May 6, 2021
Joe Biden Speech on American Jobs Plan, Infrastructure Transcript Louisiana May 6
President Joe Biden, Gov. John Bel Edwards, and Mayor Nic Hunter gave remarks in Louisiana on May 6, 2021. Biden discussed his infrastructure plan. Read the transcript of the speech briefing here.
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John Bel Edwards: (00:00)
… Charles as your first stop today, because nine months ago you would not have recognized this place. Obviously, there’s still a lot of damage here. We have a long ways to go in the recovery, but I remember that you called me on the day after hurricane Laura hit as a powerful Category 4 hurricane… In fact, the strongest hurricane to hit Louisiana since the 1850s. And then just a few weeks later and only eight miles distance on the coast of Cameron Parish another hurricane, Hurricane Laura, came ashore to further damage this area.
John Bel Edwards: (00:36)
And as you can plainly see, we’re still working to recover from those storms and we’re going to need additional federal support in order to rebuild these communities safer and stronger than they were before. Housing and improved resiliency through community development block grant funding will be essential if we’re going to be able to build back better.
John Bel Edwards: (00:57)
And I’m going to close by asking everyone, if you haven’t done so already, please get your COVID-19 vaccination. They’re safe, they’re effective, they’re available to every one 16 and older. And across Louisiana, there are more than 1500 locations where you can get your vaccine today. So thank you again Mr. President for your visit, I look forward to continuing to work with you to make Louisiana and the United States even stronger.
Please welcome the mayor of Lake Charles, Louisiana, Nic Hunter.
Nic Hunter: (02:06)
Good afternoon, everyone. Governor Edwards, Lake Charles, fellow Americans watching from around the country. If we had tried to gather at this spot on August 27th, 2020, it would have been impossible. For, on that fateful morning Hurricane Laura came ashore and absolutely ravaged this community. A Category 4 hurricane, she was the fifth strongest hurricane to hit mainland US in modern history. Her winds were 150 mph when she hit this very spot where we’re standing today. She really was more of a 30 mile wide tornado than she was a hurricane.
Nic Hunter: (02:53)
To add insult to injury, just six weeks later, hurricane Delta came ashore following almost the exact same path as Laura. And I wish I were finished talking about natural disasters in recent history. But in February of this year, winter storm Yuri brought freezing temperatures mixed with precipitation the likes of which we have not seen in decades here in the city of Lake Charles. As did millions of others, Lake Charles lost water pressure as pipes burst throughout the city. Citizens who were still reeling from two major hurricanes had to deal with no running water, and many began ripping out sheet rock for the second time, renovating homes for the second time in less than two months.
Nic Hunter: (03:49)
I asked some of our FEMA reps, our boots on the ground, if they had ever heard of another US city that had been affected by four federally declared disasters within the course of 12 months. They couldn’t recollect any others. I don’t know if another city has had it as bad as Lake Charles has within the course of just 12 years.
Nic Hunter: (04:13)
Southwest Louisiana has experienced loss of life. We have experienced loss of property, loss of infrastructure, COVID-19 and natural disasters have dealt major blows to this community. But none of them, none of them were knockout punches. Lake Charles is a great American city, and we continue to need a great American response. We continue to need the proper federal response in the wakes of hurricane Laura and Delta.
Nic Hunter: (04:52)
Mr. President, I had a chance to visit with him for a moment. Ms. President, we come from different backgrounds. We come from different areas of the country. We grew up in different eras. Candidly, Mr. President, we are members of differing political parties and there would be some policy that we would disagree on if we sat down with each other for a conversation. But I guarantee you, I would be willing to have that conversation with you. And I do believe that we can agree on the dire need here in Lake Charles for an infrastructure plan that could build us a new I-10 bridge here in Lake Charles. And I do believe that we could agree on the dire need to support disaster relief for Southwest Louisiana.
Nic Hunter: (05:40)
Two hundred and fifty-two days post Laura, we sit here and stand here today. I would never have let anything stand in the way of me being here today, of me being anywhere to have an audience with someone who could help. Right now, Southwest Louisiana needs all of our elected officials to fight for the people of this community and be willing to break bread with anyone who can help.
Nic Hunter: (06:07)
Mr. President, any members of Congress out there who might be listening, Lake Charles needs help right now and we’re asking for it. Every day that goes by without disaster relief and without infrastructure investments that can bring a new I-10 bridge is a day that Washington DC is failing the people of Southwest Louisiana. So yes, my administration is appreciative of the conversations we have had with President Biden’s administration over recent months. Yes, we are encouraged by the president’s interest in our community. And yes, Lake Charles is a great American city. A city that needs help from our American brothers and sisters. And so it is my extreme honor and pleasure to introduce to Lake Charles, the 46th President of the United States of America, Joseph R Biden. Mr. President.
Joe Biden: (07:02)
Well, Mr. Mayor, Governor, thank you. It’s good to be back in Lake Charles. I’ve been here a number of times over the years as Senator and then as vice-president. First time I came down here, was a guy named Russell Long who I served with. Please sit down, everybody. I was 29 years old when I got elected and I went to see Russell Long. I’ve made my stops to all the senior senators, which is what you do in those days. And he said, “Son, sit down. Sit down,” be pounded at his desk. And I sat down, he said, “How much money you spend in your campaign?” And I said, “Well, sir,” and this is going to shock you, “about a little over $285,000. But then I had to borrow some money to get through it. And I just won barely by less than half of a percentage point.”
Joe Biden: (08:28)
And he said, “Well, it’s a good thing you won.” And I said, “How’s that?” He said, “Well, you got yourself a $38,000 deficit.” And I said, “Yes, sir.” He said, “Well, if you hadn’t won you’d just have a plain old deficit. Now you can have a deficit party.” God, he was amazing, an amazing guy. And both of you are amazing. Mr. Mayor, you’ve got a great city. And as I said, I’ve been here more than once and it’s good to be back.
Joe Biden: (09:02)
It’s hard to believe that you got hit as badly as you have within the timeframe you have. I used to spend some time with Randy, he got hit a little bit, but not like you did. Not like you have. And Gov, we have to build back. We have to build back better.
Joe Biden: (09:21)
One of the things that I’m proud of is in the first 100 days that I became president, we have created more jobs in that period of time than any administration in history. But the way I look at that, that’s just the down payment getting us back, with the American Recovery Act, just getting us back and getting people… A lot of that had to do getting people vaccinated, getting 600 million doses of the vaccine and getting people in a position where it was is available. But now it’s about rebuilding America. Rebuilding in a way that-
Joe Biden: (10:03)
Rebuilding America. Rebuild it in a way that it has resilience. And the folks who are going to rebuild it are those folks right over there, unions. We’re going to rebuild it in a way that we’re going to provide good jobs. Well, look, as I said, it’s good to be back, Governor Edwards and Mayor Hunter. I also want to thank President [Ren 00:10:26], Union President, AFL-CIO, head of the … There you are. I couldn’t find you.
Joe Biden: (10:35)
Folks, when it comes to bridges and roads and the like, I’ve never seen a Republican or Democrat road. I just see roads. Mayor, you’re Republican. You wrote a newspaper article suggesting that along with the Governor, the democratic Mayor of Shreveport, Mayor Perkins, as to why we need the American jobs plan, which is what I’m here to talk about today, a once in a generation investment in America itself.
Joe Biden: (11:11)
Great jobs modernize our bridges, our roads, our highways, our ports, our airports, our water pipes, our water projects, high speed internet, transmission lines, and sustainable housing, jobs rebuilding the foundations of a strong, fair and resilient competitive economy. I know the times have been tough here and the damage of the hurricanes have been devastating. Governor’s already spoken to me. We’re talking to the OMB and with our folks, some Republicans and Democrats in the Congress, because I believe. I believe you need the help. I believe you need the help. We’re going to try to make sure you get it. The people of Louisiana always have picked themselves up, just like America always picks itself up.
Joe Biden: (11:57)
There’s no quit in America. There’s no quit in Louisiana, that I’ve observed. That doesn’t mean the federal government, because it was local, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t help. I promise you, we’re going to build back better, never more resilient, and build back in a way that all we build is better able to withstand storms that are becoming more severe and more frequent than ever. I think we have to.
Joe Biden: (12:22)
You may have noticed, I promised I would have a climate forum for the world in Washington within 100 days. Well, 40 heads of state showed up from the largest countries in the world to some of the smallest. You can’t deny it. There is a real change in the weather, and if we go 1.5 degrees warmer, we’re going to be in real trouble, the point of no return. Matter of fact, a lot of what we’re going to have to build back now in terms of infrastructure, we’ve got to build back to a different standard, not to what it was. It’s got to be better because the climate has changed enough now that it’s still going to rise two feet when it rains. It’s still going to. We got to build for what is needed now. I promise you, we’re going to do that, so we’re better prepared to withstand storms and becoming more severe and more frequent.
Joe Biden: (13:14)
We’re standing here in the shadow of the I-10 bridge, which I’ve gone over several times myself in the past. It’s a perfect example of how we’ve neglected as a nation to invest in the future of our economy and the future of our people. When the bridge was built in 1952, it was built to … There’s nothing there. It was built to make sure that we in fact are able to, it was going to last for 50 years. That was 20 years ago. It was built for 50 years. The I-10 bridge was built to handle daily traffic load of 37,000 crossings. Well, but today, every day, more than 80,000 cars and trucks cross over that bridge. It doesn’t have the modern safety features that bridges need to have now. Six lanes of interstate narrow into four lanes of a bridge. That’s a recipe for disaster.
Joe Biden: (14:08)
I’m sure you don’t need to tell the drivers around Lake Charles that it means traffic bottlenecks and delays. The last inspection, this bridge was categorized as in poor condition and after decades of politicians studying it and talking about it, Governor Edwards is the one finally moving forward with a project to actually replace the bridge. One with six lanes, new interchanges, that’s safer, reduces congestion. It shouldn’t be as hard. It shouldn’t be this hard or take so long to fix a bridge that’s this important. It makes no sense. The truth is, across the country, we have failed.
Joe Biden: (14:50)
We have failed to properly invest in infrastructure for half a century. The last four years, how many times you say, “This is going to be infrastructure week?” I got so tired of hearing infrastructure week. Nothing happened. Nothing has happened. Across America, there are more than 45, hear me now, 45,000 bridges that are structurally deficient. Every day, Americans cross these bridges 178 million times, and they are structurally deficient. We’ve seen what happens when they deteriorate. Remember a few years ago, two counties over in Mississippi had to shut down more than 60 bridges that were in poor condition, 60 bridges. People in those communities were rerouted from 40 to 50 miles, detours with half hour to hour delays.
Joe Biden: (15:44)
One of the areas when I was doing this with our last major plan when Barack was president was in Pennsylvania. There was a large shopping center, a school and a restaurant, and it was just across the creek as we say up in that way, and bridge across it was deficient. There was a fire station just within eyesight from here to the others, to that the parking lot. Guess what? When there was a burn, when there was a fire, it took them, they had to go up nine miles to find a bridge, come back, and by that time, a hell of a lot of damage was done. Well, the bridges all over America, big and small, like that.
Joe Biden: (16:22)
A few years ago, as I said, we found ourselves in a position where it’s not just more inconvenient and like the situation in Mississippi, it is also a matter of life and death, keeping firefighters, paramedics from getting people need help they need, cutting off hurricane evacuation routes. In addition, more than one in five miles of our highways in the United States of America, major roads in America, are in poor condition. One in five miles. That’s more than a safety hazard. That is a drain on our economy.
Joe Biden: (16:58)
The typical American pays. This is going to sound wonky, but it’s real and it affects ordinary Americans’ lives like the neighborhoods I come from. Typical American pays a hidden tax of more than $1,000 a year in the time wasted and the fuel wasted due to traffic congestion because of the nature of our infrastructure. We rank eighth in the world in terms of our infrastructure. We used to be the leader in the world. All told, these delays cost our country, according to economists, an estimated $160 billion a year in waste, extra fuel, extra time, and like.
Joe Biden: (17:34)
That’s due to the congestion, and folks in Louisiana know, there are much greater threats than just congestion. When the road or the bridge is washed out, or when it can’t stand up to a hurricane, people can’t get to the jobs. They can’t get to their schools. Families can’t get to hospitals safely. This is about creating jobs and also saving lives. My mother used to have an expression, Gov. She’d say, “Out of everything bad, Joey, something good will come if you look hard enough for it.” Well, one of the things that this, this crisis in terms of the health crisis of COVID has shown us, is that we have to build back better in a whole series of ways. It’s about building a strong foundation for the American people.
Joe Biden: (18:17)
When I think about the threats of hurricanes and global warming and the poor condition of our economy, as it relates particularly to infrastructure, I think of one thing. I think of jobs. Jobs. Jobs. Everything we’re gone through is now … The blinders have been taken off the American people. They know how bad a shape things are in, but it creates if we move. All the economists, including the liberal as well as conservative think tanks, point out what we’ll create, if we pass this jobs [inaudible 00:18:53], create up to 16 million good paying jobs, not $8 an hour, $12, not $15 an hour, prevailing wage jobs, wages you can raise a family on.
Joe Biden: (19:04)
You have what my dad would say, “just a little bit of breathing room after everything’s paid.” This state is working to rebuild the I-10 bridge, but we can put America to work in every state, fixing roads and bridges that are in desperate need of repair. I plan as a one-time $115 billion investment above and beyond business as usual, what we usually do, everything in the highway trust fund. This is above what we have spent in the past. We can modernize bridges and roads and highways that need it most, putting people to work and good paying jobs.
Joe Biden: (19:40)
Now, I know a lot of you watching at home are thinking that well, if these jobs are for you. Well, all you folks who feel left out as the economy is moving so rapidly, everything’s changing, and you’re wondering whether, what you did before, is even going to be available to be done in the future. well, let me tell you something. If you feel left out and forgotten in a rapidly changing economy, let me speak directly to you. Nearly 90% of all of these
Joe Biden: (20:03)
… the changing economy, let me speak directly to you. Nearly 90% of all the infrastructure jobs that this is going to create won’t require a college degree, 75% of them won’t even require an associate’s degree. These are jobs that can’t be outsourced. They just require something we’ve got in good supply here in Louisiana, hard work, grit and sweat, like the workers that are here today. And like all of the people you know and grew up with.
Joe Biden: (20:31)
American Jobs Plan is a blue-collar blueprint to rebuild America, to supercharge our economy, so we can move goods, get to work, become more competitive around the world, to shorten our commutes, to give us back the lost time to our families, to make our community safer, to save lives. All told, the American Jobs Plan is going to modernize 20,000 miles of highways and roads. It will fix the nation’s 10 most economically significant bridges that require replacement. They’re just not safe anymore, which this bridge could be one of them. And repairs 10,000 bridges that desperately need to be upgraded. Bridges, it gets kids to school, people to market. And when you build better roads or extend the train line over to next town or install reliable high speed internet, it sparks new life and investment in communities. It gives people hope.
Joe Biden: (21:28)
Business picks up at the local convenience store, at the seafood market, at the hardware store. We’re centers of people’s locus and their jobs and their economies. Better jobs start coming to town. You haven’t seen that in a long time. Suddenly, young people don’t have to make the decision, whether they have to leave to have a better opportunity. They stay where they are. That’s what infrastructure does, it has a rippling effect. And when we make all these investments, we’re going to make sure one thing, that we buy American.
Joe Biden: (22:01)
Now, I know I’m being accused when I say, “I’m only going to buy American.” As president, that somehow I’m going to violate trade agreements. No, since the 1930s you’re allowed to… A president could just decide to buy only American. It’s just, I’m going to get to spend somewhere in the order of $600 billion this year, everything from building an aircraft carrier and new decks and all, and I guarantee you one thing, and I’ve set it in place, every single thing from a deck of an aircraft carrier to reeling in a new building, is going to be built by an American company, American workers, American supply chain. So that we invest American tax dollars in American workers. And that’s what we’re going to do. I promise you.
Joe Biden: (22:53)
Because right now, that law has existed, but you’re allowed to have exceptions. So what do you do? The last president has come along and said, ” Well, we have a little trouble making sure we can find somebody who is able to put the railings in this new building and the stairwells.” Well, guess what? There’s a whole hell of a lot of Americans to make that. So we’re going to have a spot. You just call the White House, we’ll find you any company that makes those railings, for example, it’s one concrete example. Rather than going abroad to purchase those. It’s going to create jobs and going to generate economic growth.
Joe Biden: (23:26)
And look, this is all about making a choice, a choice between giving tax breaks to the super wealthy and to corporations, and investing in working families. We’re going to build a country. I look at this as… What I’m talking about is giving essentially tax breaks to hard work and middle-class and working people, who built this country. In my view, it’s an easy choice. Invest in workers wearing hard hats and doing the hard work of rebuilding the country and putting line workers, for example, to put line workers and electricians to work laying thousands of miles of transmission lines to build a modern energy grid. To put engineers and construction workers to work, building modern roads and bridges. Weatherizing homes, and buildings, and setting new standards where they have to be built with better material and they have to be built to withstand heavy winds, and hurricanes, and the light, and withstand the impact of the changing weather.
Joe Biden: (24:21)
To put plumbers and pipe fitters to work, replacing a hundred percent of the nation’s lead pipes and service lines that are delivering poison water to our kids in over 400,000… 400,000 schools in America have lead pipes going into the schools right now. And you have over 10 million homes, where their water source is fed by lead pipes, were laid years and years ago. We’re going to rip it all up and make it safe all across America. And it’s going to provide millions of jobs, thousands of jobs, and it’s going to provide much more security. It’s going to put plumbers and pipe fitters to work, replacing this. So every child in America can turn on a faucet and not worry about drinking polluted water.
Joe Biden: (25:13)
I’m going to be visiting the water plant in New Orleans today to get a closer look at what’s needed to modernize the city’s water system, because it needs modernization, and they need a repair. Look, these are the highest values investments you can make as a nation and they last the longest. Economists, left, right and center, agree that these are investments we need to make to generate historic economic growth, is maintained, not just bringing jobs back, but creating new jobs. And together with the American Rescue Plan, the American Jobs Plan is going to help the economy create, as I said, estimated over 16 million good paying jobs. And folks, we can’t afford to not do it. We can’t afford to not spend the time and effort and money.
Joe Biden: (25:58)
Let me explain how we pay for this because I’m not a deficit spender. Because we had a tax cut, the other team put in, back in 2017. And it created a $2 trillion deficit with the vast majority of that going to the top one tenth of 1% of the wage earners. I don’t want to punish anybody. You are entitled to be a millionaire or a billionaire, just pay your fair share. Just pay.
Joe Biden: (26:25)
For example, if we just were to make sure that we had the tax rate for the top rate in America for income tax, what it was and the Bush administration, it would go from 36% to 39.6%. Well guess what? That would raise a minimum of $10 billion a year. No one’s hurt, someone making that money is still going to have two homes or a jet plane, these are mostly millionaires. They’re not going to it hurt a little bit. But we’re going to able to put tens of thousands of kids in preschool and in free community college.
Joe Biden: (27:01)
What’s going to help America more? Increase the educational standard of all Americans, so they have 14 years of school. From years of three and five-year-olds, three, four and five years old. We show that happens. If they cannot go to daycare, they go to school. No matter what the background or the home they come from, they catch up. 58% of them go on to go to college. We know that now. We also know that if you give two years of free community college, you’re in a situation where you’re in a position that you’re going to have in your state and every other state in America, you’ll allow to go, the last two years, that all those credits are available to your state universities, you can get a four year degree for half the cost. And/or you get the two year degree and you’re able to do what you needed to do.
Joe Biden: (27:49)
It’s estimated on increase the average income by over 20% for someone in America, for the rest of their lives. So folks, the fact is that, again, I’m not looking to punish anyone. I come from the corporate state of the world, Delaware, more corporations are incorporated in the State of Delaware than every other state in the union combined. But guess what? I’m sick and tired of corporate America not paying their fair share. Their taxes used to be 36%. We all thought that was too high, even in our administration. And we wanted to reduce it to 28%, make it more competitive. Some thought 24. But it got reduced to 21%. Do you know what the result is? Of the largest corporation in America, 50 don’t pay a penny in tax. Made $40 billion, don’t pay a penny in tax.
Joe Biden: (28:45)
If you’re a construction worker and your wife’s a school teacher, you’re paying at a higher tax rate than corporate America’s paying, not a joke. I don’t want to punish them. And by the way, they used to do a lot more research and development. Major corporations now, because we’ve changed the law… In fact, it used to be that a corporate CEO got paid 36 times as much as the average employee in their corporation, in the Fortune 500. Now, it’s 456 times. My mother would say, “Who died and left them boss?” Well, 53% of all the money they made, excuse me, of a trillion dollars over 10 years, what did it do? According to a major study, it went to buying back their stock.
Joe Biden: (29:31)
And why you buy back their stock? Because CEOs now get paid in stock purchases, stock options. It used to be, they got paid in direct salary. And they get paid in stock options. So if you have 10 shares of stock, you sell five, the five left are worth more. You get paid in stock, it’s better.
Joe Biden: (29:50)
The remaining 37% goes to dividends, which makes sense. But leaves 9%, 9% for everything. According to the study out of the University of Massachusetts, everything, from salaries…
Joe Biden: (30:02)
… Massachusetts. Everything, from salaries, employment, research and development, 9%. So, folks, we used to invest in research and development in this country, about 2.4% of all that we did, making us the leading country in the world in change and research and development.
Joe Biden: (30:21)
Well, we now do 0.7. The Chinese are eating our lunch. They’re eating our lunch economically. They’re investing hundreds of billions of dollars in research and development. That’s why right now, if it keeps going their way, they’re going to own the electric car market in the world. They’re going to own a whole range. We got to compete, we got to compete, and it doesn’t cost anybody, anything and deprive anybody of anything they have earned or deserve.
Joe Biden: (30:47)
As I said, we’re now at a place where, when they used to pay 35%, it’s now 21%. The way I can pay for this is the $40 billion, for example, just making sure the largest companies don’t pay zero, and reducing the tax cut to between 25 and 28. It’s a couple hundred billion dollars. We can pay for these things.
Joe Biden: (31:11)
I’m not talking about deficit spending. I’m talking about paying for [inaudible 00:31:15], and I realize I’m getting too wonky-ish here, giving you too much detail. But the point is what I’m proposing is badly needed and able to be paid for and still grow. Trickled down ain’t working very well, man. We got a bill from the bottom up in the middle out. That’s how we built America. That’s how we built it so well back in the ’60s. And so folks, look, middle-class family, as I said, and a construction worker with a kid, with two kids is paying more in federal taxes than a multimillion dollar, billion dollar corporation that’s making billions of dollars in terms of the rate at which they pay.
Joe Biden: (31:54)
And look, here we go. Still, the fact is that the plans that I put forward meets the middle-class and raises corporate rates. It also lowers it. We’re lower than any point than it was since World War II. And it’s going to generate $90 billion each year, hundreds of thousands of jobs. We’re going to put a lot of folks to work.
Joe Biden: (32:17)
And by the way, how many of you are veterans or have a brother, sister, mother, father who’s a veteran? Well here in Lake Charles, you got a new veterans clinic. It was built two years ago, beginning when Barack and I were in office. But most VA hospitals, for example, are 50 years old or older. Ask your buddies, ask your buddies when they … We have more people, more veterans and more active military commuting suicide every week than are killed in all our wars. Why? Pick up a phone, we have more people coming back with post-traumatic stress than anything else.
Joe Biden: (32:56)
I carry in my pocket my schedule, on the back of my schedule, I have updates, U.S. troop updates. How many people have died in Iraq and Afghanistan? Not generally over 6,000, 6,000, as of this morning, 927. Every single solitary one of those fallen angels left an entire community behind. Wounded 53,196, now roughly 53,000. Well, guess what? Ask your people, ask around in your state in any other state.
Joe Biden: (33:29)
You got a husband and wife calling saying she has post-traumatic stress and she’s stressed. I need to get her in there right away, but we can’t see you for three weeks. We don’t have enough docs and the building is 15 years old … 50-years-old. We have a sacred obligation to invest in that infrastructure. Better docs … not better, more docs, more psychiatric nurses in order to take care of these things.
Joe Biden: (33:57)
Look, folks, the bottom line here is, and I’m going on too long, the American Jobs Plan puts people to work, upgrading and VA hospitals and put up for our veterans and our service members and military families. And let me ask you, what’s better for America, a tax cut to make corporations richer and CEO’s richer, or investments going to make our country stronger, more competitive and lift up the standard living for everybody? And by the way, this is not punishing anybody. All those folks are still going to have two homes or three homes in their jets and it won’t matter. Not going to change their standard of living one little bit.
Joe Biden: (34:31)
Not surprisingly critics say the worry that I’m going to stunt economic growth by raising taxes on corporations and the wealthy. There was just one problem with their argument: the facts. Experts have looked at it, the last time taxes were around the rates I’m proposing was in the ’90s and the economy boomed. America created 20 million new jobs in eight years when these were the tax rates.
Joe Biden: (34:53)
And the facts are the American economy has had a record job creation and growth under the same kind of plan I’m proposing. And here’s why, our economy has always done best when everyone pays their fair share. Again, I’m not looking to punish anybody. I’m looking to rebuild America as a world leader. I’m going to look to make sure we have the best and most significant infrastructure in the world. It’s time to grow this economy from the bottom up and the middle out.
Joe Biden: (35:20)
Let me close with this, infrastructure has historically been a bipartisan undertaking, and there’s no reason it shouldn’t be that way again, as the mayor is evidence of and others are. It’s about coming together to create jobs to make a more competitive world. What’s the first thing anybody asks you when they want to put a new facility here in your city? How close is the interstate and what’s the access to the lake? What’s going … I mean, what’s the water supply? They want to know you have the best infrastructure. Companies and corporations go where they can get their product made the quickest and get it to market the fastest. And we’re doing everything we can to win the competition in the 21st century.
Joe Biden: (36:02)
I’m willing to hear ideas from both sides. I’m meeting with my Republican friends up in the Congress to see, number one, how much they’re willing to go for, what they think are the priorities and what compromises meet, man … I’m ready to compromise, but I’m not ready to do, I’m not ready to do nothing. I’m not ready to have another period where America has another infrastructure month and doesn’t change a damn thing.
Joe Biden: (36:29)
America is more competitive, better, and more capable than any nation in the world. There’s not a damn thing we can not do when we do it together. It’s about time we start working together like mayors and local officials do, like governors do. I find more support from Republican governors and mayors and Democratic governors and mayors around the country because they got to answer the question, is life better in this town, this city, this state than it was before I got elected? And we can make it better. We can make it better. It shouldn’t be controversial. So let me conclude by saying, God bless you all, and may God protect our troops. Thank you.