Joe Biden: ‘Most Americans got nailed’

Vice President Joe Biden came out swinging today in advance of tomorrow’s U.S. Senate vote on President Obama’s tax proposal.

“It’s a simple proposition – we’re proposing to extend the middle-class tax cut for 98 percent of the American people” – those making up to $250,000 per year, Biden told reporters on a conference call.

If the tax cuts aren’t extended, 114 million people will see their taxes increase by thousands of dollars, he said. Biden was citing figures from a new report from the National Economic Council.

“This shouldn’t be a partisan issue,” he said. “But the Republicans have fixed on extending all the cuts… They’re holding the middle-class tax cut hostage.”

Republicans propose continuing the Bush-era tax cuts for all Americans, regardless of income. Biden said extending the cuts for those making more than $250,000 per year would cost $1 trillion over next decade, almost 80 percent of which would go to those making more than $1 million a year (who would continue enjoying an average tax cut of $160,000 per year). “What’s happening here is the very wealthy are getting the vast bulk of all of what the Republicans want to extend,” he said.

“The other side claims this is the best way to grow the economy,” Biden said – a continuation of “trickle down” economic policies. “The problem is, we’ve seen that movie before, and we know how it ends. It didn’t work before. In the beginning of the decade, congress passed trillions of dollars in tax cuts that benefited the wealthiest Americans more than anybody else.”

“What happened? The rich got richer… but most Americans got nailed. We had the slowest job growth in half a century after 2000, the typical family actually saw their income fall.”

In fact, Biden said, the Republicans’ tax proposal actually would hit millions of poor and middle-class Americans with higher taxes while protecting the wealthy.

He said that under the GOP plan, 11 million people will take a $1,100 tax hike because the American Opportunity Tax Credit for college expenses won’t be extended; 12 million will take an $800 tax hike due to elimination of recent child tax credit improvements; and 6 million will take a $500 tax hike due to elimination of marriage and large-family provisions under the Earned Income Tax Credit program.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • Elwood

    I don’t know to whom I would give more credence, Joe Biden or the village idiot.

    Oh, wait a minute–

  • RR, Senile Columnist

    How ’bout them One per- centers gettin’ fat an’ rich while the Rest of Us struggle to make ends meet?. Bet they made all that cash on outsourcin’ companies!

  • JohnW

    Don’t know about the outsourcin’ part, but part of the way they got that much spending’ money is the same way leveraged buyout companies (a/k/a private equity) make money. Load the company (in this case, the USA) up on debt and pull the money out in the form of the Bush tax cuts. It’s a lot easier to build a big fortune into a humongous fortune if your tax rate is 15%.

    How does one manage to accumulate $100 million (by some estimates) in a tax-deferred IRA account?

  • JohnW

    Biden gave a really great post-Aurora talk to the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO). Yeah, it’s a union group. But the speech was excellent. Off the cuff, with no Biden gaffes.

  • Elwood

    “How does one manage to accumulate $100 million (by some estimates) in a tax-deferred IRA account?”

    As soon as he’s elected and has some spare time I intend to ask Mitt.

  • Publius

    “It’s a simple proposition – we’re proposing to extend the middle-class tax cut for 98 percent of the American people”

    If 50% of the American people pay $0 in income taxes how will 98% of Americans get a tax break? Will the 50% get a check from the IRS as part of thier reduction.

  • Elwood

    @ #6 Publius

    Many get a check already. It’s called the Earned Income Tax Credit.

    Didn’t make enough money to pay taxes and get a refund? Wonderful news! Uncle Stupid will send you a check anyway!

  • JohnW

    I wonder who came up with that socialist, redistribute the wealth refundable tax credit idea. Oh, yeah, I forgot, it was that pinko Commie, big government economist, Milton Friedman. They called the idea “negative income tax.” I’m not a fan of it, but it didn’t originate with liberals.

    Also, for the record, the Obama tax proposal extends the tax cuts to 100%, not just 98% percent. Everybody gets the Bush tax rates on the first $250k of taxable income ($200k for individuals). If you file jointly and have taxable income of $260k, net of all deductions and exemptions, only $10k would be subject to the pre-Bush rates. In this example, the effect of letting the Bush cuts expire and returning to pre-Bush would be $300.

  • JohnW

    Re: #5

    I think we know the trick. I could tell you the secret, but then I’d have to vaporize you.

  • Elwood

    Gallup: Economic Confidence Declines to Lowest Level Since January


    Yes, it’s CNS News, the public relations minion of Satan!