“According to the International Monetary Fund, this year our economy will grow by more than 6%. This will be the highest rate of economic growth in this country in nearly four decades. The country is moving forward and we cannot stop. We are competing with China and other countries. We must do more than just recover. We need to rebuild our country so that it becomes even better than before, ”Biden said.

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“Only the government can do that,” continued Joe Biden. “And it propels us into the future over and over again. That's why I came up with a US Job Creation Plan - a unique investment in the country, the largest job creation plan since World War II. ”

“I know some of you are wondering if these jobs are right for you. You feel abandoned and forgotten in a rapidly changing economy. Let me speak to you directly. Independent experts estimate that the American job creation plan will add millions of jobs and trillions of dollars in economic growth over the years. This is a well-paid job that cannot be taken abroad. Almost 90% of jobs created under the American Employment Plan for infrastructure construction do not require a college degree, ”explained Joe Biden.

And while it costs about $ 4 trillion to create new infrastructure and jobs, roughly equal to the annual US federal budget, Biden says it is vital for the country.

“This is a unique investment that is vital to the future of the United States,” Biden is convinced.

Wealthy Americans Should Pay More Taxes

Biden also separately explained how the administration is going to finance the development plan without increasing the country's budget deficit - to raise taxes for the rich.

He promised that this will not affect people earning less than $ 400 thousand a year. The time has come for "corporate America and the richest 1% of Americans to pay their fair share of taxes," Biden said.

So, last year, 55 of the country's largest corporations paid zero federal income tax and did not pay any federal taxes on profits exceeding $ 40 billion.

Many companies, Biden noted, are evading taxes through offshore accounts from Switzerland to Bermuda and the Cayman Islands, “capitalizing on tax loopholes and deductions that allow profits to be transferred abroad. It is not right".

Biden said he plans to reform tax policies for large corporations so that they pay fair taxes, thereby helping pay for aid plans. But he also noted that their business would also benefit from this.

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The richest Americans, who are 1%, earn more than $ 400 a year, and they will pay almost 39,6% in income tax. It was at this level that taxation was previously. The state is also going to "get rid of loopholes that allow Americans, who earn more than $ 1 million a year, to pay a lower rate of capital gains than working Americans pay on their salaries."

“This will only affect 0,3 percent of all Americans. And the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will deal with millionaires and billionaires who do not pay taxes, ”the president promised.

“I'm not going to punish anyone. But I will not add the tax burden on the middle class of this country. They are already paying enough. What I suggested is true. This is financially responsible. This increases the income to pay for my proposed plans, which will create millions of jobs and boost the economy, ”Biden explained.

About China and Russia

Among other things, the president noted that such an investment in the country's economy would have a positive impact on US foreign policy. According to him, all countries, including China, in the global economy should play by the same rules. “We are all created equal. We cannot get away from this principle, ”the president said.

“As for Russia,” he continued, “I made it very clear to Russian President Vladimir Putin that although we are not seeking to escalate, their actions will have consequences. I responded directly and proportionally to Russian interference in our elections and cyber attacks on our government and business. But we can also cooperate when it is in our common interests, as we did when extending the START III nuclear arms treaty and how we are working to resolve the climate crisis. ”

At the end of his statement, Biden noted that the United States has found "new strength and new determination to ... win the competition of the XNUMXst century." But for this, everyone needs to act as “one country”.

“We are the United States of America. There is nothing that we cannot do if we take it all together, ”Joe Biden said.

Legislators' reaction

Biden's speech provoked two very different reactions. While Democrats fully support the president's ideas, the Republican Party criticized the 46th president's proposals.

Democratic Senator Bob Menendez, who chairs the Foreign Relations Committee, said Joe Biden's proposals enjoyed "tremendous bipartisan support from Americans in every corner of the country."

“From combating climate change to preventing gun violence, what I heard from the president today was not a divisive program, but rather a platform of politics with tremendous bipartisan support from Americans in every corner of this country. I can only hope that my fellow Republicans have come to the realization that our country can get much more if we work together with each other and not against each other, ”Menendez said.

Congressman Tom O'Halleran praised Biden's "focus on investing in our future." However, he noted the need for cooperation between the two parties, as a result of which will create “well-paid jobs, strengthen the middle class, and invest in US agriculture.

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“First of all, we must restore faith in the government. Bills that cannot be passed by both chambers do not get people back to work, help start small businesses, and cut health care costs. Americans want results, not talk, ”said the congressman.

Raul Ruiz, chairman of the Hispanic Legislative Group in Congress, said "President Biden addressed the aspirations of American families directly, expressing a vision of hope and optimism for our future."

Another Democrat, David Chichillin, believes that “it was a speech addressed directly to the American people and to the problems they are facing right now. I now look forward to working with the President, his administration, and my colleagues in Congress to deliver real results for the American people. ”

House Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy pledged that "Republicans will work with anyone to rebuild the US, restore our way of life, and renew the American Dream."

However, he noted that Republicans cannot work with someone who "leads the United States along the path of socialism, decides how much someone is allowed to earn, and confiscates the rest."

“We need to return to the healthy economic principles that allowed us to build the best economy in history,” McCarthy said.

Republican Senator Jim Riesch noted with regret that Biden did not touch upon the topic of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in his speech.

“This Russian pipeline, which the president does not seem willing to shut down, poses a serious threat to our national security and the security of our allies in Europe. Congress has repeatedly noted that the administration needs to act quickly to prevent the completion of this Russian project. Time is running out, ”Risch said.

Senator Jim Inhofe expressed concern that Biden did not pay enough attention to investments in the military so that the United States could compete with China and Russia.

“Biden's team is saying the right words about China and Russia, but they are not doing anything. This speech was not about unity or policy for all Americans. It was a traditional democratic speech with a progressive and ecological bias, ”said Inhof.

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