Biden’s attacks on Scott and the MAGA movement he says is the “most extreme” political movement in American history included what White House aides previewed as a major policy address by Biden about countering inflation on Tuesday.
But what he delivered was a political speech meant to cast doubt in swing voters’ minds about the economy with Republicans in charge. The president made clear that the midterm elections were very much on his mind at the top of his remarks, saying: “Today, I’d like to talk about two potential paths forward to address the No. 1 challenge facing families today — inflation.”
He focused mostly on the GOP’s proposed path, jabbing repeatedly at the former Florida governor.
“What’s the congressional Republican plan? They don’t want to solve inflation by lowering your costs. They want to solve it by raising your taxes and lowering your income,” Biden said. “I happen to think it’s a good thing when American families have a little more money in their pockets at the end of the month, but the Republicans in Congress don’t seem to think so. Their plan … is going to make working families poorer. You don’t have to take my word for it. It’s in writing. They’ve made their intentions perfectly clear.”
“It’s the ‘ultimate MAGA agenda.’ Their plan is to raise taxes on 75 million American families, over 95 percent of who make less than $100,000 a year total income,” the president added, using estimates Republicans dismiss.
Biden also made a point to stress that the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s war in Ukraine are, in his view, the main drivers of increased prices. Republican lawmakers say Democrats’ penchant for big government spending and Biden’s bungling of things like the ongoing gas price hike are to blame.
In the speech, Biden repeatedly reiterated his previous policies, such as pressing large corporations to “not engage in price gouging, and to pay their fair share in taxes.” He spoke of previous proposals to hand out tax credits so Americans can make their homes more energy efficient and tax credits to businesses who produce renewable energy products, among other things.
“My plan is already in motion,” Biden declared. But major parts of it are not. Those might be permanently stalled in the evenly divided Senate as part of his derailed “Build Back Better” plan.
Some Democratic caucus members want the president to do more.
“I think there has got to be an awareness that a lot of inflation — not all of it, but a lot — is driven by corporate greed,” said Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., “and that prices are rising outrageously from companies that are making huge profits. We have got to be mindful of that.”