Biden’s 100 Day Speech
Dear Rich Lifer,
On the eve of his 100th day in office, President Joe Biden delivered his first address to Congress and declared “America is ready for takeoff.”
In his speech, President Biden stressed his efforts to combat the coronavirus, expand Covid-19 vaccinations and spur economic growth.
He pitched a broad vision for government investment to boost the economy, including a $1.8 trillion proposal for new spending on child care, education and paid leave.
His address looked different for multiple reasons this year. For one, the audience was sparse (only about 200 people), masked and lacking any in-person guests. More historically, it was the first time ever that
two women, Vice President Kamala Harris and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, were seated together behind a President.
Today, we will break down President Biden’s speech and go through some main takeaways from his first address.
“We Are Already Seeing the Results”
President Biden began his speech by commenting on how far America has come in the last 100 days and crediting the American Rescue Plan for helping get the U.S. back on track.
“We are already seeing the results,” Mr. Biden stated, citing the over 220 million Covid shots administered since he took office and the efforts that have been made to make the vaccine more accessible and available to adult Americans.
He noted that now, 90% of Americans live within five miles of a vaccination site, and every adult American over the age of 16 is eligible to get the shot. He urged all Americans to go get the vaccine calling the shot a “dose of hope.”
He also touched on the economic recovery spurred by the American Rescue Plan, thanking both Republicans and Democrats for their efforts to send $1400 relief checks to 85% of American households.
He noted that one of the biggest accomplishments of his plan was putting the U.S. on track to cut child poverty in half this year. He also cited the over 1.3 million new jobs the economy created — “more jobs in the first 100 days than any President on recond,” he was proud to reveal.
He also stated, “The International Monetary Fund is now estimating our economy will grow at a rate of more than 6% this year. That will be the fastest pace of economic growth in this country in nearly four decades.”
The celebration of how far we have come led to another key theme of President Biden’s speech… “we can’t stop now.”
“We Can’t Stop Now”
After beginning his speech with a list of wins for the American people, he warned that “we are in competition with China and other countries to win the 21st century.”
In order to compete with the rest of the world, America must now work even harder. This led President Biden into his first call for support of his $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan and his new American Jobs Plan, which he called “a once in a generation investment in America itself… the largest jobs plan since World War II.”
He declared this funding would expand broadband, update infrastructure for drinking water and modernize the energy grid while creating millions of jobs that “Americans can raise a family on.” President Biden declared the leading principal of his plan is the idea of “buy[ing] American.”
He warned that without these plans, Chinese President Xi Jinping and other world leaders will think America is too slow to compete. President Biden urged, “The rest of the world isn’t waiting for us…. Doing nothing is not an option.”
He also linked job creation to the climate crisis and touted the American Jobs Plan as the answer for curbing climate change and creating jobs stating, “There is simply no reason why the blades for wind turbines can’t be built in Pittsburgh instead of Beijing.”
Of course, these plans have big price tags, and he took time in his speech to sell his proposed tax hikes…
“Trickle-Down Economics Has Never Worked”
President Biden pitched his plan to raise taxes on the wealthy and corporations to help cover the cost of nearly $4 trillion in proposed federal spending.
He repeated his campaign promise that those making less than $400,000 would not see tax increases, while also commenting that at a time of heightened inequality, the rich need to “pay their fair share.” He went even further to say, “My fellow Americans, trickle-down economics has never worked. It’s time to grow the economy from the bottom and middle-out.”
He called out the current pay gap between CEOs and their workers, which is now the largest in history, and he reminded Congress that as millions of Americans lost their jobs in the pandemic, 650 billionaires saw their combined net worth increase by $1 trillion.
Biden plans to raise the top income-tax (to 39.6% from 37%) and capital-gains rates (to 39.6% from 20% for families making over $1 million), and boost taxes on companies. He would also depend on a strengthened Internal Revenue Service to audit and collect more money.
Republicans have been vocal about their opposition to the tax proposal, a fact Biden seemed aware of during his speech…
“Agendas That Tear Us Apart”
President Biden said he would welcome Republican ideas on his infrastructure and antipoverty proposals and continue to meet with Republicans in the oval office to discuss his plans.
He also asked Republicans to work with Democrats to find middle ground on overhauling policing practices.
The Senate is evenly divided, and Democrats have only a small majority in the house, making Republican support necessary to pass Biden’s proposed spending bills. The likelihood of this type of support is unclear, as Republicans mostly stayed seated during the speech, and a few even booed when he brought up a sweeping voting rights bill that the Democrat-controlled House had passed.
The Republican rebuttal was given by Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, the only Black Republican in the Senate, who said, “A president who promised to bring us together should not be pushing agendas that tear us apart,” and called Biden’s infrastructure plan “a liberal wish list of big government waste.”
Of course, this is just a brief highlight reel of President Biden’s speech which also touched on his broader foreign policy and domestic agenda, including his decision to pull U.S. troops out of Afghanistan. He also renewed his call for Congress to overhaul the immigration system, federal policing policy, and pass new laws to strengthen gun control.
Overall, the undercurrent of hope for the American future was paired with a warning about the U.S.’s need to maintain its position as a powerful democracy. President Biden closed his speech by saying, “We have to prove democracy still works. That our government still works and we can deliver for our people.”
To a Richer Life,
The Rich Life Roadmap Team