DULUTH, Georgia: President Joe Biden visited Georgia on Thursday evening (April 29) for $ 4 trillion in spending to rebuild the country’s old infrastructure and significantly expand the federal social safety net, choosing a new battleground politician to assert his point of view. Americans want a more activist government.
With his visit to a state he won by less than 12,000 votes, Biden set out to garner public support for his plan and try to persuade resistant Republicans that his massive proposal is an investment the country cannot. allow yourself to pass up.
“We need to invest in the things that matter and that our families need most,” Biden told hundreds of supporters who showed up for a socially remote auto rally in the Atlanta suburb of Duluth.
The trip to Georgia is part of an effort to give momentum to the massive – and expensive – agenda that Biden articulated in his first address to a joint session of Congress a night earlier. This is a radical departure from nearly four decades of politics in which leaders of both parties have spoken of the need to contain the government.
Of particular significance is Biden’s decision to make Georgia his first stop after the speech. He was the first Democratic presidential candidate to carry the state since Bill Clinton in 1992.
The state, long a Republican stronghold, is now a political battleground that will feature closely watched races for the Senate and Governor next year. It will almost certainly be one of the most competitive states in the 2024 presidential campaign.
Ahead of the evening car rally in Duluth, Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, first visited former President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn Carter, at their home in Plains, Georgia.
Carter’s defeat to Republican Ronald Reagan in 1980 ushered in an era in which calls for smaller government and lower taxes for big business and the wealthy were adopted as a tonic for economic growth.
Biden, who established himself as moderate during his decades in office but switched to a more progressive approach to governance early in his presidency, refuted Wednesday that “Reagan’s trickle-down economy never worked ”.
He renewed his call for the richest Americans to pay more taxes to help pay for a wide range of proposals, including universal preschool, a tuition-free community college, expanded child care benefits and Moreover. Biden says his proposal for roughly $ 1.5 trillion in tax hikes will only target households earning $ 400,000 or more.
“It’s about time the very rich and corporations started paying their fair share,” Biden said. “It’s as simple as that.”
For their part, Republicans resist Biden’s calls for more spending, but still sharpen their argument and avoid attacking him personally.
“I think the president is hard to vilify. I think he is well intentioned. I think he was greeted warmly in a personal way, ”said Senator Roy Blunt, member of the Republican leadership. “But the proposals he made are overwhelming in terms of a new footprint for government and a new level of government spending.”
Biden spoke by phone Thursday with Senator Shelley Moore Capito to discuss infrastructure and jobs, according to the White House. The West Virginia Republican has publicly expressed interest in finding common ground with Biden on an infrastructure bill. The White House said Biden and Moore Capito reiterated “their willingness to negotiate.”
It was no accident that Biden chose Gwinnett County as the backdrop to start defending his spending plan. Atlanta County, a fast-growing suburb northeast of downtown, Gwinnett has become a source of Democratic support in the state.
Gwinnett is distinguished by its racial and ethnic diversity, with rapidly growing populations of Asian and Hispanic descent and a thriving business community of immigrants and first generation citizens. The county anchors Georgia’s 7th Congressional District, which first-year Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux reversed in 2020 to give Democrats control of the two suburban neighborhoods along Atlanta’s north metro ring.
Biden is also expected to visit Pennsylvania and Virginia in the coming days to promote his spending plan.
The US $ 4 trillion surge in federal spending is a huge gamble. Biden rules with the smallest majority of majorities in Congress, and even some members of his own party have whitewashed at the cost of his proposals.
Biden has repeatedly insisted that his plans will put Americans back to work, restoring the millions of jobs lost to the virus. In his speech to Congress, he presented a broad proposal for a universal preschool, two years of free community college, $ 225 billion for child care, and monthly payments of at least $ 250 to parents. His ideas target the vulnerabilities that have been uncovered by the pandemic, and he argues that economic growth will come better from taxing the rich to help the middle class and the poor.
In his first three months in office, Biden signed a US $ 1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill – passed without a single GOP vote – and secured direct payments of US $ 1,400 per person to more than 160 million households. Hundreds of billions of dollars in aid will soon flow to states and local governments, enough money for overall U.S. growth this year to eclipse 6% – a level not seen since 1984.
A significant amount proposed on Wednesday alone would ensure eligible families receive at least $ 250 per month per child through 2025, extending the enhanced tax credit that was part of Biden’s COVID-19 aid. There is reportedly over US $ 400 billion for subsidized child care and free preschool for all 3 and 4 year olds.
A combined supplement of US $ 425 billion would permanently reduce health insurance premiums for people who receive coverage through the Affordable Care Act, as well as a national holiday program family and medical expenses. Further spending would go to Pell Grants, historically black and tribal institutions, and allow people to attend community college tuition-free for two years.