Joseph R. Biden on Thursday unveiled a massive economic plan that he described as the way out of a wave of crisis for which he said President Trump “threw in the towel.”
“After months of doing nothing other than predicting the virus would disappear or maybe if you drank bleach you may be OK, Trump has simply given up,” Mr. Biden said at an event in Dunmore, Pennslyvania. “His failures come with terrible human costs and a deep economic toll.”
Pouring close to $1 trillion into new programs and projects, Mr. Biden said his plan would turn a trio of crisis — the coronavirus pandemic, economic downturn from the government-mandated shutdown and racial justice upheaval — into an opportunity to reshape America.
Mr. Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, vowed to take on the wealth gap, systemic racism and climate change. He also promised to unite the country that he said was cleaved by Mr. Trump’s divisiveness.
“Each of these also presents a tremendous opportunity for the nation, an opportunity to prepare now for the future threats we know are just around the corner, an opportunity to address fundamental inequities in our nation,” Mr. Biden said. “It’s an opportunity to finally and fully live up to the words and the values enshrined in our founding documents of this nation — that we are all created equal or are entitled to be treated equally for the rest of our lives. Not just created equally, treated equally.”
The sweeping tax-and-spend solution would provide $300 billion to develop high tech, including electric vehicle technology, lightweight materials, 5G telecommunications and artificial intelligence.
Another $400 billion would finance a federal “Buy American” procurement project that he said would provide “reliable predictable demand” for U.S. manufacturing and other sectors.
The wave of spending, which would be on top of a $1.7 trillion clean energy and infrastructure plan, would aim to fuel new demand for American products, materials, and services and ensure that they are shipped on U.S.-flagged cargo carriers, according to the campaign.
Much of Mr. Biden’s spending would be paid for with roughly $4 trillion in new taxes, mostly from rolling by the Trump tax cuts.
The Democrats’ strategy promises to put a particular focus on smaller manufacturers and those owned by women and people of color by providing federal resources and financing tools, as well as shoring up union power.
Mr. Biden also promises another round of coronavirus spending on top of the nearly $3 trillion Congress already put on the federal credit card in response to the crisis.
Mr. Biden’s play for higher ground on the economy is an attempt to hit the president on one of his strongest issues jobs and promises of manufacturing, arguing the president has delivered on infrastructure or healthcare campaign promises in four years.
The former vice president also attacked the president on his handling of not only the pandemic but escalating racial tensions in the country, saying he’s intent on only dividing the country further.
“Donald Trump may believe that pitting Americans against Americans will benefit him,” Mr. Biden said. “I don’t.”
“He’s exactly the wrong person to lead at this moment,” he continued. He’s determined to drive us apart. He believes he was elected president only by his base.”
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