For Biden, Everything Comes Back to Jobs

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden arrives to participate in a town hall with moderator ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

By Patrick Abdalla

October 16, 2020

“When you allow people to get back into the game and have a job,” he said, “everything moves.”

People from across Pennsylvania peppered former Vice President Joe Biden with questions about different topics Thursday night, and his responses almost always circled back to one topic: economics for everyday Americans.

When Anthony J Argirakis asked about Biden’s plan to repeal Donald Trump’s tax cuts, Biden talked about generating revenue and creating jobs. 

“If you raised the corporate tax just back to 28%, which is a fair tax, you’d raise $1 trillion, $300 billion just by that one act,” he said. “If you made sure that people making over $400 grand paid what they did during the Bush Administration, which is 39.6%, you would raise another … $92 billion. So you could raise a lot of money to be able to invest in things that would make your life easier. Change your standard of living.” 

RELATED: Biden Wants to Send Seniors a Ton of Money. Here’s How.

Originally, Biden and Trump were supposed to face off in their second of three debates Thursday. However, after the president contracted the novel coronavirus, the Presidential Debate Commission said the debate would be done virtually. Trump, who was already angry at the commission for considering changes to the debate rules because of his behavior in the first debate, refused to participate. 

Biden agreed to continue with a town hall appearance on ABC at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. This week, NBC announced it would host the president during a separate town hall at the same time.

At that town hall, Trump wouldn’t say whether he had taken a coronavirus test before the first debate on Sept. 29.

“Possibly, I did,” Trump said. “Possibly, I didn’t.”

He tested positive for the virus two days later.

George Stephanopoulos, the moderator of Biden’s town hall, asked Biden about Trump’s comment and if he would expect Trump to take a coronavirus test before the next debate.

“It’s decency,” he said. “I’m less concerned about me than the guys with the cameras, the Secret Service guys that you drive up with, all those people.”

Biden again hit the president hard for his reaction to the virus, particularly Trump’s choice to keep some information from citizens. 

“Americans don’t panic,” he said. “(Trump) panicked.”

It wasn’t right for Trump to tell Bob Woodward that the virus was dangerous and then downplay it in public, Biden argued.

Biden said Trump had his eye on the wrong prize.

“He kept worrying, in my view, about the stock market,” he said. “His barometer of success is the stock market.”

RELATED: How Biden Wants to Go to War With the Third COVID Wave

Instead, the president should have been looking at helping businesses open safely.

Biden also talked about economic issues when the topics of race and the environment came up.

When Cedric Humphrey, a young Black man from Harrisburg, asked Biden why young Black voters should vote for him, Biden talked about several issues, including economic justice.

“In addition to dealing with a criminal justice system—to make it fair and make it more decent,” Biden said, “we have to be able to put African Americans in a position to gain wealth.”

He talked about the importance of education, home ownership, and money for Black entrepreneurs. 

He said the Obama administration’s efforts to funnel loans through small business associations helped.

“If you have a guarantee of $200,000 as a young entrepreneur, you’re going to be able to attract another $100,000,” Biden said.

When he was asked about fracking, an issue the campaigns think can sway voters in Western Pennsylvania, he countered Trump’s claims that he wants to ban fracking.

Biden has repeatedly said he would not ban fracking outright, but doesn’t want companies to dig new wells.

Essentially, he argues natural gas is a bridge to greener fuel sources while the country moves away from coal and oil.

He thinks natural gas and green energy are opportunities for the economy.

“The future rests in renewable energy,” he said

He contrasted that with Trump’s views: “The president thinks (climate change) is a joke, and I think it’s jobs.”

For Biden, everything came back to jobs.

“When you allow people to get back into the game and have a job,” he said, “everything moves.”


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