‘Imagine if we gave them a full chance’: Biden pitches childcare, education and tax plan in Virginia


Without any Republican endorsements for his administration’s expansive agenda to support childcare and education through increased taxes on the nation’s wealthiest, Joe Biden is appealing directly to Americans over a series of stops across the US, which could see one of the largest boosts to federal safety nets in decades.

Following a tour of Virginia schools on Monday, the president spoke from Tidewater Community College to renew his pitch for the American Families Plan, a $1.8 trillion proposal to bring the US in line with other wealthy nations by providing up to 12 weeks of paid family and sick leave, free preschool and community college, and childcare support for low- and middle-income families.

“No one should have to choose between a job and a paycheck or taking care of themselves, a parent, a spouse, or a child that’s ill,” he said.

The plan would be paid through a series of tax proposals that would return the top marginal income tax rate to 39.6 per cent from 37 per cent, and raise the capital gains tax rate to 39.6 per cent for households than earn more than $1m on investments, among other changes that would impact the nation’s wealthiest.

“I think it’s about time we start giving tax breaks to working-class families and middle-class families instead of just the very wealthy,” Mr Biden said. “Do we want to give the wealthiest people in America another tax cut or do you want to give every high school graduate the ability to earn a community college degree?”

Echoing remarks he made from the White House and during his first primetime address to a joint session of Congress last week, the president criticised the conservative fiscal legacies of “trickle-down economics” that have undermined the kinds of widespread reforms and public services his administration wants to return as a central part of American life.

“For too long we’ve had an economy that gives every break in the world to the folks who need it the least,” he said on Monday. “We can choose to give hard working families a break, a tax break in effect. We can choose to invest in our students. We can choose an economy that rewards work and not just wealth.”

He added: “Let’s give people a shot. Given even half a chance the American people will never ever, ever, let their country down. Imagine if we gave them a full chance. Imagine what it would mean for them and their families and for our country.”

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