Joe Biden on Wednesday detailed his plan for the biggest tax hike in 15 years – relying on his notes to make sure he announced the correct figures.
Speaking to George Stephanopoulos, Biden was unabashed about his tax cheat sheet, which he brought out from his pocket when their conversation turned to tax.
‘I brought this with me because I often get asked and I don’t want to misquote it,’ said the 78-year-old.
Joe Biden in Wednesday’s interview brandished his notes on which he had his tax policy
Biden said that his plan would see those earning more than $400,000 a year pay more tax
Biden said that people earning more than $400,000 a year would see their taxes rise.
He also intends to raise corporation tax, although it would remain below the level in place when Donald Trump took over. Trump reduced the rate from 35 per cent to 21: Biden hopes to raise it to 28 per cent, which he said would add $800 billion to the treasury.
The veteran politician has frequently resorted to written notes to help him remember details.
He brought out the written details of his tax plan during the presidential debate, and during last week’s prime time address to the nation showed how he wrote the daily COVID death toll on the back of his presidential schedule.
Biden showed his frustration at Republican resistance to any tax cuts, and to his COVID relief bill, pointing out it would help lift children out of poverty.
‘If we just took the tax rate back to what it was when Bush was president, top rate paid 39.6 per cent in federal taxes,’ he said.
‘That would raise $230 billion.
‘Yet they’re complaining because I’m providing a tax credit for child care? For the poor, for the middle class?’
Biden is seen Wednesday back in the Oval Office, with his notes for a meeting with the Irish PM
He said his $1.9 trillion plan, passed earlier this month, would create seven million jobs.
‘Increases the GDP by over $1 trillion, actually raises income in America, and diminishes debt in America,’ he continued.
‘I mean, what are these guys talking about?’
Biden, a 30-year veteran of the Senate, said that he was also frustrated by the permanent blockages in Congress.
He said, however, that he still opposed removing the filibuster – a mechanism by which members of Congress can prolong a debate, so that a bill is not voted on.
The Senate cloture rule has since 1975 required 60 members to end debate on most topics and move to a vote.
Biden did not explicitly say whether he wanted to eliminate the 60-vote threshold. He did, however, say he was in favor of a talking filibuster, whereby is someone fails to hold the floor, the speaker moves on.
He said that would reduce the number of filibusters that were successfully used to block a bill.
Biden, seen on Tuesday before his interview, noted he had only been in the office six weeks
A Honduran man in Tijuana is seen on March 1 awaiting his chance to seek asylum in the US
A group of migrants ask Biden to let them in on March 2 at the Tijuana-San Ysidro crossing
Biden was asked about migration, and said that his message to migrants was that they should not come to the United States.
On Andrew Cuomo, the embattled governor of New York – with whom he has had a long and cordial relationship – Biden once again said the investigation into sexual harassment claims should be allowed to proceed.
He said that, if Cuomo is found to have done what he is accused of, he should resign.
‘I think he’d probably end up being prosecuted too,’ he said.
Six weeks into his presidency, Biden said that he was pleased with the pace of vaccinations, and spoke of delighting in his new-found freedom. Biden was vaccinated with the first of his two shots on December 21.
‘I can hug my grandkids now,’ he said.
‘They come over to the house. I can see them. I’m able to be with them. I’ve had the vaccine.’
He stressed, however, that Trump’s team had hampered their efforts in the vaccination program and on other issues.
Biden said that Vladimir Putin, seen on Wednesday, was ‘a killer’ and would be punished
‘It’s gonna be, like, Sanskrit to people listening here, but it is the failure to have an orderly transition from the Trump presidency to my presidency, which usually takes place from Election Day to the time you’re sworn in, has cost me time and consequences,’ he said.
‘For example, we didn’t realize how bad things were in terms of lack of vaccines.
‘We didn’t realize because we were not able to get access to this information.’
He said that the disorder had also had knock-ons in foreign policy.
Biden said that it was causing delays in his Afghanistan plan, because his team was not granted access to the Trump administration’s information.
The president said he may not meet Trump’s May 10 deadline of withdrawing troops, but it would not be ‘a lot longer’.
He said that he believed Vladimir Putin was ‘a killer’, and he defended his decision not to sanction Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi crown prince, over the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.
‘We have never, that I’m aware of, when we have an alliance with a country, gone to the acting head of state and punished that person, and ostracized him,’ Biden said.
‘But here’s the deal. We said, number one, end the war in Yemen. End the starvation there.
‘Number two – and I went down the list of the things we expected the Saudis to do.
‘And they’re in the process of doing those things. And if they don’t, it’s a changed relationship. It’s a changed relationship we have with Saudi Arabia. There’s no blank check.’