Oct 5, 2021
Joe Biden Speech on Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill Transcript Michigan October 5
President Joe Biden spoke about the bipartisan infrastructure bill and his Build Back Better agenda in Michigan on October 5, 2021. Read the transcript of the speech briefing here.
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Lieutenant Governor Gilchrist: (00:00)
… For hosting us here today. This is a world class facility and is training the professionals of today and tomorrow for opportunity and prosperity. We all share tremendous gratitude in welcoming the President of the United States Joe Biden here joining us once again in the state of Michigan. And I’m honored to be here to talk about the Build Back Better agenda. This is an agenda that will deliver historic benefits for folks across the country and across the state of Michigan. It’s an agenda that will make historic investments in people, in families and communities from promoting access to healthcare, improving public transit, preparing us to respond to climate change and lifting people out of poverty and moving our state forward.
Lieutenant Governor Gilchrist: (00:50)
Now, these investments are designed to write the wrongs of a past that was stained by racism, that was littered with inequities that persists to the present. But now, we have a chance to move forward. The investments we make today will meet the challenges that we have in this particular moment and prepare our imaginations to run wild into the future. Now, Governor Whitmer and I are proud to have President Biden’s back. Since taking office, we’ve made progress on the issues that matter most of the people of Michigan.
Lieutenant Governor Gilchrist: (01:25)
That includes cleaning up drinking water, fixing bridges, connecting people to the internet, creating jobs and investing in educational opportunities and wraparound services for our young people. And we know that with allies in the White House, like President Biden, like Vice President Harris, we will be able to continue to make Michigan better together. And so with that, I would love to introduce to all of you, my partner in public service, the governor of the great state of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer: (02:03)
Thank you. All right. Thank you. Well, thank you. I am so happy to be here with the Lieutenant Governor and Congresswoman Slotkin and of course, phenomenal congressional representation here in Dingell and Kildee and Levin. So glad to be here with all of you. It’s great to be in Howell to talk about something that unites all of us, infrastructure. Our roads and our bridges connect us, literally. They bring people, communities and small businesses together. Safe, smooth roads and bridges ensure that folks can get to work, drop their kids off at school, run errands safely.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer: (02:39)
They help small businesses ship products and deliver services to their customers. They are crucial to our economic development as we emerge from this pandemic. Now I’m proud to be known as the fix the damn roads governor. You knew I was going to say it. Right, Doug? And I am proud to be working with an administration that has got the same values. I know just how critical infrastructure is to every Michigander. And that’s true not just here in our own state, but across the country. Every American, regardless of where they live or who they are.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer: (03:10)
It’s what I hear when I speak to people all across our 83 beautiful counties. And it’s why we’ve made a three and a half billion dollar investment in structure here with the Rebuilding Michigan Plan to support over 45,000 good paying jobs and deliver on dozens of projects across Michigan. It’s why we’re focused on the future of mobility and electrification, why we’ve brought new clean energy jobs to Michigan, including GM’s new battery plant and the F-150 lightning factory expansion, which I know the president enjoyed very much.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer: (03:42)
The electric vehicle’s jobs academy so that we can upskill our workforce and train our workers to build the best in the future of mobility right here in Michigan and the lake Michigan EV Circuit, which will be the best clean energy road trip in the United States of America. And we have plans to build the first wireless charging public road and autonomous parking garage here as well. So I want to thank President Biden for the infrastructure plan and the work that he is doing. Right now, we are poised to make historic investment in our roads, in our bridges, in our water infrastructure.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer: (04:18)
And I urge Congress to work together to pass both the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The bold legislation that uplifts working people by cutting middle class taxes, lowering costs for jobs, childcare and housing, and create good paying clean energy jobs. We can do this. We will do this together. Together, we can invest in places like Howell, Michigan, where we’re standing today and build vibrant, welcoming communities where working people of all races and backgrounds can get the skills they need so they can get into a good paying job, take care of their families and build a better future for everyone.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer: (04:57)
So together we can put Michiganders and Americans first and usher in a new era of prosperity for our families, communities, and small businesses. So I am glad to be here, glad to showcase this phenomenal site and welcome my friend, our Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin to the podium. Thank you.
Representative Elissa Slotkin: (05:18)
Thank you, Governor. And thank you to the president for visiting, joining us here today in Michigan’s eighth district. I want to start by thanking the operating engineers for hosting us. It is my seventh trip here. This is the first time I’ve come here and not been able to drive a big piece of equipment, but it’s also a place that lets statewide groups come and train, including search and rescue units, K-9 units. So it’s a real center of activity. The truth is there is no better place to talk about this infrastructure bill because the folks sitting in front of us will be the ones clearing the roads, repairing the bridges, running the buildings, reinforcing the dams that haven’t had serious real investment in over a generation.
Representative Elissa Slotkin: (06:04)
I have traveled around my district to every corner of it and lots of people have lots of priorities, but the infrastructure issues that Michiganders are facing unite us. There is no such thing as infrastructure problems in blue areas or red areas. We all need safe roads to drive on and we have more than 7,300 miles of highway in poor condition. We all need better infrastructure for our water, particularly with all these storms. We all need clean drinking water because of PFAS and lead pipes.
Representative Elissa Slotkin: (06:36)
We all want our kids and our businesses to be successful in the 21st century, so we need reliable internet. That is particularly important here as we stand in Livingston County, where one out of 10 households does not have access to high speed broadband. Frankly, we’ve talked about the challenges in infrastructure for a long time, a lot of talk. We’ve had more infrastructure weeks than we can all count in the past five years. But now finally, we have the real opportunity to do something about it in a bipartisan way.
Representative Elissa Slotkin: (07:08)
And I’m glad that the president came here to show us what we’re going to do. I want him to look out at the faces of our operating engineers and take them, those faces back with us to Washington so we can get this done. He understands as well that if we’re going to make these investments, we have to be able to pay for them. He was generous enough to give me a ride from the airport and we talked a lot about the fact that we are not going to take this bill and pass on more debt to our kids. And we are not going to pay for this bill on the back of working families.
Representative Elissa Slotkin: (07:43)
We are not going to do that. Here in Michigan, we have the facilities, the equipment, the skilled workforce to get the job done. That’s why it’s so important that we pass this generational investment. We do that in Congress and we get it to the president’s desk. We all know that it’s not just about passing the bill. It’s the good paying jobs that come out of that bill. Thousands and thousands, millions of good paying jobs, prevailing wage, good paid jobs and here in Michigan and all over the country.
Representative Elissa Slotkin: (08:14)
So as I told the president today in the coming days and weeks, we’re going to do everything we can to get this passed, get it over the finish line. That is my responsibility as a member of Congress and my commitment as the representative of this district. Thank you very much.
Speaker 1: (08:44)
Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the stage, John Osika, Training Director Operating Engineers 324, and the President of the United States Joe Biden.
John Osika: (09:14)
Good afternoon and welcome to the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 324 Construction Career Center. My name is John Osika. I’m the training director for this organization and for statewide, we have four campuses, including the 560 acres that you are setting in today. On behalf of Local 324’s business manager, Douglas Stockwell, and our membership, I would like to first thank our guests, the media, and of course, President Joe Biden.
John Osika: (09:49)
I also would like to recognize our International General President James T. Callahan, who was unable to attend, but sends his warmest regards. At Local 324, we have a saying, “We build. We operate. We maintain. With over 14,000 members, Local 324 operates the heavy machines that propel construction, the roads, bridges, buildings, energy plants, pipelines, airports, and nearly every large scale project in the state. We operate the cranes, the dozers, trucks, excavators, and countless other equipment that is building infrastructure daily.
John Osika: (10:32)
Building infrastructure takes investment. For our members, it’s the investment of time to learn how to build things safely and efficiently. Training is the key to everything we do. It’s an investment in ourselves, in our work and in our communities. I’ve been a member for 36 years before becoming the training director. I spent 30 years working in the field as a foreman, superintendent, building the roads and bridges in the state of Michigan. I know firsthand the skills our members bring to every job. I also know how much there is need of repair.
John Osika: (11:18)
The Infrastructure Investment and the Jobs Act is once in a generation chance to provide world class infrastructure that is safe, reliable, and more resilient. It’s a blue collar plan to invest in America and create hundreds of thousands of family wage jobs, build healthy communities and reduce congestion and gridlock. The infrastructure bill is a job created lifeline to millions of skilled workers throughout the construction industry, contributing to long term economic growth and improving the quality of life for Americans.
John Osika: (11:58)
Most importantly, it’s an investment in our country. The IU-
John Osika: (12:03)
It’s an investment in our country. The IU OE local 324 has kept Michigan running for over 100 years. Now we stand and ready to build back better. With that, I welcome the President who is paving the way, President Joe Biden.
President Joe Biden: (12:18)
Don’t forget your mask.
John Osika: (12:19)
I might need that.
President Joe Biden: (12:27)
Yeah. Hello, Michigan. It’s good to be back. It really is. And John, thank you for that introduction. Truth of the matter is, is the reason why the American Labor Movement across the board has the single best workers in the world because you’re the best trained. I wish the American people understood how much serious, serious training goes into being a union worker. I really mean it. You’re the best in the world. I was kidding. Someone said to me earlier that I said, I’m a union President. I’m a President who supports unions, not labor unions. And someone pointed out to me that I allegedly have used the word union as President more than the last seven presidents combined. You built the country. No, not a joke. You have built the country and it’s great to be here with several excellent members of Congress. Elissa Slotkin, Alyssa, you don’t want to screw around with her. She’s an intelligence officer as well. So she’s forgotten more than most of you know, but thanks for riding out with me and thanks for the advice you’ve given me and I mean that sincerely and how we’re going to make sure that everything we do here is paid for and not a single penny raised in taxes of anybody making under $400,000.
President Joe Biden: (13:56)
Debbie, you’re the best in the world. You and John have been friends of mine for so, so long. You’ve stepped in and taken over in a way that I think has had to be both emotionally difficult, but you’ve done an incredible job and I consider you one of my great friends. Thank you. Dan, you’re okay, Dan. You ain’t quite like the woman’s sitting next to you, but all kidding aside, Dan, you’ve done a great, I really mean it. You’re always there for everything. It’s important to constituents and you understand what I’m going to talk about a little bit later. The way we built this country is from the bottom up and the middle out, not from the top down and you get it.
President Joe Biden: (14:42)
Andy, as my dad would say, you got good blood kid and thank you for what you’re doing. Thank you for stepping in and thank you for the great job you do. Michigan, it’s also fortunate to have an outstanding United States Senators who are doing what they’re supposed to do. They’re in Washington because the Senate’s in. Debbie and Gary are in Washington now to cast some really important votes to keep things moving. And of course, it’s great to be with my friend. We become friends, an outstanding governor, one of the best governors in the United States of America and her Lieutenant governor who covers her in every way, both in terms of physically and mentally and every other way, and thank you for all you did to help me get elected. I really mean it. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
President Joe Biden: (15:31)
Look, I know there’s a lot of noise in Washington. There always is, but it seems to me a little more than usual now. A whole lot of hyperbole, a lot of heat and I’m here today to try to set some things straight if I can. I want to talk about what’s fundamentally at stake for our country now at this moment. I know it’s an overused phrase, but I’ve been using it a lot. We’re at an inflection point. Anywhere from 40 to 80 years in America, there’s an inflection point. We have to choose what direction we’re going to go, what we’re going to do. Not Democrat, Republican, but who we going to be?
President Joe Biden: (16:05)
For a long time, America set the pace across the entire globe. For the better part of the 20th century, we led the world by a significant margin in investments in ourselves, in our people, in our country. We invested in our infrastructure, in our roads, highways, bridges, ports, airports, and the arteries of the nation that allow commerce to function smoothly and swiftly and allow us to generate significant income. We’ve invested in our people and opportunity. We’re among the first to provide access for example to free education. It’s the reason why in the 20th century we began to take off.
President Joe Biden: (16:44)
It was back in the late 1890s, we decided among the first countries that we were going to be the first nation that every single American, regardless of their background, wasn’t at a time regardless of their background, but based on income would have free 12 years of education. We invested to win the space race. We led the world in research and development, which led to the creation of the internet, but then something happened. We slowed up, we stopped investing in ourselves. America’s still the largest economy in the world. We still have the most productive workers and the most innovative minds in the world, but we’re risk losing our edge as a nation.
President Joe Biden: (17:23)
Our infrastructure used to be the best in the world, literally not figuratively. Today, according to the World Economic Forum, we rank 13th, our infrastructure, 12 nations have a better infrastructure than we do, which means they can move product. They can do so many things better than we can do it. We’re among the first in the world to guarantee access to universal education. Now, the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development ranks America 35th out of 37 major countries when it comes to investing in early childhood education as a percent of GDP, think of that. Think of that. Of all the industrial nations in the world, the instinct Americans would say, if you asked them 25 years ago, they’d say, we’re number one. We are not. There’s only two industrial nations that are lower than us.
President Joe Biden: (18:15)
All those investments that fueled the strong economy, we’ve taken our foot off the gas. I don’t know what’s happened. The world has taken notice by the way, including our adversaries, and now they’re closing the gap in a big way. So it’s essential that we regain our momentum that we’ve lost. The work of our time, it seems to me, those of us who hold public office is prepare ourselves to be more competitive and to win the fast changing 21st century in the global economy. Things are changing incredibly quickly. That’s why I propose two critical pieces of legislation being debated back in Washington right now.
President Joe Biden: (18:56)
The first, a bill to invest in our physical infrastructure and the second is the bill to invest in our human infrastructure. I’ll talk about both these bills in just a moment, but first I want to set one thing straight. These bills are not about left versus right or moderate versus progressive or anything that pits Americans against one another. These bills are about competitiveness versus complacency. They’re about opportunity versus decay. They’re about leading the world or continue to let the world pass us by, which is literally happening. So support these investments is to create a rising America. America that is moving. Propose these investments is to be complicit in America’s decline.
President Joe Biden: (19:43)
To support these bills and to pursue a broader vision of our nation and oppose them is to accept a very cramped view of our future. This isn’t about two pieces of legislation. It’s about the inflection point I mentioned earlier. We are in our history, the world history. So here’s what I’m proposing. First, the infrastructure bill. It’s about rebuilding our roads, our highways, our bridges, our ports, our airports, our broadband, all the things that need repair. Our arteries of our economy have always been fueled by the economic might and dynamism of Americans.
President Joe Biden: (20:21)
Across the country right now, 45,000 bridges and 173,000 miles of roads according to engineers, [inaudible 00:20:32] engineers, are in poor condition, right now, including more than 1200 bridges as the governor’s been fighting to repair here in your state. 7,300 miles of roads here in Michigan. I’ll bet everyone in this room can tell me what the most dangerous intersection in this town or any town they live in and where it is, that you hold your breath when you’re driving over, trying to cross the street. Not a joke. Working with the governor and members of the Congress here, we’re going to put hard working Americans like the operating engineers here and how on the job to bring back our infrastructure to bring it up to speed. Good union jobs, not 12, 15, 18. Prevailing wage jobs, wage that gives you dignity, that you can raise a family on, that you can hold your head up. This is a blue collar blueprint for how we restore America’s pride. These are jobs that can’t be outsourced.
President Joe Biden: (21:35)
We’re going to put plumbers and pipe fitters to work, replacing lead pipes in America so families and children can drink clean water. 400,000 schools. I mean, it’s not just our homes. It’s across the country. We’re going to put line workers and electricians to work laying thousands of miles of transmission lines and to build a modern infrastructure and energy grid. We’re going to make high speed internet affordable and available to everywhere in America. We’re talking about on the way over with Alyssa, that how short the number of people have access to the internet here because of the lack of investment.
President Joe Biden: (22:13)
We’re going to make the largest investment in public transit in American history, and we’re going to make the most important investment in our rail system since the creation of Amtrak 50 years ago. Let me tell you, our competitors aren’t hanging around and waiting, see what we’re going to do. They’ve been pouring billions of dollars into infrastructure and into this training their people for years now. Take China, for example.
President Joe Biden: (22:36)
Now, I’ve been clear that China uses unfair COSIA practices to get ahead into their competitors, but that’s not the whole of the story. They also invest in themselves. In recent years, China has spent around three times as much on infrastructure as a share of their economy than we have, three times, and they’re not slowing.
President Joe Biden: (22:57)
Yesterday, my US trade representative delivered an important speech on our competition with China. She pointed out that China made a major investment in steel plants beginning about 20 years ago. In the last 20 years, half of American’s steel companies have been shuttered. We went from 100 US steel companies to 51 and employment in American steel industry dropped by 40% since the year 2000. China now produces more steel in one month than America does in an entire year. You can see it in the sector after sector.
President Joe Biden: (23:34)
Other countries are speeding up and America’s falling behind. We’ve got to reset the pace again. We got to set a different pace. For example, here in Michigan, we need to make sure that American auto workers lead the world electric vehicles. And some of you came to the White House when I had the Chairman of the Board of General Motors, Chrysler and Ford, and what did they decided to do.
President Joe Biden: (24:03)
… forward, and what did they decide to do? They decided they were going to lead the world and they were going to build more of the electric vehicles than any other country, but guess what? China’s not waiting around. They manufacturer more than twice as many electric vehicles as we have over the last decade. They control more than 75% of the battery market. And they’re poised to invest another 14 billion dollars in charging capacity now in their country. Back in May, I had the chance to tour Ford’s new state-of-the-art facility in Dearborn where union workers are building the first ever all electric Ford F150. I got to drive that sucker.
President Joe Biden: (24:43)
It’s quick. Zero to 60 in 4.1 seconds, and it’s a big boy. It’s a big one. Months later I hosted the big three auto makers at the White House where the Ford 150 was joined by the GMC Hummer and the Jeep Wagoner, all going electric, all in partnership with the UAW. The whole world knows that the future of the auto industry is electric. We need to make sure America builds that future instead of falling behind. We should build those vehicles and the batteries to get them here in the United States of America. That’s where we should build them, here in the state of Michigan. I want those jobs and I really mean it. I want those jobs here in Michigan, not halfway around the globe.
President Joe Biden: (25:26)
That’s what my plan will do. The infrastructure bill will put in motion the union workers on the job installing a national network of hundreds of thousands of charging stations along our roads and highways and communities, or 500,000 of them. And by the way, parenthetically when you build a charging station it’s like back in the day when my grand pop worked for the [inaudible 00:25:47] oil company back in the turn of the 1920s in that area. They went from state to state, convention people, that a lot of them put 20,000 gallons of gasoline under the ground. They didn’t want them around. But guess what happened? Everything builds up around them.
President Joe Biden: (26:04)
You put these charging stations along the highway you’re going to see a significant economic development go well beyond the charging station, and the Build Back Better Plan will boost our manufacturing capacity investing in new and retool facilities and employ American workers with good wages and benefits. That includes grants to kickstart new battery and parts productions, purchasing incentives for families to buy clean union made vehicles like the ones championed by Debbie and Dan and the Senate and the House.
President Joe Biden: (26:35)
And loans, and tax credits, to boost clean vehicle manufacturing. Look, these are the kinds of investments that get America back in the game and give our workers a chance. My plan also makes historic investments in clean energy including tax credits to help people do things like weatherize their homes, install solar panels, develop clean energy products, to help businesses produce more clean energy. All told, this project will save literally hundreds of millions of barrels of oil on a yearly basis. It’s not a joke.
President Joe Biden: (27:08)
These credits, those credits could cut the cost of installing a rooftop solar by about 30%, helping families cut the utility bills, and helping the country cut its emissions. My infrastructure bill will put Americans to work in long overdue national environmental cleanups. I want a job corps just like Roosevelt wanted a job corps, but an environmental job corps of over 1.6 million people. That means good jobs and prevailing wages capping hundreds of thousands of abandoned oil wells.
President Joe Biden: (27:40)
We have thousands and thousands of abandoned oil wells, and gas wells, and methane with methane leaks. Guess what? The miners and the people who dug those wells they’ll get paid the same amount of money to cap them now. It’s going to help us meet the moment of the climate crisis and do away with … It’s going to create good jobs, make us more economically competitive. Folks, here in Michigan you all know the cost of extreme weather. All remember the flooding this summer that shut down parts of I-96. The power outages and the tornado warnings. They’re costing your state billions of dollars.
President Joe Biden: (28:19)
Nationally, last year, last year because extreme weather it cost America 99 billion dollars. 99 billion tax payers’ dollars. I went all over the country. I went out west to the fires. More has burned down in the northwest than the entire state of New Jersey. That’s how much we’ve lost. You see what’s happened with the droughts that are out there. You see reservoirs that are down 30, 40, 50 feet. There’s worried about the cooling down. You’re worried about what the Colorado River’s going to do.
President Joe Biden: (29:03)
This is a big deal. This is gigantic. And we’re not going to ease up. We’re not going to ease up in any of this. We have to invest in resilience, resilience. You saw Texas. Their entire power grid went down, because they had no resilience, the ability to build back and build things stronger. Why a lot of those fires in the far west? Because guess what? It’s a hell of a lot safer to have those wires underground, not being knocked down by high winds and tornadoes and the like causing fires.
President Joe Biden: (29:40)
Look, we haven’t passed a major infrastructure bill for decades in this country. It used to be a normal thing to do. It used to be a bipartisan thing to do. If we get this done we’re going to breathe new life into our economy and our workers and we’re going to breathe cleaner air. Economists left, right, and center agree.
President Joe Biden: (30:02)
Earlier this year, Wall Street, not some liberal think tank, Wall Street, and a Wall Street outfit called Moody’s projected that the investments in these bills could help our economy create an additional two million jobs per year every year. Two million per year. That’s going to be transformative. And here’s the deal, the jobs in my plan are people who too often felt left behind and were left behind, left out. 90% of the jobs in this bill, these bills, in my infrastructure plan don’t require a four year college degree.
President Joe Biden: (30:39)
We need to get this done, but it isn’t enough just to invest in our physical infrastructure we’re going to lead the world like we used to, if we’re going to do that we have to also invest in our people like you do right here in this training facility. That’s why my second bill the Build Back Better Plan that’s what it does. Take education for example. When America said everyone is entitled to 12 years of free public education universal a century ago it gave us the best educated, best prepared, workforce in the world, and that was one of the reasons why America began to grow so rapidly. It’s a big part of why we led the world the bulk of the 20th century.
President Joe Biden: (31:23)
But guess what? If we were going to put together a committee today like they did in 1898 I think it was, and we were going to invent a public education system is there any chance that we’d say that we thought 12 years was enough in the 21st century, just 12 years? I don’t think so. Study after study shows that the earlier our children begin to learn in school, not daycare, the better for themselves, for their families, no matter what the background they come from, no matter what their background.
President Joe Biden: (31:57)
Recent university studies point out that they’re increased by 56% the chance for them to get all the way through 12 years of school without getting in trouble. It’s a gigantic deal. It doesn’t matter whether mom or dad no how to read or write, or the home is a home that is challenging. But right now, we’re lagging behind while other countries are investing in their children. Today, only about half of three and four year olds in America are enrolled in early childhood education.
President Joe Biden: (32:26)
In Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Latvia that number’s more than 90%, 90% of their three and four year olds. We’re falling further and further behind the curve. It’s not just through education. According to one study we ranked 33 out of 44 advanced economies when it comes to the percentage of our young people who have obtained a post high school degree, anything after high school. We’re at the bottom of the heap.
President Joe Biden: (32:59)
I bet if that was on a quiz, you’re on one of these quiz shows and they ask you that, you would’ve said maybe we’re two, or three, or four. It’s ridiculous. My Build Back Better Plan gets us back on track. We’ll make four additional years of public education available to every person in America, two years of high quality preschool at the front end, and investments in community colleges so our students can gain skills they need to carve out a place for themselves in the 21st century economy.
President Joe Biden: (33:29)
And also increase Pell Grants. There’re grants for kids making families less than 50 grand, helping their folks, helping them get through community college or historically black colleges in order to be able to get a shot so they can live, they can eat, while they’re going to school. And we’ll invest in historical black college and universities as our central asset to help and support and to make sure the young people of every background and circumstance have a shot at good paying jobs.
President Joe Biden: (33:59)
Look, this bill also invests in our workforce by providing so much needed breathing room for working families. After all, how can we compete in the world if millions of American parents, especially moms, can’t join the workforce because they can’t afford the cost of childcare or elder care and have to stay home? For example, here in Michigan the average two parent family spends $10,400 on childcare costs for just one child each year. 30 years ago the United States ranked sixth, sixth, among advanced economies and the share of women in the workforce.
President Joe Biden: (34:40)
Do you know what we are today? 23. 22 countries have a higher percentage of their women in the workforce making a competitive wage than the United States. While the competitors are investing in the care economy we’re standing still. And the fact is millions of American parents are feeling the squeeze. They’re having a hard time doing their job, earning a paycheck, while taking care of their children or aging parents, and at the same time in the sandwich generation.
President Joe Biden: (35:08)
My Build Back Better Plan’s going to change that because it costs the cost of childcare for most Michigan families by more than half. It’s going to extend a historic middle class tax cut to the childcare tax credit which we passed in my American Rescue Plan. Now, most people don’t know if you walk to the average informed person, doctor, lawyer, or whatever and said childcare tax credit they’re not sure what that means, but what it means is if you were making a decent salary and you had two kids, or three kids, or four under the age of 18 you get to deduct $2,000 for each child off your bottom line in your taxes you owe.
President Joe Biden: (35:48)
Guess what? If you’re making 15 bucks an hour you don’t have any taxes to pay like that, so guess what? You’ve got nothing. Zero. Zero. No help. My friends on the other team have no problem giving billionaires and millionaires-
President Joe Biden: (36:03)
My friends on the other team have no problem giving billionaires and millionaires gigantic tax breaks. This is a tax cut. What it does is, now and it’s in place, and people in your state are understanding it now, instead of it provides it upped the ante how much you could get for a child under seven, you get 3,600 bucks tax cut on a yearly basis, and you get 3,000 for a child under 17. But, guess what we did? That means we’re doing on a monthly basis now. It means you’re getting either 300 a month or 200 a month, just like your social security check at home. It’s cut child poverty by 40%. That money’s already a life-changer for so many working families, and as I said… Actually I was wrong, in Michigan it’s 44% cut in child poverty. We need to keep it going.
President Joe Biden: (36:56)
My plan is going to put Americans to work constructing the rehabilitating safe and affordable housing to help ease the cost of housing while generating even more jobs. Most of the major metropolitan areas of America, you can’t afford the housing and it helps to meet the moment on climate change as well. We’re setting the course for America to achieve 50 to 52% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, for us to reach net zero emissions by 2050. This bill helps us get there in a way that creates good jobs, makes us global leaders of fast growing, clean energy industries, like electric vehicles, solar and wind power and battery power. The bottom line is this, when we give working families a break, we’re not just raising their quality of life, we’re putting parents in a position to earn a paycheck. We’re also positioning our country to compete in the world.
President Joe Biden: (37:53)
That’s what these bills are all about. If you want proof, just come to this training facility, this is where hardworking folks come to learn how to operate road graders and so much more, where workers use virtual reality and the master operating a crane and they learn how to deal with drones to look underneath the bridges and so on, where young people in Michigan show up and emerge as expert technicians, engineers, heavy equipment operators. They leave here with a shot at something great, a union job with good wages and benefits that allow them to maintain their dignity and their pride. It’s a ticket to the middle class. This is where the economy starts with you, your skills, your dreams, and your limitless potential. The only thing we’ve been missing is the will from Washington to finally build an economy around you, an economy that gives you and your family a fighting chance to get ahead, gives our country a fighting chance to compete with the rest of the world.
President Joe Biden: (38:55)
We can’t get here thinking small. We have to think big. Let me be clear, we need to prepare for 10 years down the line. That’s what these bills do. Both these bills spend out over 10 years, not in the first year. So, if you take the infrastructure bill, folks, it’s described as a $1.2 trillion bill. What that means is that of all those investments in road, bridges, high-speed internet, water, everything else, all of it would be less than one half of 1% of our economy each year and it’s all paid for. And, they don’t increase the debt because they’re paid for by asking the very wealthy to begin to pay their fair share. As a matter of fact, a significant portion of this plan cuts taxes for working people. And best of all, the cost of these bills in terms of adding to the deficit is zero.
President Joe Biden: (39:53)
And, I made a commitment when I wrote these when I was running. No one making under $400,000 a year will see a penny in their taxes go up. That’s why in the infrastructure bill, there is no gas tax increase because people making under 400 would have to pay more. It’s simple, you’re working here at this facility, your spouse is a teacher or a firefighter, there’s no reason why, combined, why millionaires and billionaires in this country should be paying at a lower tax rate that you do. Hear me again now, a lower tax rate. A police officer, a teacher, a union crane operator, and a nurse, they paid a higher tax rate, a higher tax rate, than the significant portion of the major corporations in America and the super wealthy. Look, it isn’t right. Is that right that 55 of the largest corporations in America, in this country… And, I come from the corporate capital of the world. More corporations are incorporated in the state of Delaware than every other state combined, but you know how much those 55 companies… I could go on to more than that, they made over $40 billion and they paid zero in federal income tax. Since the pandemic began, the number of billionaires, and I forget the exact number there are in America, have seen their wealth go up collectively by $ 1 trillion. It isn’t fair, it needs to change. Look, working folks understand that. That’s why despite the attacks and misinformation, my plan has overwhelming support in the polling data from the American people. They understand what’s at stake. They understand that workers and families have a better shot, Americans have a better shot. I’m a capitalist. I think you should be able to go out and make $1 million or one billion, but just pay your fair share.
President Joe Biden: (42:03)
Join the crowd, man. They know that this is about dignity and respect. It’s about changing the paradigm, so the economy works for you, not just for those at the very top. It’s about building this economy from the bottom up and the middle out. That’s what I’ve done my entire career. That’s why I ran for president. As I said, I’m a capitalist. I think you should be able to make a lot of money in America, but just pay your fair share, pay your fair share. I took this agenda to the country. They said it was time to build an economy that looks out from Scranton, Pennsylvania, where I grew up as a kid, instead of looking down from Wall Street, an economy looks out from Howell, Michigan, and towns like it all over America that brings people from every race, background, religion into the game.
President Joe Biden: (42:54)
And not withstanding some of the signs that I saw come, that’s why 81 million Americans voted for me, the largest number of votes in American history, a clear majority who supported when they supported me. Look, it’s now time to deliver. Let me close with this. The world’s watching, not a joke. The autocrats of the world believe the world is moving so rapidly that democracies can’t generate consensus quickly enough to bring their people together to get things done. They think democracy is not a joke. My meetings with Putin, my meetings with Xi Jinping and other leaders, they truly believe that we can’t compete in the 21st century because things are moving so fast, democracies takes so much time that they are so divided that they can’t get together in time to act. They believe they’ll win the day and they can dictate their way forward and leave us behind.
President Joe Biden: (44:02)
They’re betting, not a joke there, they’re betting for the first time we weren’t responding to this inflection point in history, that we’ll fail to rise to the occasion, but you’ve heard me say it a lot of times, it’s never, ever been a good bet to bet against the American people, never. Look, just look back a little ways. After World War II, the United States did what we’re trying to do now, invested in the American people to lead the world. At the time, presidents and Congress of both parties and Americans of all political views stepped up. I’m not being sentimental here. There was racial discrimination, it was a fact of life. We know how deep rooted racism is in this country. We saw the Klan marching here in Howell generations ago and again in recent years. It’s a never ending battle, but think about what also unfolded in these critical decades, a great protest movement. Some of the nations was promised of equity. The GI Bill sent millions of veterans to college. The federal government helped make home ownership possible because it’s the vehicle by which people can generate wealth. Most of us who come from lower middle-class backgrounds, that’s how our parents were able to generate any wealth, the investments in our home. For those who could previously only dream of having a house to call their own. We invested in an interstate highway system, propelling our economy into the future. We invested in the space race, which led to huge strides in technology. We invested in something called DARPA, a program within the federal government that helped create the internet.
President Joe Biden: (45:41)
Folks, we need to step up again, but the challenge of today is one of economic competition. Let’s learn from that history, not because it was perfect, because Americans then did what we must do now, invest in ourselves to show the world that American democracy works and if given half a chance there’s nothing, not a single thing, we can’t achieve when we do it together. I know we can do this. I’m positive we can. I’d never been more optimistic about this country than I am right now. We’re going to restore faith, pride and dignity, the future of this country, and we’re going to pass both of these bills and start building this economy to beat the competition to deliver for working families. Thank you. May God bless you and may God protect our troops. Let’s get this done, thank you.
Speaker 2: (46:36)
President Biden, what are you willing to [crosstalk 00:46:37] to [crosstalk 00:46:39]?
President Joe Biden: (46:37)