Spending bills will create opportunity & drive down prices
Q: [Are the COVID stimulus bills inflationary?]
BIDEN: The vast majority of the experts, including Wall Street, are suggesting that it's highly unlikely that it's going to be long-term inflation that's going to get out of hand.
There will be near-term inflation, because everything is now trying to be picked back up.
Q: You seem pretty confident that inflation is temporary, but you're pumping all of this money into the economy. Couldn't that add to--
BIDEN: Moody's said if we pass the other two things I'm trying to get done, we will reduce inflation, because we're going to be providing good opportunities and jobs for people who
are going to be reinvesting that money back in all the things we're talking about, driving down prices, not raising prices.
I'm tired of trickle down; build it out & up, not just down
Can you think of any time when the middle class did better, the wealthy didn't do really well? I'm not being facetious now. I'm being deadly earnest. Can you think of any time that's occurred when the middle class does better? I'm tired of trickle down.
So that's what we have to do, build it out and up, not just down.
Source: Cincinnati Enquirer transcript of CNN Biden town hall
, Jul 21, 2021
Adopted Warren's bankruptcy plan for families
About a week after I dropped out [of the presidential primary], I got a call from Joe Biden. He'd already called when I ended my campaign, but this time he wanted to talk policies.
He said, "Elizabeth, I really like your bankruptcy plan. Are you ok
if I pick it up?" Okay? Are you kidding? I was over the moon. After all, I'd been fighting for years to get more protection for families who go broke. These families had been overlooked in every presidential race and every administration.
I had a bankruptcy plan of course, but now another candidate--one of the final two--was saying he'd pick up the ball and run with it.
Change--real change, not a pie in the sky that promises change--starts with a plan. Whether it's green manufacturing
or canceling student loans or improving healthcare coverage, bumper stickers won't get the job done. We need hard core blueprints and strategies and maps. That's what a commitment to change is all about.
BIDEN: When you allow people to get back in the game and have a job, everything moves. Right now, you got the opposite. Last year during this pandemic, the wealthiest billionaires in the nation, made another $700 billion.
He talks about a V-shape recovery. It's a K shape recovery. If you're on the top, you're going to do very well. If you're in the middle or the bottom, your income is coming down. You're not getting a raise.
TRUMP: We had the greatest economy in the history of our country last year, including the state of Florida. In Pennsylvania, in North Carolina, in Ohio, every place.
We had the greatest economy we ever had. We had to close it down, we saved two million lives. We're opening it up. We have a V-shape and it's coming back. It's coming back very fast.
That's why my economic plan is all about jobs, dignity, respect, and community. Together, we can, and we will, rebuild our economy. And when we do, we'll not only build it back, we'll build it back better. With modern roads, bridges, highways,
broadband, ports and airports as a new foundation for economic growth. With pipes that transport clean water to every community. With 5 million new manufacturing and technology jobs so the future is made in America.
Source: Acceptance speech at 2020 Democratic National Convention
, Aug 20, 2020
Recovery package must provide state aid, hazard pay
In addition to funds to keep workers on payroll, the next recovery package will need to provide significant funds to states, to make sure that educators and health care workers and first responders can keep getting paid. It will have to provide hazard
pay to frontline workers putting themselves at risk. It will have to extend unemployment benefits, and provide further direct cash relief, through a cancellation of a minimum of $10,000 of student debt per person and Social Security boosts.
Source: Medium.com blog on 2020 presidential hopefuls
, Apr 9, 2020
Ordinary people are getting killed by this economy
We ought to start rewarding work, not just wealth. The idea that we have a tax rate for corporate America at 21 percent is ridiculous. It should be 28 percent. The idea that we have companies not paying anything, they should have a minimum tax of
15 percent. The idea that you're able to have a capital gains tax that you pay at the rate of 20 percent if you are Mike Bloomberg, your staffer is paying at 25 percent is wrong. The middle class is getting killed, and the poor have no way up.
Source: 9th Democrat 2020 primary debate, in Las Vegas Nevada
, Feb 19, 2020
I got GOP Senators to vote for stimulus & other funding
Just since we were vice president, we needed three votes to pass an $800 billion Recovery Act that kept us from going into depression. I got three votes changed. We needed to be able to keep the government from shutting down and going bankrupt.
I got Mitch McConnell to raise taxes $600 billion by raising the top rate. And as recently as after president got elected, I was able to put together a coalition of the Cures Act to have billions of dollars go into cancer research, bipartisan.
Source: June Democratic Primary debate (second night in Miami)
, Jun 27, 2019
Reduce spending by $1T; increase taxes by $600B; cut debt
I'm pleased to report on the undeniable progress [since my last visit]. Four years ago, the world was mired in the deepest economic downturn since the Great Depression. Today, times remain tough for too many American and European families--but conditions
are improving. The US is taking difficult but critical steps to put ourselves on a sounder economic footing. And I might add, it's never been a real good bet to bet against America. We're going to do just fine in terms of our economic "crisis" and the
cliffs that are about to approach.
We're determined to continue in a balanced way to cut our debt in the coming years and have made significant strides towards that goal. Last year, with the help of my colleagues in the US Congress, we reached
a difficult agreement on reducing our spending over the next 10 years by close to $1 trillion. Just the end of this year, we agreed on a very difficult decision about our tax code, raising another $600 billion, making significant compromises.
Source: Speech at the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany
, Feb 2, 2013
Increase debt ceiling & Commission on Fiscal Responsibility
Biden had been brilliant in December, negotiating a raised debt ceiling in exchange for the creation of a bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility, headed by retired Wyoming Republican senator Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles,
Clinton's former chief of staff, and all-around responsible appointee, to shape a plan for a sustainable future.
Erskine Bowles cut right to the chase. "Leave your friends at home," he said. "They just create problems when you get to Washington."
Source: Confidence Men, by Ron Suskind, p.134 & 387
, Sep 20, 2011
As banks become profitable, start fundamental reforms
Obama began to double back, wondering what his team thought of [Federal Reserve chair] Volcker's idea. Biden, who was an old friend of Volcker's, stepped in during a White House meeting and said that the banks were strong enough to take
some medicine now, even if it wasn't fundamental change. They were making money again, gambling with depositors' funds and with implicit, or explicit, support of the taxpayer. It wasn't right. Obama nodded. Joe had said it, straight and true.
Source: Confidence Men, by Ron Suskind, p.349-350
, Sep 20, 2011
1996: Accused of sweetheart deal on sale of personal home
Charges of conflict of interest came up in Biden's 1996 bid for election to a fifth term in the Senate. Biden's opponent alleged Biden had been given a sweetheart deal on the sale of his home in Wilmington to a top MBNA executive. The implication was
that Biden had been given a hefty profit in exchange for, or expectation of, favorable treatment regarding legislation of interest to the huge credit card company. The Biden campaign immediately cried foul and flatly denied the allegation & implication.
Details of the deal were quickly turned over to the Delaware press, including records establishing that the appraised value and the price paid by the buyer were approximately the same. Biden received $1.2 million for the large wooded estate property;
Biden had bought the property in 1975 for $225,000 and had made substantial improvements. Together with the intervening climb in real estate values, they more than accounted for the huge but legitimate increase.
Q: Was the bailout the worst of Washington or the best?
BIDEN: It’s evidence that the policies of the last 8 years have been the worst policies we’ve had. Obama laid out criteria for a rescue plan. He, first of all, said there has to be oversight.
Second, he said you have to focus on folks on Main Street. Third, he said that you have to treat the taxpayers like investors. And, last, you have to make sure CEOs don’t benefit from this. We’re going to focus on the middle class, because when the middl
class is growing, the economy grows and everybody does well.
PALIN: A good barometer is go to a kid’s soccer game and turn to a parent and ask, “How are you feeling about the economy?” You’re going to hear fear. Two years ago, it was John McCain
who pushed so hard with the Fannie & Freddie reform measures. There will be greater oversight, thanks to John McCain’s bipartisan efforts that he was so instrumental in bringing folks together, even suspending his own campaign to put politics aside.
Q: Who is to blame for the subprime lending meltdown?
BIDEN: Barack warned about the sub prime mortgage crisis. We let Wall Street run wild. John McCain thought the answer is that tried and true Republican response, deregulate, deregulate.
And guess what? The middle class needs tax relief. They need it now.
PALIN: It was predator lenders who tried to talk Americans into thinking that it was smart to buy a $300,000 house if we could only afford a $100,000 house.
There was deception, and there was greed and there is corruption. Joe Six Pack, hockey moms across the nation, we need to band together and say never again.
We need to demand from the federal government strict oversight of those entities in charge of our investments and our savings. Let’s do what our parents told us before we probably even got that first credit card. Don’t live outside of our means.
Balancing budget is about priorities; GOP made wrong choices
Q: Would it be a priority of your administration to balance the federal budget every year?
A: You don’t have to make a choice of balancing the budget and/or leading with the priorities that most of us feel strongly about, from health care, to
education, to the environment. And I’ll just put it in real stark terms: It’s about priorities. Just by eliminating the war, & eliminating the $200 billion in tax cuts that goes to the top 1%, if you add it all up, [with
$350B in cuts to military special programs], that would allow me to do everything I want to do -- my priorities on education, health care and the environment -- and still bring down the deficit by $150 billion. So, the
Republicans are trying to sucker us into this, “You either have to balance the budget and do nothing to make people’s lives better, or you’re going to balloon the deficit.” They have ballooned the deficit with their bad priorities.
Save Pentagon spending by getting the troops out of Iraq
The defense department’s gigantic. It’s not just the war in Iraq. Over the first four years I think all of us are going to try to get the troops out of there. I think I can do it in the first year. We shouldn’t buy into the Republican paradigm, and that
is the idea they’ve built this deficit up, the republicans, in order to make it difficult to do the things we need to do. You can take 20 Billion a year out of the defense department just by eliminating weapons systems. You can, in fact, cut.
Source: 2007 Des Moines Register Democratic Debate
, Dec 13, 2007
More transparency for hedge funds and private equity funds
Q: The Fed lowered the discount rate for banks to address the mortgage crisis. Should they lower rates for everyone else?
A: The answer is yes. But we need more transparency, particularly with regard to hedge funds and private equity funds.
They are the ones that are causing this thing to go under. And there’s no transparency, no accountability. We don’t know how deep this problem is. I think it’s almost as deep in terms of dollars, not liability, as the savings and loan crisis.
Source: 2007 Democratic primary debate on “This Week”
, Aug 19, 2007
Invest in new programs by ending war & eliminating tax cuts
Q: On your website you say about programs for energy research, health insurance, tuition deductions--all noble goals for Democrats, but it’s more money, more money. Where you going to get it?
A: First of all, we’re going to end this war. It’s
$100 billion a year we’re spending.
Eliminate the tax cuts for people making over a million bucks --that’s $85 billion a year.
Eliminate the tax break for investment on dividends--$195 billion.
We have a fancy word--a new “paradigm” [about
crime, health, and energy]: Investment in these areas saves money. But you need start-up dollars. I’d start off with $220 billion a year by the tax cuts and ending the war.
Q: But, senator, we have a deficit. We have Social Security and Medicare
A: The answer is you have to put it all on the table. We put Social Security on the right path for 60 years. Social Security’s not the hard one to solve. Medicare, that is the gorilla in the room, and you’ve got to put all of it on the table.
Grow America from the bottom up and the middle out
In fact--our economy created over 6.5 million new jobs just last year, more jobs created in one year than ever before in the history of America. Our economy grew at a rate of 5.7% last year, the strongest growth in nearly 40 years, the first step in
bringing fundamental change to an economy that hasn't worked for the working people of this nation for too long.
For the past 40 years we were told that if we gave tax breaks to those at the very top, the benefits would trickle down to everyone else.
But that trickle-down theory led to weaker economic growth, lower wages, bigger deficits, and the widest gap between those at the top and everyone else in nearly a century.
Vice President Harris and I ran for office with a new economic vision for
America. Invest in America. Educate Americans. Grow the workforce. Build the economy from the bottom up and the middle out, not from the top down. Because we know that when the middle class grows, the poor have a ladder up and the wealthy do very well.
Only president to cut the deficit by $1 trillion in one year
By the end of this year, the deficit will be down to less than half what it was before I took office.
The only president ever to cut the deficit by more than one trillion dollars in a single year.
Source: 2022 State of the Union address
, Mar 1, 2022
Adopted Elizabeth Warren's bankruptcy plan for families
About a week after I dropped out, I got a call from Joe Biden. He'd already called when I ended my campaign, but this time he wanted to talk policies.
After a couple of minutes of casual conversation, he abruptly said, "Elizabeth , I really like your
bankruptcy plan. Are you ok if I pick it up?"
Okay? Are you kidding ? I was over the moon. After all, I'd been fighting for years to get more protection for families who go broke. These families had been overlooked in every presidential race and every
administration. I had a bankruptcy plan of course, but now another candidate--one of the final two--was saying he'd pick up the ball and run with it.
Change--real change, not a pie in the sky that promises change--starts with a plan. Whether it's
green manufacturing or canceling student loans or improving healthcare coverage, bumper stickers won't get the job done. We need hard core blueprints and strategies and maps. That's what a commitment to change is all about.
The American Jobs Plan is a blue collar blueprint to build America. That's what it is. And it recognizes something I've always said, in this chamber and the other. Good guys and women on Wall Street, but Wall Street didn't build this country.
The middle class built the country, and unions built the middle class.
20 million Americans lost their job in the pandemic, working and middle class Americans.
At the same time, roughly 650 billionaires in America saw their net worth increase by more than $1 trillion, in the same exact period. Let me say that again: 650 people increased their wealth by more than $1 trillion during this pandemic.
And they're now worth more than $4 trillion. Trickle down economics has never worked, and it's time to grow the economy from the bottom and the middle out.
$130 billion in stimulus aid to counties and cities
PROMISE MADE: (Third Presidential Debate 10/22/20): "When I was in charge of the Recovery Act with $800 billion, I was able to get $145 billion to local and communities that have to balance their budgets, so they could keep their cities &
PROMISE KEPT: (CNN 3/6/21): The Senate bill would provide $350 billion to states, local governments, territories and tribes, the same amount as the House. The bills would give states and the District of Columbia $195.3
billion, while counties and cities would split about $130 billion in aid. Tribes would get $20 billion and territories $4.5 billion under both bills.
ANALYSIS: 3/10/21): "Additional assistance to states has been among the most
controversial elements of the congressional rescue packages, with Democrats looking to add to the $150 billion in the March legislation & Republicans resisting such efforts. The December package ultimately dropped an initial call to include $160 billion.
ARPA tackles urgent public health and economic crises
ARPA provides the tools and support critical to tackle the urgent public health and economic crises the Nation faces as a result of COVID-19. This includes funding to set up community vaccination sites nationwide, scale up testing and tracing, eliminate
supply shortage problems, invest in high quality treatments, address health disparities, and ensure workplace health and safety protections.
The bill also delivers immediate relief to workers and families bearing the brunt of the public health and
economic crises, by providing eligible Americans with a $1,400 payment in addition to the $600 payment provided in December of 2020.
The bill also expands the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit on an emergency basis, extends key emergency
unemployment benefits, raises the minimum wage to $15 per hour, and stabilizes pensions for Americans who participate in multi-employer pension plans. [See details of ARPA]
PROMISE MADE: (Lorie Konish on CNBC, Jan 14, 2021): President-elect Joe Biden unveiled his stimulus plan that includes sending additional $1,400 payments to Americans following the $600 second stimulus checks that were recently
deployed. "We will finish the job of getting a total of $2,000 in cash relief to people who need it the most," Biden said. "The $600 already appropriated is simply not enough."
PROMISE KEPT: (CNN March 6, 2021): The Senate bill amends
the House bill on the $1,400-per-person stimulus payments to tighten eligibility. Individuals earning less than $75,000 a year and married couples earning less than $150,000 will receive $1,400 per person, including children. That will get money to
about 90% of households.
ANALYSIS by en.as.com: (July 23, 2021): In total, an enormous 478 million stimulus check payments have been sent out since the start of the pandemic [with the third round underway] at $1,400 per person.
Must get stimulus money to local and state governments
BIDEN: This HEROES Act has been sitting there. And look at what's happening. When I was in charge of the recovery act with $800 billion, I was able to get $145 billion to local and communities that have to balance their budgets. [If they cannot], then
they have to fire firefighters, teachers, first responders, law enforcement officers, so they could keep their cities and counties running. They have not done a thing for them. And Mitch McConnell said, "Let them go bankrupt. Let them go bankrupt."
TRUMP: The bill that was passed in the House was a bailout of badly run, high crime, all run by Democrat cities and states. It was a way of getting a lot of money, billions and billions of dollars, to these guys. It was also a way of getting a lot of
money from our people's pockets to people that come into our country illegally. This was a way of spending on things that had nothing to do with COVID, as per your question. But it was really a big bailout for badly run Democrat cities and states.
I hope what they do is what we did in another circumstance when we had a $900 billion Recovery Act. We had one place in the White House, in the vice president's office. I put together an entire team, any governor, mayor, anyone could
contact immediately, know where it's going, know what the money would be, know how it would get there, etc. There has to be management here. That's really critical. It should begin right now [during the pandemic].
Source: CNN S.C. Town Hall amid 2020 primaries
, Mar 27, 2020
Supported bank bailout, but someone should have gone to jail
Q [to Sen. Bernie Sanders]: You voted against bailouts following the 2008 financial crisis. Many believe those spending bills were a crucial part of stabilizing the economy back then.
Sanders: I voted against the bailout because I believed that the
illegal behavior being done by the people on Wall Street should not be rewarded by a bailout. I thought that in the midst of massive income and wealth inequality, the people on top [should pay for the] bail out. Joe voted for that. I voted against it.
Biden: Had those banks all gone under, all those people Bernie says he cares about would be in deep trouble--all those little folks would lose everything that they had in that bank, whether it was $10 or $300 or a savings account. This was about
saving an economy, and it did save the economy, and the banks paid back and they paid back with interest. I agree with Bernie, some of them should have gone to jail. That was the big disagreement I had in terms of bailing out, but they paid back.
RYAN: Look at [the waste in] just the $90 billion in stimulus--the vice president was in charge of overseeing this--
BIDEN: Go on our website: [Ryan] sent me two letters saying, "Can you send me some stimulus money for companies here in the state of
Wisconsin?" We sent millions of dollars.
Q: You did ask for stimulus money, correct?
RYAN: On two occasions, we advocated for constituents who were applying for grants. That's what we do for all constituents.
BIDEN: I love that. This is such a bad
program, and he writes me a letter saying it will create growth and jobs. His words. That program was investigated and Congress said it was a model: less than 4/10 of 1% waste or fraud in the program. And all this talk about cronyism--they investigated &
did not find one single piece of evidence. It was a good idea. This stopped us from going off the cliff. It set the conditions to be able to grow again. 40% of those green jobs didn't go under. It's a better batting average than investment bankers have.
We inherited a god-awful mess; just level the playing field
The fact is that we're in a situation where we inherited a god-awful circumstance. People are in real trouble. We acted to move to bring relief to the people who need the most help now.
[Ryan] says that 30% of the American people are takers.
Romney points out, 47% of the people won't take responsibility. He's talking about my mother and father. And he's talking about the places I grew up in, my neighbors in Scranton and Claymont. He's talking about the people that have built this country.
All they're looking for is an even shot. When they've been given the shot, they've done it. Whenever you level the playing field, they've been able to move.
And they want a little bit of peace of mind. And the president and
I are not going to rest until that playing field is leveled, they in fact have a clear shot and they have peace of mind, until they can turn to their kid and say with a degree of confidence, "Honey, it's going to be OK." That's what this is all about.
Beyond stimulating the economy, Obama had to focus on cleaning up the specific messes the Bush administration left. The first was TARP. It was clear by November that the TARP bill that passed before the election wouldn't be enough to rescue the banks.
But instead of pushing Congress for more bailout money, Bush quietly requested the second portion of $350 billion, then left it up to the president-elect to lobby the new Congress for it. "[TARP] stuck in our throats," Joe
Biden concluded months later, "but it worked." Its passage consumed a large amount of time round the first of the year, as the president-elect mobilized to win nearly simultaneous
passage of two monster bills, the stimulus and TARP, that were each as expensive as any bill in American history. Only the entire annual budget itself was larger.
Recovery Act is slowly making progress, but not good enough
We think the Recovery Act is working because of the progress we've made in slowing job loss. In the three months before the act took effect, America lost 750,000 jobs a month. In the last three months, we've lost about 35,000 jobs a month.
That's progress--not good enough, not where we need to be, but progress. And most economists agree that that progress is thanks in a very large part to the Recovery Act.
Source: Biden Op-Ed: "'The Best is Yet to Come"
, Feb 17, 2010
FactCheck: McCain didn’t “lurch” from “strong” to “crisis”
The Statement:Biden said, “At 9 AM on Sept. 15th, when the bottom started to fall out of the market, McCain said ‘the fundamentals of the economy are strong.’ At 11 AM that morning, he said, ‘There’s a great economic crisis.’ Lurching from
one view to another in a matter of hours is not what presidents do.”
The Facts:On Sept. 15, at 9 AM, McCain said: “There’s been tremendous turmoil in our financial markets. I think still, the fundamentals of our economy are strong. But
these are very, very difficult times.“ About 3 hours later, McCain said: ”We’re going to put an end to the abuses on Wall Street that have resulted in the crisis that we are seeing unfold today.“ At the same event, McCain said, ”The American workers,
those are the fundamentals of America & I think they’re strong. But those fundamentals are being threatened today because of greed & corruption on Wall Street.“
The Verdict: Misleading. Biden takes some of McCain’s remarks out of context.
Bail out Fannie & Freddie, fairly, to stabilize market
Q: It appears that the Treasury is going to pump in some fresh capital into Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, but shareholders will have their shares greatly diluted by this move. But preferred shareholders--China & other governments--will not suffer, because
the government will prop them up. Is that fair?
A: Well, no, it's not fair, but I don't think that's what's going to happen. There's three principles that have to play here for this to work, in my view.
Make sure that you help homeowners and
stabilize, at the same time, financial institutions.
Make sure that you're not bailing out shareholders vs. the taxpayers.
Make sure that they're still in a position to be able to continue to lend, to continue to have elasticity to deal with the
I want to wait till I see all the detail [of the upcoming Treasury plan], but if it meets those 3 principles, then I think it has a great chance of succeeding.
Q: All investors suffer equally?
A: They should. We'll see what the plan is.
Source: Meet the Press interview by Tom Brokaw
, Sep 7, 2008
Voted NO on $40B in reduced federal overall spending.
Vote to pass a bill that reduces federal spending by $40 billion over five years by decreasing the amount of funds spent on Medicaid, Medicare, agriculture, employee pensions, conservation, and student loans. The bill also provides a down-payment toward hurricane recovery and reconstruction costs.
Reference: Work, Marriage, and Family Promotion Reconciliation Act;
Bill S. 1932
; vote number 2005-363
on Dec 21, 2005
Voted NO on prioritizing national debt reduction below tax cuts.
Vote to table [kill] an amendment that would increase the amount of the budget that would be used to reduce the national debt by $75 billion over 5 year. The debt reduction would be offset by reducing the tax cut in the budget framework from $150 billion