President Joe Biden on Monday argued he isn’t raising taxes to pay for his ambitious $2.1 trillion plans on infrastructure and social programs but is asking wealthy and corporations to 'pay their fair share.'
'Is it more important to shield millionaires from paying their fair share, or is it more important that every child gets a real opportunity to succeed from an early age and ease the burden on working families,' the president said during a visit to Tidewater Community College in Portsmouth, Virginia.
President Biden, along with Jill Biden, were in the southern part of Virginia, as the Biden administration starts a blitzkrieg to sell its $4.1 trillion in federal spending package amid negotiations with Republicans.
Monday's focus was on education - the first lady is a fulltime teacher. Their first stop was at Yorktown Elementary School where the first couple heard from fifth graders about what it was like having school at home. The Bidens then visited the community college. As part of his American Families Plan, Biden wants to offer two years free community college tuition to all Americans.
Both his $2.3 trillion American Jobs Plan and his $1.8 trillion American Families Plan feature heavy education components - everything from money to fix school buildings and replace old pipes to funds for free universal pre-K and more teachers.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
The president plans to pay for his jobs plan with a hike on corporate tax rates from 21 percent to 28 percent and impose a global minimum tax on corporations. To pay for his families plan, he would hike the tax rate on capital gains to 39.6 percent and raise the rate for the top one 1 percent of income earners to 38.6 percent.
Republicans countered that the rise in corporate taxes would send companies and jobs overseas. They simply say the families plan - which includes a massive amount of social programs for education, paid family and medical leave and extended tax cuts for low-and- middle income workers - is a non started.
Biden defended his approach, saying he's asking for people and companies to pay their share.
'It doesn't add a single penny to our deficit, it's paid for by making sure corporate America and the wealthiest 1%,' he said of his proposals. 'Just pay their fair share. I come from the corporate capital of the world. More corporations are incorporated in the state of Delaware, and all the rest of the nation combined. And I'm not anti corporate, but it's about time they start paying their fair share.'
President Joe Biden argued he isn’t raising taxes to pay for his ambitious $2.1 trillion plans on infrastructure and social programs but asking corporations and the wealthy to 'pay their fair share'
First lady Jill Biden applauds President Joe Biden after his remarks
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden, tour an HVAC workshop at Tidewater Community College, in Portsmouth, Va.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
First lady Jill Biden, a fulltime teacher, helped President Biden sell the education component of his jobs and families plans
In his remarks, Biden pointed out the amount of people hurt by the coronavirus pandemic, including a disproportionate number of women.
He also argued Republican voters, along with some mayors and governors, support his approach. He needs at least 10 Republican senators to support his proposals to move them through the Senate.
'This will grow the economy,' he said. 'I think there's overwhelming bipartisan support for this. If you look at the polling data, Republican voters overwhelmingly support it. Now I just got to get some of my Republican colleagues to support.'
Before his remarks, the Bidens visited a classroom that taught HVAC repair where they watched a demonstration and chatted with students.
Earlier Monday, the first couple visited an elementary school where a group of fifth graders gave them their honest assessment of what it was like learning from home, sharing how they didn't like it but at least could sneak in naps.
The kids at Yorktown Elementary School are back in the classroom four days a week (Wednesday is for cleaning) and sat at desks with plastic shields around the them. Everyone wore face masks.
President Biden reminded the kids that the first lady teaches full time and asked them how they liked learning from home.
'It was a little difficult with all the glitches,' one girl said. 'I definitely prefer it this way though.'
One boy chimed in: 'I didn't like virtual. It was terrible.'
Another student pointed out when their teacher Mrs. Bertamini was helping someone else 'you could eat.'
And another noted: 'If we were really tired we could take a little nap.'
Jill Biden, who teaches at a Northern Virginia Community College, laughed and said her students do the same.
'You just turn off the camera. I've seen that,' the first lady said.
Republicans have criticized Biden for not opening schools soon enough but none of them voted for the $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill that contained money to help schools reopen - extra cleaning, supplies, and more staff and teachers. Biden has said he wants schools to reopen safely.
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden were welcomed to a fifth grade classroom at Yorktown Elementary School on Monday
After their school stop and on their way to the next location, President Biden stopped the motorcade at Yorktown High School to greet well wishers
President Biden posed for a photo with the little boy
The president also asked the kids what they wanted to be when the grew up and got a