As Donald Trump departed the White House to attend the G7 after
a day in which he attacked Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell as a “worse
enemy” than China’s Chairman Xi and ordered US companies to leave China, a day
in which the Dow plummeted 600 points, a day after he referred to himself as the
“Chosen One” as he looked to the heavens and demanded that Russia be invited
back into the G8, Vice President Joe Biden, candidate for the Democratic
nomination for president, issued this statement:
“This week, in the lead-up to the G7 in
France, President Trump has continued his irrational and self-defeating
campaign to make America less secure and less respected in the world. He
has insulted our closest partners and denigrated one of our most capable
allies, Denmark—a country that has repeatedly fought and sacrificed alongside
our troops. He issued yet another attack on NATO, reiterating his belief that
NATO is an American-run protection racket where our allies better pay up, or
else. And he advocated for Russia’s return to the G7, despite Vladimir Putin’s
long and growing record of aggressive behavior and provocations against the
United States and our allies in Europe.
“Trump’s actions and words are not just embarrassing—they are making the
American people less safe. Every incident further isolates us on the global
stage, reinforcing that his version of “America First” means America alone. For
the first time in its history, the G7 will not even issue a joint communique,
because President Trump refuses to cooperate with our partners on the pressing
issues of our time, including climate change, China’s predatory trade
practices, Russian attacks on western democracies, and nuclear proliferation.
No country, even one as powerful as ours, can go it alone against 21st century
challenges that respect no borders and cannot be contained by walls.
“NATO, the most powerful alliance in history, is the bulwark of America’s
national security and the free world’s first line of defense. It’s how we
amplify our own strength, maintain our presence around the globe, and magnify
our impact – while sharing the burden among willing partners. NATO is an
alliance built first and foremost on shared democratic values, which makes it
more durable and more reliable than partnerships built on coercion or cash. But
it is not indestructible, and Trump has taken a battering ram to our most
important strategic alliance.
“More than two-and-a-half years into his presidency, the pattern of
Trump’s conduct and character is clear. He never misses a chance to lavish
praise on dictators like Putin and Kim Jong Un, and takes every opportunity to
bash our closest democratic allies. Instead of leading alongside fellow
democracies, he seems to be on the other team. His incompetence threatens to
permanently reduce America’s standing and, consequently, our capacity to bring
together nations to address shared challenges. This will change when I am
president. We will restore the soul of this nation. And we will once again lead
the international community in a way that is consistent with our most cherished
values, standing with—not against—the rest of the free world.”
The vigorous contest of Democrats seeking the 2020 presidential nomination has produced excellent policy proposals to address major issues. Vice President Joe Biden has presented his plan for Rural America. This summary is provided by the Biden campaign:
Rural America is home to roughly 20% of Americans, but we are all connected to rural
communities in many ways. Rural Americans fuel us and feed us. Rural lands
provide us with places to spend time outdoors with friends and family and
A healthy, vibrant rural America is essential to the success of our country.
Yet in small town after small town, parents watch their kids and grandkids
leave rural communities because there just is not enough opportunity for them
at home. For too many rural Americans, a pathway to the middle class is out of
reach if they stay in their rural communities.
The moral obligation of our time is rebuilding the middle class, so that this
time everyone comes along regardless of their race, gender, sexual orientation,
disability or zip code. It should not be dependent on whether they live
in a city center, a small town, or a remote area. Everyone means everyone.
As president, Biden will build a pathway to the middle class for rural
Americans, in rural America. He will pursue a rural economic development
strategy that partners with rural communities to invest in their unique assets,
with the goal of giving young people more options to live, work, and raise the
next generation in rural America. It’s not just good for those in rural
America, it’s good for everyone across our country.
I. FUNDAMENTALLY REVITALIZE
Rural America is asset-rich. It feeds and fuels the rest of the country, gives
us places to enjoy the outdoors and spend time with friends and family, and is
home to creative, hard-working Americans. Yet rural America’s economy is
traditionally based on extraction, taking the resources out of rural
communities and never returning the profits.
The Biden strategy for rural economic development will be to partner with rural
communities, invest in their unique assets, and make sure the wealth created in
rural America stays in rural America.
Under this strategy, Biden will:
agricultural sector by:
Pursuing a trade policy that works
for American farmers. More than 20% of all crops grown and products raised in the United
States are exported, supporting
hundreds of thousands of jobs and helping
to stabilize farm income. But America’s farmers and rural communities have paid
a heavy price for President Trump’s tariffs. While Trump is pursuing a damaging
and erratic trade war without any real strategy, President Biden will stand up
to China by working with our allies to negotiate from the strongest possible
position. And, he’ll make sure our trade policy works for American farmers.
Supporting beginning farmers. America tries to make it easy to start a business, but unless
you inherit the land, it’s much more difficult to start a farm. The Biden
Administration will expand the Obama-Biden Administration’s microloan program
for new and beginning farmers, doubling the
maximum loan amount to $100,000. And, it will increase funding for the U.S.
Department of Agriculture’s farm ownership
and operating loans that typically serve
beginning farmers who grew up on a family farm but need low-cost capital to add
to their family’s operation to support another household.
Fostering the development of
regional food systems. The Biden Administration will
partner with small and mid-sized farmers to help them collectively create
supply chains to deliver fresh produce and other products to schools,
hospitals, and other major state and federal institutions, including the
Defense Department. This will allow these farmers to negotiate their own
prices. And, it will help farmers identify markets for specialty crops and
secondary products, like ice cream produced by dairy farmers to bring in
Re-investing in land grant
universities’ agricultural research so the public, not private companies, owns
patents to agricultural advances. The Biden
Administration will reinvest in agricultural research by bolstering funding for
the Sustainable Agriculture
Research and Education Program and
Institute of Food and Agriculture. Our farmers
need new technologies to compete in world markets while protecting our soil and
water. These new technologies – and the next new seeds – should be developed
and owned by the American people, not private companies who can use patents to
Partnering with farmers to make
American agriculture first in the world to achieve net-zero emissions, giving
farmers new sources of income in the process. Many
farmers are some of the best stewards of our land, air, and water. The
government needs to partner with them to accelerate progress toward net-zero
emissions. As president, Biden will ensure our agricultural sector is the first
in the world to achieve net-zero emissions, and that our farmers earn income as
we meet this milestone. Toward this end, the Biden Administration will
dramatically expand and fortify the pioneering Conservation
Stewardship Program, created by former Senate
Agriculture Committee Chair Tom Harkin, to support farm income through payments
based on farmers’ practices to protect the environment, including carbon
sequestration. In addition to seeking full federal funding for the program, the
Biden Administration will ensure the program can participate in carbon markets.
Corporations, individuals, and foundations interested in promoting greenhouse
gas reductions could offset their emissions by contributing to Conservation
Stewardship Program payments to farmers for those sequestering carbon — for
example, through cover crops. This will not only help combat climate change,
which Vice President Biden has called an existential threat, but also create additional revenue sources for farmers
at a time when many are struggling to make ends meet. And, this approach will
create a whole series of new businesses that survey, measure, certify, and
quantify conservation results. In addition, the Biden Plan will make a
significant investment in research to refine practices to build soil carbon
while maximizing farm and ranch productivity. Soil is the next frontier for
enforcement. From the inputs they depend on –
such as seeds – to the markets where they sell their products, American farmers
and ranchers are being hurt by increasing market concentration. The Biden
Administration will protect small and medium-sized farmers and producers by
strengthening enforcement of the Sherman and Clayton Antitrust Acts and the
Packers and Stockyards Act.
Expand bio-based manufacturing to
bring cutting-edge manufacturing jobs back to rural America. The Biden Administration will create a low-carbon
manufacturing sector in every state in the
country, but not just in cities. As president, Biden will grow the bioeconomy
and bio-based manufacturing to bring cutting-edge manufacturing jobs back to
rural America. This means taking every aspect of agricultural production – from
corn stock to manure – to create chemicals, materials, fabrics, and fibers in a
process that is good for the environment and creates new sources of revenue for
farmers. Key to this strategy will be connecting research universities,
community colleges, incubators and accelerators, manufacturing institutes,
employers, unions, and state and local governments – alone or as part of a
regional pact. The federal government will provide them with significant
funding for deployment of a place-based plan to help their state or region
build a competitive and low-carbon future in manufacturing that reflects
climate impacts in their local communities.
and the next generation of biofuels. Joe
Biden believes renewable fuels are vital to the future of rural America – and
the climate. The Biden Plan will invest $400 billion in
clean energy research, innovation, and deployment – more than twice what America spent to
put a man on the moon. And, as part of this effort, developing the next
generation of biofuels will be a top priority. The Biden Plan will invest in
research to develop cellulosic biofuels in a manner that protects our soil and
water and addresses the challenge of climate change, while turning grass, crop
residues, and other biomass into fuel. Doubling down on these liquid fuels of
the future will not only make value-added agriculture a key part of the
solution to climate change – reducing emissions in planes, ships, and other
forms of transportation – but will also create quality jobs across rural
America. From day one, President Biden will use every tool at his disposal,
including the federal fleet and the federal government’s purchasing power, to
promote and advance renewable energy, ethanol, and other biofuels.
Invest in wind and solar energy. President Obama put Vice President
Biden in charge of the Recovery Act, which invested more than $90 billion in clean energy technology. Those
investments contributed to a doubling of the share of domestically produced
wind turbine components and produced a dramatic decrease in solar costs, making wind and solar
power cost-competitive. Biden will build on the Recovery Act by setting an
ambitious but essential goal for America to achieve a 100% clean energy economy
and net-zero emissions no later than 2050. His clean energy plan will accelerate the already dramatic
growth of solar, wind, and other renewable energy sources.
Invest $20 billion in rural broadband infrastructure, and triple funding to
expand broadband access in rural areas. High-speed broadband is essential
in the 21st Century economy. Yet far too many rural communities still don’t
have access to it. Rural Americans are over 10 times
more likely than urban
residents to lack quality broadband access. At a time when so many jobs and
businesses could be located anywhere, high-speed internet access should be a
great economic equalizer for rural America, not another economic disadvantage.
Investing $20 billion in rural broadband infrastructure has the potential to
create more than a quarter million
new jobs. The Biden Plan will
triple Community Connect broadband grants and partner with
municipal utilities to bring cutting-edge broadband connections to communities
across rural America.
Invest in green infrastructure nationwide. As president, Biden will
make smart infrastructure investments to rebuild the nation and to ensure that
our buildings, water, transportation, and energy infrastructure can meet
America’s economic needs and withstand the impacts of climate change. The Biden
Administration will use this infrastructure funding to ensure that rural
communities across the country have access to clean, safe drinking water. It will
modernize the lock and dam system vital to getting rural products to markets,
leveraging the federal resources to the maximum extent possible with the
private sector. And, it will build the roads to give farms and small town
businesses access to markets and an efficient means to participate in the world
Expand access to credit for new and small businesses. Entrepreneurs
in small towns and rural areas should have access to the capital they need to
realize their dreams. The Biden Administration will dramatically expand funding
for Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and the Rural
Microentrepreneur Assistance Program to help rural entrepreneurs. Biden will
expand the number of Rural Business
Investment Companies to help
rural companies obtain capital.
II. PARTNER WITH RURAL
COMMUNITIES TO HELP THEM FULLY ACCESS FEDERAL RESOURCES
A contributing factor to place-based inequality across the U.S. is the simple
fact that some communities are more successful at accessing federal dollars and
technical assistance than others. The federal government’s programs are too
often too challenging to navigate for cities and towns that do not have the
ability to hire highly qualified professionals to engage with the system.
The Biden Administration wants to fundamentally change how the federal
government interacts with rural communities that so often do not have access to
federal programs. The Biden Administration will partner with these communities
to help them fully access federal resources to create jobs, build wealth, and
give rural Americans who live in poverty the chance to join the middle class.
The Biden Administration will do this in two ways:
Create a White House “StrikeForce”
to partner with rural communities to help them access federal funds. The Biden Administration will create a White House
StrikeForce consisting of agency leaders who will partner with
community-building organizations in persistent poverty rural communities and
help them unlock federal resources. This approach is modeled on the StrikeForce Secretary Tom Vilsack successfully
established in the U.S. Department of Agriculture during the Obama-Biden
III. PROTECT AND
BUILD ON THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT TO IMPROVE ACCESS TO QUALITY HEALTH CARE IN
The Affordable Care Act was a big deal in rural America, and it should be
protected and built upon. As president, Biden will protect and build on
Obamacare – not get rid of it and start over with something new. He will not
support any policy that means getting rid of Obamacare, whether proposed by a
Democrat or Republican.
Vice President Biden believes that every American has a right to the peace of
mind that comes with knowing they have health insurance and access to
affordable, quality health care. He believes that it’s a right, not a
privilege. It should not be dependent on whether they live in a city center, a
small town, or a remote community.
Rural America faces unique challenges and opportunities when it comes to access
to quality health care. In many rural communities, the local hospital is one of
the largest – if not the largest – employers. Keeping our rural hospitals
open is critical not only for saving lives, but also for supporting local
economies in rural America. Yet, since 2010, more than 100 rural
hospitals across the United
States have closed. Combined, these closures represent the loss of over 10,000 jobs. And, they could mean life or death for
patients in rural communities. Already, someone injured in a rural area has to
travel, on average, nearly twice as
far to get to the closest hospital as someone
injured in an urban area. These critical moments lost in travel time are one
reason an estimated 60% of all trauma fatalities occur in rural
This problem is at risk of getting even worse. Roughly 1 out of 3 rural hospitals are at risk of shutting
down. And that’s only part of the story. Rural clinics and rural nursing homes
are closing as well.
You can read Vice President Biden’s full health care plan here. To specifically help rural Americans, his
plan will also:
Finishing the job of expanding
coverage to low-income adults. Research found that, in states that took up the Affordable Care
Act’s Medicaid expansion, the expansion was a critical tool in keeping rural
hospitals open. Yet, 14 states have still not expanded Medicaid eligibility, and an estimated 4.9
million individuals would be eligible for
coverage but for their state’s inaction. Vice President Biden’s plan will
enroll all of these individuals in a new public option, without a premium and
with benefits like those offered in Medicaid. This isn’t just the right thing
to do, it will help rural hospitals remain solvent. And, under the Biden Plan,
which preserves individuals ability to choose private insurance, these
hospitals won’t be threatened by having to get by on low Medicare reimbursement
rates for all.
Giving rural hospitals the
flexibility they need to keep their doors open and care for their patients. The Biden Administration will provide rural health care
providers with funding and flexibility necessary to identify, test, and deploy
innovative approaches to keeping their doors open and providing care for the
unique needs of rural communities. The Affordable Care Act supports this type
of innovation, for example through demonstration projects like the Pennsylvania
Rural Health Model, which is giving rural hospitals
in the state more flexibility to decide how best to spend dollars to improve
the health of the population they serve. The Biden Plan will expand funding for
these types of demonstration projects, and then accelerate efforts to replicate
proven models to other rural hospitals across the country. And, the Biden Plan
will identify and eliminate federal rules making it harder for rural hospitals
to serve their communities. For example, many rural hospitals serving small
populations do not have enough patients to maintain inpatient care, but those
communities still need a 24/7 emergency department. One approach to ensure they
can keep their doors open is to create a new designation, the Community
Outpatient Hospital, as proposed in the bipartisan Save Rural
Hospitals Act. The Biden Administration will
make sure the federal government is helping rural hospitals meet community
needs, not serving as a roadblock.
Adequately funding our rural
hospitals. To help hospitals keep their doors open,
President Biden supports the elimination of payment cuts and additional
payments for rural hospitals as detailed in the bipartisan Save Rural
care and innovative health care delivery models in rural communities by:
Doubling funding for community
health centers. Community health
centers provide primary, prenatal, and other
important care to underserved populations. The Biden Plan will double the
federal investment in these centers, expanding access to high quality health
care for the populations that need it most. More than half of community health centers are in rural areas.
Equipping rural community health
centers to be hubs for healthy communities. As
president, Biden will establish a grant program to help community health
centers hire social workers or other professionals to coordinate resources
necessary for community health, such as transportation to get patients to
health centers and connections to housing and nutrition services.
Expanding the pipeline of rural
health care providers. The Biden Administration will
use a comprehensive approach to increase the number of rural individuals going
to medical school or other training programs and returning or staying in rural
communities to provide care, with a focus on primary care physicians, nurses,
nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, and other in-demand providers. This
initiative will include additional funding for residency programs in rural
areas, expanding theNational Health
Service Corps, and developing high
school-community-college-health-center partnerships to inspire rural youth to
pursue jobs in health care and pursue the advanced credits or industry
credentials that will put them on the path to success in the field.
Building new health clinics and
deploying telehealth in rural America. The Obama-Biden
Administration successfully used the USDA Community
Facility Direct Loan & Grant Program to build
rural hospitals and mental health clinics across rural America and equip them
with the best technology. As president, Biden will expand this grant funding,
with a focus on accelerating the deployment of telehealth for mental health and
specialty care. Telehealth – the use of videoconferencing and other technology
to provide remote care – can be a vital resource for rural communities with
limited access to providers.
For Educators, Students, and Our Future, which will triple funding for Title I schools, including those in rural communities, and expand high school-community college-business partnerships to prepare students for good jobs.
In the months ahead, Biden will release a higher education proposal which will include a policy to support small, low-endowment private colleges that are often anchor institutions in rural communities.
vigorous contest of Democrats seeking the 2020 presidential nomination has
produced excellent policy proposals to address major issues. This is from the
Biden 2020 campaign:
BIDEN PLAN FOR OLDER AMERICANS
The moral obligation of our time is rebuilding
the middle class. The middle class isn’t a number, it’s a value set. And, a key
component of that value set is having a steady, secure income as you age so
your kids won’t have to take care of you in retirement. This means not only
protecting and strengthening Social Security, but also helping more
middle-class families grow their savings.
A dignified retirement also means having access to affordable health care and
support. Too many Americans – and too many older Americans – cannot afford
their prescriptions or their long-term care. Their families are faced with
saving for their own retirement or taking care of their aging parents. It’s not
Working- and middle-class Americans built this country. And, they deserve to
retire with dignity – able to pay for their prescriptions and with access to
quality, affordable long-term care.
STAND UP TO THE ABUSE OF POWER BY PRESCRIPTION DRUG CORPORATIONS
Too many Americans cannot afford their prescription drugs, and prescription
drug corporations are profiteering off of the pocketbooks of sick individuals.
The Biden Plan will put a stop to runaway drug prices and the profiteering of
the drug industry by:
outrageous exception allowing drug corporations to avoid negotiating with
Medicare over drug prices. Because Medicare covers so
many Americans, it has significant leverage to negotiate lower prices for
its beneficiaries. And it does so for hospitals and other providers
participating in the program but not drug manufacturers. Drug
manufacturers not facing any competition, therefore, can charge whatever
price they choose to set. There’s no justification for this except the power
of prescription drug lobbying. The Biden Plan will repeal the existing law
explicitly barring Medicare from negotiating lower prices with drug
prices for drugs that face no competition and are being abusively priced
by manufacturers. Through his work on the Cancer Moonshot, Biden
understands that the future of pharmacological interventions is not
traditional chemical drugs, but specialized biotech drugs that will have
little to no competition to keep prices in check. Without competition, we
need a new approach for keeping the prices of these drugs down. For these
cases where new specialty drugs without competition are being launched,
under the Biden Plan the Secretary of Health and Human Services will
establish an independent review board to assess their value. The board
will recommend a reasonable price, based on the average price in other
countries (a process called external reference
or, if the drug is entering the U.S. market first, based on an evaluation
by the independent board members. This reasonable price will be the rate
Medicare and the public option will pay. In addition, the Biden Plan will
allow private plans participating in the individual marketplace to access
a similar rate.
increases for all brand, biotech and abusively priced generic drugs to
a condition of participation in the Medicare program and public option,
all brand, biotech and abusively priced generic drugs will be prohibited
from increasing their prices more than the general inflation rate. The
Biden plan will also impose a tax penalty on drug manufacturers that
increase the costs of their brand, biotech or abusively priced generic
over the general inflation rate.
consumers to buy prescription drugs from other countries. To create
more competition for U.S. drug corporations, the Biden Plan will allow
consumers to import prescription drugs from other countries, as long as
the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has certified that those
drugs are safe.
supply of quality generics. Generics help reduce health
care spending, but brand drug corporations have succeeded in preserving a
number of strategies to help them delay the entrance of a generic into the
market even after the patent has expired. The Biden Plan supports numerous
proposals to accelerate the development of safe generics, such as Senator Patrick
Leahy’s proposal to make sure generic
manufacturers have access to a sample.
II. PROTECT AND STRENGTHEN MEDICARE AS WE KNOW
IT AND ENSURE QUALITY, AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE FOR ALL OLDER AMERICANS
On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law,
with Vice President Biden standing by his side, and made history. It was a
victory 100 years in the making. It was the conclusion of a tough fight that
required taking on Republicans, special interests, and the status quo to do
what’s right. But the Obama-Biden Administration got it done.
But, every day over the past nine years, the Affordable Care Act has been under
Immediately after its passage, Congressional Republicans began trying again and
again to repeal it. Following the lead of
President Trump, Republicans in Congress have only doubled down on this
approach since January 2017. And, since repeal through Congress has not been
working, President Trump has been unilaterally doing everything he can to
sabotage the Affordable Care Act. Now, the Trump Administration is trying to
get the entire law – including protections for people with pre-existing
conditions – struck down in court.
As president, Biden will protect
the Affordable Care Act from these continued attacks. He opposes
every effort to get rid of this historic law – including efforts by Republicans,
and efforts by Democrats. Instead of starting from scratch and getting rid of
private insurance, he has a plan to build
on the Affordable Care Act by giving Americans more choice, reducing health care costs, and making our health care system less complex to navigate. You
can read Biden’s full health care plan [here]. In
addition, to improve older Americans’ access to affordable, quality health
care, Biden will:
as we know it. Today,
Medicare provides health insurance coverage to over 60 million older
Americans and people with disabilities. As president, Biden will
continue to defend our nation’s commitment to older Americans and people
with disabilities through Medicare, and he will keep Medicare as a
separate and distinct program, and ensure there is no disruption to the
current Medicare system.
and ensure its beneficiaries can access home and community-based long-term
care when they want it. Medicaid pays for more
long-term care than any other insurer in the country. In fact,
roughly 6 in 10 individuals
residing in nursing homes are enrolled in Medicaid, including many older
Americans. Yet, the Trump Administration is reportedly considering
a plan to cut Medicaid funding by turning it into a block grant. And
Republican leadership in states like Iowa, where Medicaid has been
privatized with devastating results for some
of its most vulnerable residents, are not fulfilling their obligations
under the program. The Biden Plan will protect Medicaid funding and make
sure the program gives those on Medicaid who need long-term care the
flexibility to choose home- and community-based care. In addition, the
Biden Administration won’t let states skirt their duties under Medicaid
and will take enforcement action against any state that allows
profiteering to get in the way of Medicaid beneficiaries’ health.
relief to help solve the long-term care challenge. The Biden
Plan will also help Americans pay for long-term care by providing relief
for Americans needing long-term care by creating a $5,000 tax credit for
informal caregivers, modeled off of legislation
supported by AARP. These informal caregivers –
whether family members or other loved ones – have for too long been doing
tireless work without any financial support. In addition, Biden will
increase the generosity of tax benefitsfor older
Americans who choose to buy long-term care insurance and pay for it using
their savings for retirement.
Care for our
physical, emotional, and financial challenges of caring for a loved one is
enormous. As president, Biden will work to enact at the federal level
Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable (CARE) Act, which has
already been passed in 39 states. This
legislation will help our caregivers by ensuring hospitals equip them with
instructions and information when their loved ones are discharged. Biden
also supports additional proposals to support caregivers, such as funding
to give them access to respite care.
The Biden Plan will protect Social Security for the millions of Americans who
depend on the program. With Social Security’s Trust Fund already in deficit and expected to be
exhausted in 2035, we
urgently need action to make the program solvent and prevent cuts to American
But the Biden Plan doesn’t stop there. As president, Joe Biden will strengthen
benefits for the most vulnerable older Americans – including widows and
widowers, lifelong workers with low monthly benefits, and old-age beneficiaries
who may have exhausted their other savings. Specifically, the Biden Plan will:
Security on a path to long-run solvency. The impending exhaustion of
the Social Security Trust fund imperils American retirement as we know it.
Waiting to act only jeopardizes the program further, and will make an
eventual solution that much more difficult. The Biden Plan will put the
program on a path to long-term solvency by asking Americans with
especially high wages to pay the same taxes on those earnings that
middle-class families pay.
nature of Social Security. Social Security is one of
our nation’s great public policy successes, in large part due to the fact
that participation in the program is shared across almost all workers.
Efforts to privatize the program – such as an approach suggested under the
Bush Administration – will undermine the program’s solvency, while putting
at risk individuals’ income in retirement. Similarly, proposals to make
the program “means-tested” – so that only low-income retirees workers
receive benefits – jeopardizes the program’s universal nature and key role
as the bedrock of American retirement. Ultimately, the success of Social
Security is largely due to the fact that almost all Americans can rely on
the program to make their retirement more secure.
Provide a higher
benefit for the oldest Americans. At advanced ages, Americans
become more vulnerable to exhausting their savings, sometimes falling into
poverty and living a life of hardship. The Biden Plan will provide the
oldest beneficiaries – those who have been receiving retirement
benefits for at least 20
with a higher monthly check to help protect retirees from the pain of
dwindling retirement savings.
Implement a true
minimum benefit for lifelong workers. No one who has worked for
decades and paid into Social Security should have to spend their
retirement in poverty. The Biden Plan will revolutionize the Social
Security’s minimum benefit, which has deteriorated over time to the point
of being entirely ineffective. Under the Biden Plan, workers who spent 30
years working will get a benefit of at least 125%
of the poverty level.
and widowers from steep cuts in benefits. For many
couples, the death of a spouse means that Social Security benefits will be
cut in half – putting pressure on the surviving spouse who still needs to
make the mortgage payment and handle other bills. The Biden Plan
will allow surviving
keep a higher share of the benefits. This will make an appreciable
difference in the finances of older Americans, especially women (who live
longer on average than men), raising the monthly payment by about 20% for
teachers and other public-sector workers. Current rules penalize
teachers and other public sector workers who either switch jobs or who
have earned retirement benefits from various sources. The Biden Plan would
eliminate these penalties by ensuring that teachers not eligible for
Social Security will begin receiving benefits sooner – rather than the
current ten-year period for many teachers. The Biden Plan
will also get rid of the benefit cuts for workers and surviving
beneficiaries who happen to be covered by both Social Security and another
pension. These workers deserve the benefits they earned.
IV. EQUALIZE SAVING INCENTIVES FOR
In the modern retirement landscape, a sound retirement begins with years of
diligent saving. While other aspects of the Biden Plan will help raise wages
for workers and reduce costs for spending like child care and health insurance,
the Biden Plan will also ensure that middle-class families get a leg up as they
grow their nest egg.
Under current law, the tax code affords workers over $200 billion
each year for various retirement benefits – including saving in 401(k)-type
plans or IRAs. While these benefits help workers reach their retirement goals,
many are poorly designed to help low- and middle-income savers – about
two-thirds of the benefit goes to the wealthiest 20% of families. The
Biden Plan will make these savings more equal so that middle class families can
enter retirement with enough savings to support a healthy and secure
retirement. President Biden will do so by:
tax benefits of defined contribution plans. The
current tax benefits for retirement savings are based on the concept of
deferral, whereby savers get to exclude their retirement contributions
from tax, see their savings grow tax free, and then pay taxes when they
withdraw money from their account. This system provides upper-income
families with a much stronger tax break for saving and a limited benefit
for middle-class and other workers with lower earnings. The Biden Plan
will equalize benefits across the income scale, so that low- and
middle-income workers will also get a tax break when they put money away
penalties for caregivers who want to save for retirement. Under
current law, people who work as caregivers without receiving wages are
ineligible to get tax breaks for retirement saving. The Biden Plan will
allow caregivers to make “catch-up” contributions to retirement accounts,
even if they’re not earning income in the formal labor market, as has
been proposed in
bipartisan legislation by Representatives Jackie Walorski
and Harley Rouda.
businesses a tax break for starting a retirement plan and giving workers
the chance to save at work. As proposed by the
Obama-Biden Administration, the Biden Plan will call for widespread
adoption of workplace savings plans and offer tax credits to small
businesses to offset much of the costs. Under Biden’s plan, almost all
workers without a pension or 401(k)-type plan will have access to an
“automatic 401(k),” which provides the opportunity to easily save for
retirement at work – putting millions of middle-class families in the path
to a secure retirement.
V. PROVIDE HELP FOR OLDER WORKERS WHO WANT TO
With longer lifespans and the changing nature of work, many Americans are
choosing to stay in the workforce longer. Despite their valuable contributions,
these workers often face illegal discrimination or steep tax penalties when
they try to continue to earn a living. Joe Biden believes that all workers
deserve an opportunity to earn a living and will fight to change the laws to
allow all people – regardless of their age – to get the pay they deserve. The
Biden Plan will:
Americans against harmful age discrimination. As
president, Biden will back bipartisan legislation protecting older workers
from being discriminated against in the workforce. According to an AARP
this practice is widespread – with more than 60% of older workers
reporting discrimination because of their age. The Biden Plan will put in
place workplace safeguards making it easier for older workers to prove
that they were treated unfairly at work.
Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to older workers. The EITC
is one of the most effective strategies for helping low-wage workers
achieve a living wage. Unfortunately, the EITC is not available to workers
once they turn 65, putting them at a distinct disadvantage relative to
their younger peers. As president, Joe Biden will allow low-wage older
workers to claim the tax credit they deserve.
President Joe Biden, in the race for the Democratic nomination for President,
has staked out a position on improving on the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)
as his solution to providing universal healthcare – essentially, enabling people keep their
private insurance but creating a new public option. That is more moderate than
the Democrats like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren who want a more extreme
Medicare for All that replaces private insurance (though it is unlikely that
there will not still be a market for supplemental private insurance, just as
there is now for Medicare). Here, is the Biden campaign’s description and
rationale for Biden’s plan to protect and build upon the Affordable Care Act: – Karen Rubin, News&
On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed the
Affordable Care Act into law, with Vice President Biden standing by his side,
and made history. It was a victory 100 years in the making. It was the
conclusion of a tough fight that required taking on Republicans, special
interests, and the status quo to do what’s right. But the Obama-Biden
Administration got it done.
But, every day over the past nine years, the Affordable Care Act has been under
Immediately after its passage, Congressional Republicans began trying again and
again to repeal it. Following the lead of President
Trump, Republicans in Congress have only doubled down on this
approach since January 2017. And, since repeal through Congress has not been
working, President Trump has been unilaterally doing everything he can to
sabotage the Affordable Care Act. Now, the Trump Administration is trying to
get the entire law – including protections for people with pre-existing
conditions – struck down in court.
As president, Biden will protect the Affordable Care Act from
these continued attacks. He opposes every effort to get rid of this historic
law – including efforts by Republicans, and efforts by Democrats. Instead of
starting from scratch and getting rid of private insurance, he has a plan
to build on the Affordable Care Act by giving Americans more choice, reducing
health care costs, and making our health care system less complex
For Biden, this is personal. He believes that every American has a right to the
peace of mind that comes with knowing they have access to affordable, quality
health care. He knows that no one in this country should have to lay in bed at
night staring at the ceiling wondering, “what will I do if she gets breast cancer?”
or “if he has a heart attack?” “Will I go bankrupt?” He knows there is no peace
of mind if you cannot afford to care for a sick child or a family member
because of a pre-existing condition, because you’ve reached a point where your
health insurer says “no more,” or because you have to make a decision between
putting food on the table and going to the doctor or filling a prescription.
In the coming months, Joe Biden will build on today’s plan by rolling out his
proposals to tackle some of our greatest public health challenges – from
reducing gun violence to curing devastating diseases as we know them like
cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and addiction.
I. GIVE EVERY AMERICAN ACCESS TO AFFORDABLE HEALTH INSURANCE
From the time right before the Affordable Care Act’s key coverage-related
policies went into effect to the last full year of the Obama-Biden
Administration, 2016, the number of Americans lacking health insurance fell
from 44 million to 27 million –
an almost 40% drop. But President Trump’s persistent efforts to sabotage
Obamacare through executive action, after failing in his efforts to repeal it
through Congress, have started to reverse this progress. Since 2016, the number
of uninsured Americans has increased by
roughly 1.4 million.
As president, Biden will stop this reversal of the progress made by Obamacare.
And he won’t stop there. He’ll also build on the Affordable Care Act with a
plan to insure more than an estimated 97% of Americans. Here’s how:
Giving Americans a new choice, a public
health insurance option like Medicare. If your insurance
company isn’t doing right by you, you should have another, better choice.
Whether you’re covered through your employer, buying your insurance on your
own, or going without coverage altogether, the Biden Plan will give you the
choice to purchase a public health insurance option like Medicare. As in
Medicare, the Biden public option will reduce costs for patients by negotiating
lower prices from hospitals and other health care providers. It also will better coordinate among
all of a patient’s doctors to improve the efficacy and quality of their care,
and cover primary care without any co-payments. And it will bring relief to
small businesses struggling to afford coverage for their employees.
Increasing the value of tax credits to
lower premiums and extend coverage to more working Americans. Today,
families that make between 100% and 400% of the
federal poverty level may receive a tax credit to reduce how
much they have to pay for health insurance on the individual marketplace. The
dollar amount of the financial assistance is calculated to ensure each family
does not have to pay more than a certain percentage of their
income on a silver (medium generosity) plan. But, these shares of
income are too high and silver plans’ deductibles are too high. Additionally,
many families making more than 400% of the federal poverty level (about $50,000 for a single person
and $100,000 for a family of four), and thus not qualifying for
financial assistance, still struggle to afford health insurance. The Biden Plan
will help middle class families by eliminating the 400% income cap on tax
credit eligibility and lowering the limit on the cost of coverage from 9.86% of
income to 8.5%. This means that no family buying insurance on the individual
marketplace, regardless of income, will have to spend more than 8.5% of their
income on health insurance. Additionally, the Biden Plan will increase the size
of tax credits by calculating them based on the
cost of a more generous gold plan, rather than a silver plan. This
will give more families the ability to afford more generous coverage, with
lower deductibles and out-of-pocket costs.
Expanding coverage to low-income
Americans. Access to affordable health insurance
shouldn’t depend on your state’s politics. But today, state politics is getting
in the way of coverage for millions of low-income Americans. Governors and
state legislatures in 14 states have
refused to take up the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of Medicaid eligibility,
denying access to Medicaid for an estimated 4.9 million adults.
Biden’s plan will ensure these individuals get covered by offering premium-free
access to the public option for those 4.9 million individuals who would be
eligible for Medicaid but for their state’s inaction, and making sure their
public option covers the full scope of Medicaid benefits. States that have
already expanded Medicaid will have the choice of moving the expansion
population to the premium-free public option as long as the states continue to
pay their current share of the cost of covering those individuals.
Additionally, Biden will ensure people making below 138% of the federal poverty
level get covered. He’ll do this by automatically enrolling these individuals
when they interact with certain institutions (such as public schools) or other
programs for low-income populations (such as SNAP).
II. PROVIDE THE PEACE OF MIND OF
AFFORDABLE, QUALITY HEALTH CARE AND A LESS COMPLEX HEALTH CARE SYSTEM
Today, even for people with health insurance, our health care system is too
expensive and too hard to navigate. The Biden Plan will not only provide
coverage for uninsured Americans, it will also make health care more affordable
and less complex for all.
The plan’s elements described above will help reduce the cost of health
insurance and health care for those already insured in the following ways:
All Americans will have a new, more
affordable option. The public option, like Medicare,
will negotiate prices with providers, providing a more affordable option for
many Americans who today find their health insurance too expensive.
Middle class families will get a premium
tax credit to help them pay for coverage. For
example, take a family of four with an income of $110,000 per year. If they
currently get insurance on the individual marketplace, because their premium
will now be capped at 8.5% of their income, under the Biden Plan they will
save an estimated $750 per month on
insurance alone. That’s cutting their premiums almost in half. If a family is
covered by their employer but can get a better deal with the 8.5% premium cap,
they can switch to a plan on the individual marketplace, too.
Premium tax credits will be calculated
to help more families afford better coverage with lower deductibles. Because
the premium tax credits will now be calculated based on the price of a more
generous gold plan, families will be able to purchase a plan with a lower
deductible and lower out-of-pocket spending. That means many families will see
their overall annual health care spending go down.
The Biden Plan has several additional proposals
aimed directly at cutting the cost of health care and making the health care
system less complex to navigate. The Biden Plan will:
Stop “surprise billing.” Consumers
trying to lower their health care spending often try to choose an in-network
provider. But sometimes patients are unaware they are receiving care from an
out-of-network provider and a big, surprise bill. “Surprise medical billing”
could occur, for example, if you go to an in-network hospital but don’t realize
a specialist at that hospital is not part of your health plan. The Biden Plan
will bar health care providers from charging patients out-of-network rates when
the patient doesn’t have control over which provider the patient sees (for
example, during a hospitalization).
Tackle market concentration across our
health care system. The concentration of market power
in the hands of a few corporations is occurring throughout our health care system,
and this lack of competition is driving up prices for consumers.
The Biden Administration will aggressively use its existing antitrust authority
to address this problem.
Lower costs and improve health outcomes
by partnering with the health care workforce. The Biden
Administration will partner with health care workers and accelerate the testing
and deployment of innovative solutions that improve quality of care and
increase wages for low-wage health care workers, like home care workers.
III. STAND UP TO ABUSE OF POWER BY
PRESCRIPTION DRUG CORPORATIONS
Too many Americans cannot afford their prescription drugs, and prescription
drug corporations are profiteering off of the pocketbooks of sick individuals.
The Biden Plan will put a stop to runaway drug prices and the profiteering of
the drug industry by:
Repealing the outrageous exception
allowing drug corporations to avoid negotiating with Medicare over drug prices. Because
Medicare covers so many Americans, it has significant leverage to negotiate
lower prices for its beneficiaries. And it does so for hospitals and other
providers participating in the program, but not drug manufacturers. Drug
manufacturers not facing any competition, therefore, can charge whatever price
they choose to set. There’s no justification for this except the power of
prescription drug lobbying. The Biden Plan will repeal the existing law
explicitly barring Medicare from negotiating lower prices with drug
Limiting launch prices for drugs that
face no competition and are being abusively priced by manufacturers. Through
his work on the Cancer Moonshot, Biden understands that the future of
pharmacological interventions is not traditional chemical drugs but specialized
biotech drugs that will have little to no competition to keep prices in check.
Without competition, we need a new approach for keeping the prices of these
drugs down. For these cases where new specialty drugs without competition are
being launched, under the Biden Plan the Secretary of Health and Human Services
will establish an independent review board to assess their value. The board
will recommend a reasonable price, based on the average price in other countries
(a process called external reference pricing)
or, if the drug is entering the U.S. market first, based on an evaluation by
the independent board members. This reasonable price will be the rate Medicare
and the public option will pay. In addition, the Biden Plan will allow private
plans participating in the individual marketplace to access a similar rate.
Limiting price increases for all brand,
biotech, and abusively priced generic drugs to inflation. As
a condition of participation in the Medicare program and public option, all
brand, biotech, and abusively priced generic drugs will be prohibited from
increasing their prices more than the general inflation rate. The Biden Plan
will also impose a tax penalty on drug manufacturers that increase the costs of
their brand, biotech, or abusively priced generic over the general inflation
Allowing consumers to buy prescription
drugs from other countries. To create more competition
for U.S. drug corporations, the Biden Plan will allow consumers to import
prescription drugs from other countries, as long as the U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services has certified that those drugs are safe.
Improving the supply of quality
generics. Generics help reduce health care spending, but
brand drug corporations have succeeded in preserving a number of strategies to
help them delay the entrance of a generic into the market even after the patent
has expired. The Biden Plan supports numerous proposals to accelerate the
development of safe generics, such as Senator Patrick Leahy’s proposal to
make sure generic manufacturers have access to a sample.
IV. ENSURE HEALTH CARE IS A RIGHT FOR
ALL, NOT A PRIVILEGE FOR JUST A FEW
Joe Biden believes that every American – regardless of gender, race, income,
sexual orientation, or zip code – should have access to affordable and quality
health care. Yet racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and other forms of
discrimination permeate our health care system just as in every other part of
society. As president, Biden will be a champion for improving access to health
care and the health of all by:
Expanding access to contraception and
protect the constitutional right to an abortion. The
Affordable Care Act made historic progress by ensuring access to free preventive care, including
contraception. The Biden Plan will build on that progress. Vice
President Biden supports repealing the Hyde Amendment because health care is a
right that should not be dependent on one’s zip code or income. And, the public
option will cover contraception and a woman’s constitutional right to choose.
In addition, the Biden Plan will:
1) Reverse the Trump Administration and states’
all-out assault on women’s right to choose. As president, Biden will work to
codify Roe v. Wade, and
his Justice Department will do everything in its power to stop the rash of
state laws that so blatantly violate the constitutional right to an abortion,
such as so-called TRAP laws, parental
notification requirements, mandatory waiting periods, and ultrasound
2) Restore federal funding for Planned Parenthood.
The Obama-Biden administration fought Republican attacks on funding for Planned
Parenthood again and again. As president, Biden will reissue guidance specifying
that states cannot refuse Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood and other
providers that refer for abortions or provide related information and reverse
the Trump Administration’s rule preventing
Planned Parenthood and certain other family planning programs from obtaining
Title X funds.
3) Just as the Obama-Biden Administration did, President Biden
will rescind the Mexico City Policy (also referred to as the global gag rule) that
President Trump reinstated and
expanded. This rule currently bars the U.S. federal government from supporting
important global health efforts – including for malaria and HIV/AIDS – in
developing countries simply because the organizations providing that aid also
offer information on abortion services.
Reducing our unacceptably high maternal
mortality rate, which especially impacts people of color. Compared
to other developed nations, the U.S. has the highest rate of
deaths related to pregnancy and childbirth, and we are the only country
experiencing an increase in this death rate. This problem is especially
prevalent among black women, who experience a death rate from complications
related to pregnancy that is more than three times higher than
the rate for non-Hispanic white women. California came up with a strategy
that halved the state’s
maternal death rate. As president, Biden will take this strategy nationwide.
Defending health care protections for
all, regardless of gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation. Before
the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies could increase premiums merely due
to someone’s gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Further, insurance
companies could increase premiums or deny coverage altogether due to someone’s HIV status. Yet,
President Trump is trying to walk back this progress. For example, he has proposed to once
again allow health care providers and insurance companies to discriminate based
on a patient’s gender identity or abortion history. President Biden will defend
the rights of all people – regardless of gender, sexual orientation, gender
identity – to have access to quality, affordable health care free from
Doubling America’s investment in
community health centers. Community health centers
provide primary, prenatal, and other important care to underserved populations.
The Biden Plan will double the federal investment in these centers, expanding
access to high quality health care for the populations that need it most.
In the months ahead, Biden will put forward
additional plans to tackle health challenges affecting specific communities,
including access to health care in rural communities, gun violence, and opioid
SUPPORTING HEALTH, NOT REWARDING
Joe Biden believes in rewarding work, not just wealth – and investing in
hard-working Americans’ health, not protecting the most privileged Americans’
wealth. Warren Buffett said it best when he stated that he should not pay a
lower tax rate than his secretary.
The Biden Plan will make health care a right by getting rid of capital gains
tax loopholes for the super wealthy. Today, the very wealthy pay a tax rate of
just 20% on long-term capital gains. According to the Joint Committee on
Taxation, the capital gains and dividends exclusion is the second largest tax
expenditure in the entire tax code: $127 billion in fiscal year 2019
alone. As President, Biden will roll back the Trump rate cut for the
very wealthy and restore the 39.6% top rate he helped restore when he negotiated an end to the Bush
tax cuts for the wealthy in 2012.
Biden’s capital gains reform will close the loopholes that allow the super
wealthy to avoid taxes on capital gains altogether. The Biden plan will assure
those making over $1 million will pay the top rate on capital gains, doubling
the capital gains tax rate on the super wealthy.
WATCH: Joe Biden
talks more about the need to build on and protect ACA in THIS new video.
Biden laid out his foreign
policy vision for America to restore dignified leadership at
home and respected leadership on the world stage. Arguing that our policies at
home and abroad are deeply connected, Joe Biden announced that, as president, he
will advance the security, prosperity, and values of the United States by
taking immediate steps to renew our own democracy and alliances, protect our
economic future, and once more place America at the head of the table, leading
the world to address the most urgent global challenges.
In a Biden administration, America will lead by example and rally the world to
meet our common challenges that no one nation can face on its own, from climate
change to nuclear proliferation, from great power aggression to transnational
terrorism, from cyberwarfare to mass migration. Donald Trump’s erratic policies
and failure to uphold basic democratic principles have surrendered our position
in the world, undermined our democratic alliances, weakened our ability to mobilize
others to meet these challenges, and threatened our security and our future.
In a speech at The Graduate Center at CUNY in New York, Joe Biden laid out his
blueprint to repair the damage wrought by President Trump and chart a
fundamentally different course for American foreign policy for the world as we
find it today—and as we anticipate it will be tomorrow. Biden will continue to
build on this vision over the course of the campaign.
I. Reinvigorate our Own Democracy &
Strengthen the Coalition of Democracies that Stand With Us
Democracy is the root of our society, the wellspring of our power, and the
source of our renewal. It strengthens and amplifies our leadership to keep us
safe in the world. It is the engine of our ingenuity that drives our economic
prosperity. It is the heart of who we are and how we see the world—and how the
world sees us. That is why America’s ability to be a force for progress in the
world and to mobilize collective action starts at home. The United States must lead not just with the example of power,
but the power of our example.
Among his early actions as
president, Joe Biden will:
Reform our criminal justice system to eliminate inequitable disparities;
Restore the Voting Rights Act;
Seek greater transparency in our campaign finance system so money, foreign and domestic, won’t pollute our politics;
Dedicate greater resources, including cyber resources, to defending our election systems.
End the practice of anonymous shell companies;
Institute strict conflict-of-interest and anti-corruption policies for every member of the Biden administration so there will be no more self-dealing;
Immediately return to daily press briefings at the White House, U.S. Department of State, and U.S. Department of Defense. Our foreign policy relies on the informed consent of the American people. That is not possible when our government refuses to communicate with the public.
Restore our Moral Leadership
Immediately end the horrific practice of separating families at our border and holding immigrant children in for-profit prisons. Abandoning our deepest-held values does nothing to increase security at our border—and everything to diminish our standing in the world. At the same time, as president, Biden will establish sensible policies that improve screening procedures at our legal ports of entry and make smart investments in border technology, in cooperation with Canada and Mexico.
Protect undocumented members of our armed services, veterans, and their spouses from deportation because if you are willing to risk your life for this country, you and your family have earned the chance to live safe, healthy, and productive lives in America;
Order a review of Temporary Protected Status to vulnerable populations who cannot find safety in countries ripped apart by violence or disaster, including for Venezuelans and Haitians.
Terminate the travel ban against people from Muslim-majority countries;
Reverse Trump’s detrimental asylum policies and raise our target for refugee admissions to a level commensurate with our responsibility and unprecedented global need;
End the Global Gag Rule, which prevents money from going to international NGOs that even talk about abortion;
Return to a government-wide focus of uplifting the rights of women and girls at home and around the world, including by focusing on measures to address gender-based violence internationally.
Reaffirm the ban on torture and restore greater transparency in our military operations, including policies instituted during the Obama-Biden administration to reduce civilian casualties;
Restore a commitment to science and truth in government, including bringing back the words “climate change”;
Return the phrase “nation of immigrants” to the mission statement of our Citizenship and Immigration Services, because that is who we are.
Revitalize our national commitment to advancing human rights and democracy around the world.
Having taken these essential steps to reinforce the democratic
foundation of our country and inspire action in others, President Biden will
organize and host a global Summit for Democracy to renew the spirit and shared
purpose of the nations of the Free World. During his
first year in office, President Biden will bring together the world’s
democracies to strengthen our democratic institutions, honestly confront the
challenge of nations that are backsliding, and forge a common agenda to address
threats to our common values.
The Summit will prioritize results by galvanizing significant new country commitments in three areas: (1) fighting corruption; (2) defending against authoritarianism, including election security; (3) advancing human rights in their own nations and abroad.
The Summit will include civil society organizations from around the world that stand on the frontlines in defense of our democracies.
The Summit will also issue a Call to Action for the private sector, including technology corporations and social media giants, to make their own commitments, recognizing their responsibilities and their overwhelming interest in preserving open, democratic societies and protecting free speech. For example, technology companies—which benefit from the fruits of democracy—should make concrete pledges for how they can ensure their algorithms and platforms are not empowering the surveillance state, facilitating repression in China and elsewhere, spreading hate, spurring people to violence, and remaining susceptible to misuse.
As an example
of the concrete action our world needs, Joe Biden served as a founding member
of a Trans-Atlantic Commission on Election Integrity—to fight back against
Russia’s attacks on Western democracies. The Commission asked politicians
across Europe to sign a pledge committing to transparency in campaign finance
and to reject the use of fabricated or hacked material. Now that he is a
candidate for office, Biden has signed that pledge and is calling on every
person running for president to do the same.
II. Equip our People to Succeed in a Global Economy
with a Foreign Policy for the Middle Class
Joe Biden believes that economic security is national security. That is why, as
president, Biden will pursue a foreign policy for the middle class. To win the
competition for the future against China or anyone else, we must sharpen our
innovative edge and unite the economic might of democracies around the world to
counter abusive economic practices.
Rebuild the Middle Class, the Backbone of the
Country: Give every student the skills they need to obtain a good 21st
century job; make sure every single American has access to quality, affordable
healthcare; invest in infrastructure; raise the minimum wage to $15; and lead
revolution to create 10 million new jobs in the United
Invest in Our Innovative Edge: Unleash
our nation’s full potential—which includes unrivaled research universities,
unparalleled venture capital, and our citizens’ unmatched spirit of
entrepreneurship and commitment to hard work—with investments in research and
development to spur advances in clean energy, quantum computing, artificial
intelligence, 5G, and high-speed rail. We must ensure the technologies of the
future like AI are bound by laws and ethics and promote greater shared
prosperity and democracy. A Biden administration will join together with our
democratic allies to develop secure, private sector-led 5G networks, leaving no
community—rural or low-income—behind.
Ensure the Rules of Road Benefit our Workers and our
Communities: There is no going back to business as usual on trade. And he
will ensure we negotiate from the strongest possible position. Joining with our
fellow democracies, we represent about one-half of global GDP. As president,
Biden will use this substantial leverage to shape the future rules of the road
on everything from the environment to labor to trade to transparency, non-proliferation
to cyber theft, and data privacy to artificial intelligence, so they continue
to reflect democratic interests and values—America’s interests and
III. Renew American Leadership to Mobilize Global
Action on Global Threats
The world does not organize itself. American leadership, backed by clear goals
and sound strategies, is necessary to effectively address the defining global
challenges of our time. In order to lead again, we must restore our credibility
and influence. From day one of a Biden administration, other countries will
once again have reason to trust and respect the word of an American president.
Working together, democracies can and must confront the rise of populists,
nationalists, and demagogues; the growing strength of autocratic powers and
their efforts to divide and manipulate democracies; and the threats unique to
our time, including the renewed threat of nuclear war, mass migration, the
disruptive impact of new technologies, and climate change.
Defend our Vital Interests: As president,
Biden will never hesitate to protect the American people, including when
necessary, by using force. We have the strongest military in the world—and as
president, Biden will ensure it stays that way. The Biden administration will
make the investments necessary to equip our troops for the challenges of the
next century, not the last one. But the use of force should be our last resort,
not our first—used only to defend our vital interests, when the objective is
clear and achievable, and with the informed consent of the American
End Forever Wars: Biden will end
the forever wars in Afghanistan and the Middle East, which have cost us untold
blood and treasure. As he has long argued, Biden will bring the vast majority
of our troops home from Afghanistan and narrowly focus our mission on Al-Qaeda
and ISIS. And he will end our support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen. Staying
entrenched in unwinnable conflicts only drains our capacity to lead on other
issues that require our attention, and it prevents us from rebuilding the other
instruments of American power.
Elevate Diplomacy: As president,
Biden will elevate diplomacy as the premier tool of our global engagement. He
will rebuild a modern, agile U.S. Department of State—investing in and re-empowering
the finest diplomatic corps in the world and leveraging the full talent and
richness of America’s diversity. Working cooperatively with other nations makes
us more secure and more successful. For example, as president, Biden will
launch a top-to-bottom review of our funding to Central America to determine
how we can build on a successful initiative from the Obama-Biden administration
that secured concrete commitments from the leaders of El Salvador, Guatemala,
and Honduras to take on the corruption, violence, and endemic poverty that
Restore and Reimagine Partnerships: A Biden
administration will do more than restore our historic partnerships; it will
lead the effort to reimagine them for the future. This means keeping NATO’s military
capabilities sharp, while also expanding our capacity to take on new,
non-traditional threats like weaponized corruption, cyber theft, and new
challenges in space and on the high seas; calling on all NATO nations to
recommit to their responsibilities as members of a democratic alliance; and
strengthening cooperation with democratic partners beyond North America and
Europe by reaching out to our partners in Asia to fortify our collective
capabilities and integrating our friends in Latin America and Africa. When the
United States hosts the next Summit of the Americas in 2021, President Biden
will harness this opportunity to rebuild strong hemispheric ties based on
respect for democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. We will also
strengthen our alliances with Japan, South Korea, Australia and other Asian
democracies, while sustaining an ironclad commitment to Israel’s security.
Renew our Commitment to Arms Control for a New
The historic Iran nuclear deal, negotiated by the Obama-Biden administration alongside our allies and other world powers, blocked Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. Yet Trump decided to cast it aside, prompting Iran to restart its nuclear program and become more provocative, bringing the region to the cusp of another disastrous war. If Tehran returns to compliance with the deal, President Biden would re-enter the agreement, using hard-nosed diplomacy and support from our allies to strengthen and extend it, while more effectively pushing back against Iran’s other destabilizing activities.
In North Korea, President Biden will empower our negotiators and jump start a sustained, coordinated campaign with our allies and others, including China, to advance our shared objective of a denuclearized North Korea.
As president, Biden will pursue an extension of the New START Treaty, an anchor of strategic stability between the United States and Russia, and use that as a foundation for new arms control arrangements.
President Biden would take other steps to demonstrate our commitment to reducing the role of nuclear weapons. As he said in 2017, Biden believes the sole purpose of the U.S. nuclear arsenal should be deterring—and if necessary, retaliating against—a nuclear attack. As president, he will work to put that belief into practice, in consultation with our allies and military.
Rally the World to Address Existential Climate Crisis: The Biden
administration will rejoin the Paris Climate Accord on day one and lead a major
diplomatic push to raise the ambitions of countries’ climate targets. To
catalyze this effort and demonstrate concrete actions at home to achieve a
clean-energy economy with net-zero emissions by 2050, President Biden –
in his comprehensive plan – will in his first 100 days in
Convene a climate world summit to directly engage the leaders of the major carbon-emitting nations of the world to persuade them to join the United States in making more ambitious national pledges, above and beyond the commitments they have already made.
Lock in enforceable commitments that will reduce emissions in global shipping and aviation—and pursue strong measures to make sure other nations can’t undercut us economically as we meet our own commitments. This includes pressuring China—the world’s largest emitter of carbon—to stop subsidizing coal exports and outsourcing their pollution to other countries by financing billions of dollars of dirty fossil-fuel energy projects through their Belt and Road Initiative.
Celebrating the Fourth of July with Iowans in Marshalltown, Vice President Joe Biden, campaigning for the Democratic nomination for President, expressed what the holiday is really about and how Donald Trump doesn’t get it. Here is his speech, as prepared for delivery, with segments highlighted:
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s great to be back in Iowa celebrating the independence of our country and the incredible promise of the American future.
243 years ago, a group of rebels in Philadelphia pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to a revolutionary idea—to the self-evident truth that all men—and women—are created equal.
And ever since then presidents and patriots have gathered together on the 4th, as we are gathered today, to reflect on the greater meaning of our American experiment.
In 1821, just decades after revolution, John Quincy Adams proclaimed: “[America’s] glory is not dominion, but liberty. Her march is the march of the mind.”
In 1861, Abraham Lincoln invoked the Declaration to make the case for the Civil War, reminding Congress that it would be: “a struggle for maintaining in the world that form and substance of government whose leading object is to elevate the condition of men; to lift artificial weights from all shoulders; to clear the paths of laudable pursuit for all.”
In 1962, deep in the grip of the Cold War, Kennedy made the pilgrimage to Independence Hall to declare that: “this Nation—conceived in revolution, nurtured in liberty, maturing in independence—has no intention of abdicating its leadership in that worldwide movement for independence to any nation or society committed to systematic human oppression.”
Three different presidents, of three vastly different eras, united by their faith in the power of the idea that is America. Constant in their dedication to the pursuit of humankind’s highest ideal—liberty.
What, I wonder, will Donald Trump say this evening when he speaks to the nation at an event designed more to stroke his ego than celebrate American ideals?
Will he speak to the example America must set to inspire the world? Will he offer a robust defense of the democratic values that have always been our strength in times of crisis?
We all know the answer to that. Donald Trump is incapable of celebrating what makes America great—because he doesn’t get it.
He cannot distinguish between our Allies and our adversaries—because he does not grasp that America is the “march of the mind” toward greater openness, greater understanding, greater human freedom to pursue lives of meaning and fulfillment.
And if we give Donald Trump eight years in the White House he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation. We can’t let that happen.
Trump’s embrace of dictators and strongmen is a fundamental rejection of everything our founders wrote into their Declaration.
Vladimir Putin in Russia, Kim Jong Un in North Korea, Mohamad bin Salman in Saudi Arabia—their drive to concentrate greater and greater power in their own hands and to silence their opposition, including through brutal assassinations—that is the death of liberty.
Last week, Putin gave an interview where he crowed: “the liberal idea has become obsolete.”
Trump thought he was talking about Democrats in California. Not a joke.
Our president does not understand the difference between liberal as opposed to conservative politics, and liberal as opposed to autocratic systems of government.
Well, I’m here to tell Vladimir Putin, and Donald Trump, and anyone who needs to hear it:the liberal idea is the American idea. And it will never be obsolete—not as long as there remain patriots committed to the higher ideals of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
The liberal idea is what drives innovation and entrepreneurship. The liberal idea is what inspires art and exploration and human curiosity. And—critically—the liberal idea is what built the Free World.
The Free World is an American design. We created it, together with our democratic allies in Europe and in Asia after World War II, to hold in check the abuse of power by any one nation, and to affirm a collective defense, open economies, and human rights.
The Free World drove the march of democracy, prevented a third great war, protected the territorial integrity and sovereignty of small states, allowed unprecedented economic growth and development, and advanced basic human rights and fundamental freedoms in every corner of the world.
Ours is a community of values that stands in opposition to all who seek to profit by the oppression of others.
That’s why Putin wants to see it destroyed. That’s why he’s actively working to tear apart our democracy.
Ladies and gentlemen – America is the heart of the Free World—and we must defend it.
That is how the Fourth of July is best honored – by remembering that our Declaration is first and foremost a call to arms, in defense of liberty.
But we must also remember, as JFK put it, that ours is: “not the individual liberty of one but the indivisible liberty of all.”
Donald Trump doesn’t get that either.
My liberty, depends on yours. Our liberty as a nation rests on our ability to ensure equal access, equal opportunity – not just for our own children, but all our children.
We have to take on the inequalities in our system that are causing too many today— in America and around the world—to question their faith in the ability of democracy to deliver for them.
It’s not enough to be for political equality—we have to be for economic fairness as well.
It’s not enough to be against the way Donald Trump conducts himself—the way he assaults the dignity of women, people of color, immigrants, LGBTQ individuals—we have to be against his policies that are further entrenching economic inequality in this nation.
That are rigging the system against the middle class.
That too is an attack on our democracy—on our liberty.
That’s the message I’ve been taking all across this nation.
And it’s all the more clear today – on the day we celebrate our independence—this country wasn’t built by Wall Street bankers and CEOs and hedge fund managers.
It was built by you. By ordinary Americans – given half a chance – doing extraordinary things. That’s the history of the journey of America.
My dad used to have an expression. He’d say a job is about a lot more than a paycheck. It’s about dignity. It’s about respect. It’s about one’s place in the community. It’s about being able to look your child in the eye and say everything is going to be ok. And mean it.
But today so many people can’t do that. That’s what we have to change. That is my north star.
The moral obligation of our time is to rebuild the middle class. And this time, everybody comes along – no matter their race, gender, ethnicity, religion,who they love or where they live or whether they have a disability.
For me, it’s all about restoring the dignity of work – being able to provide security and joy for your family.
But how can a person’s dignity be maintained if they can’t afford to care for a sick child or a family member because of a pre-existing condition – or because they’ve reached a point where their health insurer says “no more?”
I can’t imagine what Jill and I would have done with Beau if we couldn’t get the best care to ease his pain and suffering while dealing with an incurable disease.
How can a parent maintain their dignity if their talented and qualified child wants to go beyond high school to trade school or community college or college, but they can’t afford to get them there?
I remember how my father felt when he told me the bank wouldn’t give him a loan to help me go to college. He said, “I’m so ashamed.” I got there – but I’ll never forget that look on his face.
Today’s corporate culture and this Administration don’t care about your dignity. They don’t care about economic fairness.
They’re squeezing the life out of workers. They’re making it harder for you to bargain for your personal worth as well.
40% of workers have to sign non-compete clauses at some point in their careers.
These non-compete agreements have one purpose: to hold down the ability of workers to bargain for themselves and to keep their wages low.
And why do companies classify so many low-wage workers as managers?
So they can get out of paying overtime and take more in profits for themselves. That cost more than 4 million hourly workers $1.2 billion in lost wages last year.
And speaking of overtime – it’s long past time we make a $15 minimum wage at the federal level.
It’s time we started to reward work over wealth in this country.
Let me ask you something.
The stock market is roaring. Do you feel it?
Or how about that big tax cut passed by Trump and the Republicans? Did you feel it?
That tax cut exploded the deficit by some $2 trillion – and now the Republicans are using it as an excuse to go after the social safety net.
Let’s not kid one another. If Trump and the Republicans win in 2020 – they’re coming after Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security.
They’ve already said it. And we can’t let that happen.
So, we need to reverse the Trump tax cuts on the super wealthy. And then we need to get rid of the capital gains loophole.
A just economy—an economy that advances liberty for all—isn’t one where the super wealthy pay lower tax rates than teachers and firefighters.
The Fourth is also a reminder of an important lesson we learned early in this county.
As Benjamin Franklin supposedly said at the signing: “We must all hang together, or most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.”
Folks, we need to unify this country. We have to overcome this status quo of division—that’s the only way we’ll be able to get anything done.
And we can do it without compromising our principles. Marshalltown knows that better than anyone—what do you do when disaster strikes? You come together.
Mr. Mayor, how did you begin rebuilding after that God-awful tornado? By working together with the city council and the local businesses.
It didn’t matter whether folks were Democrats or Republicans then—all that mattered was getting Marshalltown back up and running.
You made that happen—you’re still making that happen.
It goes to show that all that stands in our way is a broken political system.
Folks, for all our problems, I’m more optimistic today than when I got elected to the United States Senate as a 29-year old kid.
And here’s why: We’re better positioned than any nation in the world to lead the 21st Century.
We have the strongest military in the world. We have led not by the example of our power, but by the power of our example. The most productive workers among major world economies. North America is energy independent. We have the world’s greatest research universities.
No other nation in the world can match us. The only thing that can tear America apart is America itself.
The only thing that would make the liberal idea obsolete is if Americans walked away from liberty itself.
Everybody knows who Donald Trump is.
This July 4th, let’s remind the world who we are.
This is the United States of America.
This is the nation that willed ourselves into existence with nothing but faith in ourselves and in the power of an idea.
There’s not a single thing we can’t do – together.
With Democrats clamoring for the Democratic National Committee to host a climate debate for candidates, several have issued their own climate action plans, including Vice President Joe Biden. The Biden Plan for a Clean Energy Revolution & Environmental Justice details how a Biden Administration will tackle the moral and economic imperative of climate change on day one.
“More severe storms and droughts, rising sea levels, warming temperatures, shrinking snow cover and ice sheets – it’s already happening. We must take drastic action now to address the climate disaster facing the nation and our world,” said Vice President Joe Biden. “Science tells us that how we act or fail to act in the next 12 years will determine the very livability of our planet. That’s why I’m calling for a Clean Energy Revolution to confront this crisis and do what America does best – solve big problems with big ideas.”
Here is an overview:
The Biden Plan for a Clean Energy Revolution & Environmental Justice
Addressing the global threat of climate change and revitalizing America’s economy
From coastal towns to rural farms to urban centers, climate change poses an existential threat – not just to our environment, but to our health, our communities, our national security, and our economic well-being. It also damages our communities with storms that wreak havoc on our towns and cities and our homes and schools. It puts our national security at risk by leading to regional instability that will require U.S military-supported relief activities and could make areas more vulnerable to terrorist activities.
Vice President Biden knows there is no greater challenge facing our country and our world. Today, he is outlining a bold plan – a Clean Energy Revolution – to address this grave threat and lead the world in addressing the climate emergency.
Biden believes the Green New Deal is a crucial framework for meeting the climate challenges we face. It powerfully captures two basic truths, which are at the core of his plan: (1) the United States urgently needs to embrace greater ambition on an epic scale to meet the scope of this challenge, and (2) our environment and our economy are completely and totally connected.
If we can harness all of our energy and talents, and unmatchable American innovation, we can turn this threat into an opportunity to revitalize the U.S. energy sector and boost growth economy-wide. We can create new industries that reinvigorate our manufacturing and create high-quality, middle-class jobs in cities and towns across the United States. We can lead America to become the world’s clean energy superpower. We can export our clean-energy technology across the globe and create high-quality, middle-class jobs here at home. Getting to a 100% clean energy economy is not only an obligation, it’s an opportunity. We should fully adopt a clean energy future, not just for all of us today, but for our children and grandchildren, so their tomorrow is healthier, safer, and more just.
As president, Biden will make the United States a world leader to address the climate emergency through the power of example, by ensuring the U.S. achieves a 100% clean energy economy and net-zero emissions no later than 2050.
The Biden Plan will:
Ensure the U.S. achieves a 100% clean energy economy
and reaches net-zero emissions no later than 2050. On day one, Biden will sign a series of new
executive orders with unprecedented reach that go well beyond the
Obama-Biden Administration platform and put us on the right track. And, he
will demand that Congress enacts legislation in the first year of his
presidency that: 1) establishes an enforcement mechanism that includes
milestone targets no later than the end of his first term in 2025, 2)
makes a historic investment in clean energy and climate research and
innovation, 3) incentivizes the rapid deployment of clean energy
innovations across the economy, especially in communities most impacted by
Build a stronger, more resilient nation. On day one, Biden will make smart infrastructure
investments to rebuild the nation and to ensure that our buildings, water,
transportation, and energy infrastructure can withstand the impacts of
climate change. Every dollar spent toward rebuilding our roads, bridges,
buildings, the electric grid, and our water infrastructure will be used to
prevent, reduce, and withstand a changing climate. As President, Biden
will use the convening power of government to boost climate resilience
efforts by developing regional climate resilience plans, in partnership
with local universities and national labs, for local access to the most
relevant science, data, information, tools, and training.
Rally the rest of the world to meet the threat of
climate change. Climate change is a global
challenge that requires decisive action from every country around the
world. Joe Biden knows how to stand with America’s allies, stand up to
adversaries, and level with any world leader about what must be done. He
will not only recommit the United States to the Paris Agreement on climate
change – he will go much further than that. He will lead an effort to get
every major country to ramp up the ambition of their domestic climate
targets. He will make sure those commitments are transparent and
enforceable, and stop countries from cheating by using America’s economic
leverage and power of example. He will fully integrate climate change into
our foreign policy and national security strategies, as well as our
approach to trade.
Stand up to the abuse of power by polluters who
disproportionately harm communities of color and low-income
communities are disproportionately impacted by the climate emergency and
pollution. The Biden Administration will take action against fossil fuel
companies and other polluters who put profit over people and knowingly
harm our environment and poison our communities’ air, land, and water, or
conceal information regarding potential environmental and health risks.
The Biden plan will ensure that communities across the country from Flint,
Michigan to Harlan, Kentucky to the New Hampshire Seacoast have access to
clean, safe drinking water. And he’ll make sure the development of
solutions is an inclusive, community-driven process.
Fulfill our obligation to workers and communities who
powered our industrial revolution and subsequent decades of economic
growth. This is support they’ve
earned for fueling our country’s industrial revolution and decades of
economic growth. We’re not going to leave any workers or communities
The Biden plan will
make a historic investment in our clean energy future and environmental justice,
paid for by rolling back the Trump tax incentives that enrich corporations at
the expense of American jobs and the environment. Biden’s climate and environmental justice
proposal will make a federal investment of $1.7 trillion over the next ten years,
leveraging additional private sector and state and local investments to total
to more than $5 trillion. President Trump’s tax cut led to trillions in stock
buybacks and created new incentives to shift profits abroad. Joe Biden believes
we should instead invest in a Clean Energy Revolution that creates jobs here at
The Biden plan will be paid for by reversing the excesses of the Trump tax cuts
for corporations, reducing incentives for tax havens, evasion, and outsourcing,
ensuring corporations pay their fair share, closing other loopholes in our tax
code that reward work not wealth, and ending subsidies for fossil fuels.
This all builds on Vice President Biden’s years of leadership on climate change
– from introducing one of the first climate bills in the Senate to overseeing
the largest clean energy investment in our country’s history, the Recovery Act
and to mobilizing the world to achieve the Paris Climate Accord.
Vice President Biden
has committed that Biden for President will not accept contributions from the
oil, gas and coal corporations or executives.
For more on Vice
President Biden’s plan, watch THIS video,
view the policy HERE.
Joe Biden, two-term Vice President
under Barack Obama, officially launched his own campaign for 2020 at a rally in
Philadelphia, his wife, Dr. Jill Biden’s hometown and the city where the
Declaration of Independence and Constitution, were birthed and for the first
time, structured a government around “We the people.”
“I am running for three basic
reasons,” he declared. “I want to restore the soul of this country…I want to
rebuild the backbone of this country, this time bringing everyone along, the
middle class — the middle class that built this country. And thirdly I want to
unite the country.”
“In 1776, the Declaration of Independence:
‘We hold these truths to be self-evident.’ Those words formed the American
creed. Equality. Equity. Fairness. America didn’t live up to that promise for
most of its people, for people of color, for women.
“But we are born of the idea
that every single person in this country — no matter where you start in life
— there’s nothing that’s beyond your capacity if you work hard enough for
Unity – one America united around
common values and a belief that each is entitled to the same opportunity – is a
big theme for Biden, who blasted the divisiveness, the dysfunction of
government, starting with Donald Trump.
“Some say Democrats don’t want
to hear about unity. That they are angry– and the angrier you are – the better.
That’s what they are saying to have to do to win the Democratic nomination.
Well, I don’t believe it. I believe Democrats want to unify this nation. That’s
what we’ve always been about. Unity.
“If the American people want a president to add to our division, to lead
with a clenched fist, closed hand and a hard heart, to demonize the opponents
and spew hatred — they don’t need me. They already have a President who
does just that. I am running to offer our country – Democrats, Republicans and
Independents – a different path.”
“I know how to make government work.
I’ve worked across the aisle to reach consensus. And I can do that again with
your help,” he said, often having to speak over a heckler and whistles.
“Compromise is not a dirty word;
consensus is no a weakness – the founders designed constitution to require
consensus – it’s what I did as Senator, what I did as vice president working
with Barack Obama…
If I’m elected your president, I
will do whatever to make progress on matters that matter most – civil rights,
women’s rights, climate change policy that will save our children,
“I know there are times when only a
bare knuckle fight will do –I can take on Republicans. That’s what took to pass
the Affordable Care Act – it was a big… deal…
“Barack Obama was an extraordinary
man…. Someone your children looked up to…I’m proud to have served as his vice
president [and proudest of] passing health care. Past administrations tried and
failed; it was done by Obama without a single Republican vote.
“The Recovery Act [at the time of
America’s biggest economic crisis] was a big reason we have had 10 years of
uninterrupted economic growth…
“Trump likes to take credit for
economy and economic growth – but look at facts, not alternative facts- he
inherited a strong economy from the Obama-Biden administration.
“The Recovery Act helped save the
country from economic ruin – we had to get the work done – if we hadn’t,
we could have had another Great Depression . Working together matters. The
American people want government to work.
“The country is sick of division,
sick of childish behavior – there isn’t a single person in this country who
could get away with that in their job. All people want is for their senator,
their congressman to do their job, and above all, a president who measures the
day by people he brings together rather than division he sows…a president
obsessing over personal grievance.
“The rest of the world isn’t
waiting. China not waiting – they’re building 5G, mastering AI, rewriting the
rules of the internet, moving into areas that shouldn’t be abandoned by us. The
rest of the world isn’t abandoning the Paris Climate Accord…
“The greatest challenge we face will
be over technology, intellectual property, clean energy, a warming planet – and
not a single thing that building a wall [or attacking immigrants] can
“We have to focus on the future ..
we will invest in educational assistance our people need to succeed in 21st
century because any country that out-educates us will out compete us.”
He declared. “Let’s stop fighting
and start fixing,” prompting cheers of “We want Joe. We want Joe.”
On health care, he said that instead
of starting over, certainly not tear down, “we need to go to the next step”
with the Affordable Care Act.
On infrastructure, he said,
“Highways, ports, airports need to be greener, more rational. No one should
have to drink poisoned water; protect the nation from cyber attack [and bring]
solar and wind energy across the same lines.
“We know what we have to do.That’s
why I’m running – stop fighting, start fixing… together.
“There is not much time left,” he
declared. “We need a clean energy revolution, starting now. Clean energy and
jobs creation go together…
“We have to work together to get it
done….We need a president who will lead.”
Getting down to brass tacks, he
said, “The single most important priority on my list: defeat Donald Trump…
“I’ve watched [Trump] for 3 years
instilling fear, undermining every institution designed to check abuse of
power- all to solidify his base and expand power.
“Attacks on free press as the enemy
of the people is nothing to be dismissed – tyrants, dictators all over the
world use the same [rhetoric]. Attacking the independence of courts – saying he
cannot trust a judge because of his Mexican ancestry, that’s not America,
Democrat or Republican.
“Attack on Congress to legitimately
engage in oversight a without whimper of Republicans in Congress who should
“This undermines our standing around
“Are we a nation that believes in
the moral equivalent between neo-Nazis and the KKK, and those with courage to
stand against them? We don’t but Trump does.
“Are we a nation who believes it’s
okay to tear children from the arms of parents at the border? We don’t but
“Are we a nation that [coddles up
to] a tyrant like Kim Jong Un? We don’t but Tump does.
“Remember who we are, what we stand
for, what we believe. Every day I am reminded nothing is guaranteed by our
democracy, we have to fight for it, earn it.”
Biden cited Lincoln’s Gettsburg
Address, saying, “the great task remaining before us, that government of, by,
for the people shall not perish from the earth.
“That challenge has been handed down
to every generation. That challenge is now handed to us, that future generations
will measure us by. Will we be the ones to let government of, by, for the
people perish from the earth?
“We will not, I will not, you will
not let perish on my watch or yours.
But while we confront “the biggest
threat any of us have faced in our entire lifetime,” he added, “on other hand,
we‘ve never had a future more promising.
“I’m more optimistic about America’s
future today, than when I was first elected, too young to be sworn in. We are
in a better position to lead in the 21st century. Our workers are 3
times as productive, we have the biggest economy in the world, the strongest
military in the history of the world. Entrepreneurs…there are more great
research universities in this city, this state, this country than all the world
“We lead by the power of example not
by the example of power. The only thing to defeat America is America itself and
we cannot let that happen.
“Let them know who we are, what we
stand for – unity over division.”
“Pride and Purpose” is the slogan for Hofstra University. It could also be the slogan for the “new” Democratic party, exuded by New York State Democrats at their convention, held at the university’s stadium in Nassau County last week. There were not taking a backseat to Cynthia Nixon and the Working Families Party progressive values. Instead, Hillary Clinton, Tom Perez, Joe Biden, and Andrew Cuomo, himself schooled them on the art of pragmatic progressivism: getting progressive policies enacted.
Not the ideals, the hyperbole, the theory, not that hot air balloon that raised Bernie Sanders and still fills the Bernie Bro’s and those who attach to him, like Cynthia Nixon who has no clue at all how to achieve or change any of the wrongs. Hillary Clinton, in one of her debates with Bernie Sanders, noted that “politics is the art of the possible.”
The theme for the first day was “Moving Forward,” – a slap at Republicans cynical actions to move the clock back to a time when women, minorities, the disabled and vulnerable were subjugated without consequence. The theme for the second day, when Andrew Cuomo gave his acceptance speech, was “Fighting Back.”
Taking the podium in the same venue as the first 2016 presidential debate where she showed the presidential pretender, Donald Trump, to be the fool he is, Clinton answered the question constantly posed to Democrats (but not Republicans): What do Democrats stand for? Well, it may not fit on a hat, but Clinton provided the answer:
“Look around this room: people who stand for an economy that works for everybody, universal health care, and even better, people who have plans to get us there. You’ll see defenders of civil rights, women’s rights, LGBT rights, rights of people with disabilities. I don’t believe these are minor issues –they matter to millions and millions of New Yorkers, Americans.
“So much of the progress we see in the United States is because we Democrats pushed open doors to opportunity for people who have been shut out. And we, my friends, are not going back.”
At a time when income inequality is the greatest since 1915, she said, “I think it’s a bold idea that everyone in this country should have a decent standard of living and a good job to pay for it…That everyone deserves the best possible start in life..Quality health care throughout and a safe, secure retirement. Even bolder is to have plans to make those realities, the way Democrats do.
“Let’s remind ourselves: Democrats are the party that rescued country from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression; passed, then saved, the Affordable Care Act; helped keep Planned Parenthood’s doors open. We’re the party that will save Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security from persistent Republican attacks. We are the party that will keep fighting every day to achieve universal health care and universal job opportunities. So don’t let anyone tell you differently.
“If you want an economy that works for you and your family, you have to vote for Democrats…..quality health care….protect and expand the rights of all Americans, not just the top 1%, you have to vote for Democrats.
“If you believe in woman’s right to make her own health care decisions …in well funded public schools, colleges, and the resources so that teachers can succeed.. If you believe in actual commonsense gun safety laws to help save lives…understand that we are facing a real crisis with Climate Change…and believe we can stand up for our values and keep our country safe, you have to vote for Democrats.
“If you believe in comprehensive immigration reform and protecting Dreamers …… getting money out of politics and getting all voters to the polls..if you believe that standing up for evidence and reason and respecting the rule of Law is critical for our democracy, you have to vote for Democrats.”
“Now more than ever we need leaders who will stand up for progressive values and up against to those who will turn neighbor against neighbor and sow seeds of division. Most of all, we need leaders who believe in producing results and getting things done – leaders like Andrew Cuomo and Kathy Hochul.”
Indeed, Cuomo has chalked up quite a record in his 7 years that align perfectly with the progressive agenda:
Erased $10 billion deficit, added 1 million private-sector jobs to a record number of 8.2 million; raised the minimum wage to $15, passed the strongest paid family leave policy in America; stood up to protect a woman’s right to choose, and defended access to the state’s version of Obamacare; implemented marriage equality and stood up against racism and sexual abuse.
Implemented commonsense gun safety laws, promoted criminal justice reform and created a mechanism to investigate deaths by police. Put affordable college education in reach of every New Yorker, making the state the first in nation to provide tuition-free college for low and mid-income students.
He’s unleashed the most massive overhaul of infrastructure since Franklin D. Roosevelt was governor, to the tune of $100 billion that has seen new bridges, mass transportation improvements all across the state (built with union labor), invested in innovation and business incubators. Much of this is also to realize the target of 50% of the state’s energy needs coming from renewable by 2030, and he has backed it up by shutting down coal-fired plants, investing in offshore windpower.
He has stood up for Dreamers and for immigrants, creating a legal fund so that those who Trump and Sessions would race to deport have the benefit of due process enshrined in the Constitution and a stable of American values.
And Hochul, probably the hardest working Lt. Governor in the nation, has done an outstanding job to promote gender equity.
“This is not your father’s Republican Party,” former Vice President Joe Biden told the audience. “They are not who we are. They are not who America is. What they are doing is sending a vision of America around the world that is distorted. That is damaging. That is hurting us… this phony populism, this fake nationalism…. It’s time to say ‘no more.'”
We have seen how the Republicans govern: pulling back on rights for workers, women, voting rights, overturning environmental, consumer and financial protections (how is that helping working people?). Doing nothing to expand access to affordable health care, rather, doing their best to destroy Obamacare and watch as health care premiums rise.. Doing nothing to make college affordable, address student debt; nothing to address the opioid crisis or address spiraling rise in drug prices that put life-saving drugs out of reach. And that $1.5 trillion infrastructure fantasy? As Biden said, Trump gave it away to the 1% in the GOP tax scheme.
“This election isn’t just about winning, though win we must,” declared Jay Jacobs, chair of Nassau Democrats. “It’s about the soul of America – what nation we are, who we will about moving forward.
Here’s the tidy slogan that Democrats should embrace and it even fits on a hat: Justice. Fairness. Opportunity.
Here is a highlighted transcript of Vice President Joe Biden’s remarks to the Democratic National Convention, Philadelphia, July 27, 2016:
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you. (Applause.) I love you. (Applause.) Ladies and gentlemen, thank you, thank you, thank you. (Applause.) I love you. Ladies and gentlemen, eight years ago, I stood on a stage in Denver, and I accepted your nomination to be Vice President of the United States. (Applause.)
And every single day since then it’s been the honor of our lives for Jill and me. Every day we’ve been grateful to Barack and Michelle for asking them to join us — join them on that incredible journey. (Applause.) A journey that could only happen in America.
But we not only have worked together. As it’s become pretty obvious, we’ve become friends. We’re now family. We’re family. (Applause.)
Folks, you’ve all seen over the last eight years what President Obama means to this country. He’s the embodiment — he is the embodiment of honor, resolve, and character. One of the finest Presidents we have ever had. (Applause.) That’s right. This is a man of character. (Applause.) And he’s become a brother to Jill and me.
And, Michelle, I don’t know where you are, kid. But you’re incredible. You are incredible. (Applause.) And I was talking to Barack today, it’s no longer who is going to give the best speech. We already know who did that. You were incredibleMonday night. (Applause.) The Delaware delegation, as they say in southern Delaware — (applause) — Barack and I married way up. (Laughter.) Way up.
Folks, as I stand here tonight — I see so many friends and colleagues, like my buddy Chris Dodd and the Connecticut delegation. So many people here. (Applause.) I see the faces of those, who have placed their belief in Barack and me. So many faces — but one.
This is kind of a bittersweet moment for Jill and me and our family. In 2008, when he was about to deploy to Iraq, and again in 2012, our son Beau introduced me to the country and placed my name in nomination. You got a glimpse — I know I sound like a dad, but you got a glimpse of what an incredibly fine young man Beau was. (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you. His wife, Hallie, and his two kids are heretonight. (Applause.)
But as Ernest Hemingway once wrote: “The world breaks everyone, and afterwards, many are strong at the broken places.”
I’ve been made strong at the broken places by my love, Jill; by my heart, my son Hunter; and the love of my life, my Ashley. And by all of you — and I mean this sincerely. Those of you who have been through this, you know I mean what I say, by all of you — your love, your prayers, your support.
But you know what, we talk about — we think about the countless thousands of other people who have suffered so much more than we have with so much less support, so much less reason to go on.
But they get up every morning, every day. They put one foot in front of the other. They keep going. That’s the unbreakable spirit of the people of America. That’s who we are. (Applause.) That’s who we are. Don’t forget it.
Like the people in the neighborhoods that Jill and I grew up in — she in Willow Grove, and my down in Wilmington and Claymont. The kid in Claymont with the most courage who always jumped in when you were double-teamed, or your back was against the wall, who became a cop because he always wanted to help people. The middle daughter of three daughters who always made her mother smile, who was a hero to her sisters, now a major in the United States Marines Corps, because, Mr. Vice President, I wanted to serve my country. (Applause.)
The teacher — the teachers who Jill knows and so many of you know who take money out of their own pockets to buy pencils and notebooks for the students who can’t afford them. (Applause.)
Why? Why? Because being a teacher is not what they do; it’s who they are. (Applause.)
You know what I know, for real. These are the people who are the heart and soul of this country. It’s the America that I know, the America that Hillary knows and Tim Kaine knows. (Applause.)
You know, I’ve known Hillary for well over 30 years. Before she was First Lady of the United States, when she became First Lady. We served together in the United States Senate. And during her years as Secretary of State, once a week we had breakfast in my home, the Vice President’s Residence.
Everybody knows she’s smart. Everybody knows she’s tough. But I know what she’s passionate about. I know Hillary. (Applause.) Hillary understands. Hillary gets it. Hillary understands that that college loan is about a lot more than getting a qualified student an education. It’s about saving the mom and the dad from the indignity of having to look at their talented child and say, sonny, honey, I’m so sorry. The bank wouldn’t lend me the money. I can’t help you to get to school.
I know that about Hillary. Hillary understood that for years millions of people went to bed staring at the ceiling, thinking, oh, my God, what if get breast cancer or he has a heart attack? I will lose everything. What will we do then?
I know about Hillary Clinton. (Applause.) Ladies and gentlemen, we all understand what it will mean for our daughters and granddaughters when Hillary Clinton walks into the Oval Office as President of the United States of America. (Applause.) It will change their lives. (Applause.) My daughters and granddaughters can do anything any son or grandson can do. And she will prove it, Mr. Mayor.
So let me say as clearly as I can. If you live in the neighborhoods like the ones Jill and I grew up in, if you worry about your job and getting a decent pay, if you worry about your children’s education, if you’re taking care of an elderly parent, then there’s only one — only one person in this election who will help you. There’s only one person in this race who will be there, who’s always been there for you. And that’s Hillary Clinton’s life story. (Applause.) It’s not just who she is. It’s her life story. She’s always there. She’s always been there. (Applause.) And so has Tim Kaine. (Applause.)
Ladies and gentlemen, to state the obvious, and I’m not trying to be a wise guy here. I really mean it. (Laughter.) That’s not Donald Trump’s story. Just listen to me a second without booing or cheering. I mean this sincerely. We should really think about this. His cynicism is unbounded. His lack of empathy and compassion can be summed up in a phrase I suspect he’s most proud of having made famous, you’re fired.
I mean really. I’m not joking. Think about that. Think about that. Think about everything you learned as a child — no matter where you were raised. How can there be pleasure in saying, you’re fired? He’s trying to tell us he cares about the middle class. Give me a break. That’s a bunch of malarkey. (Applause.)
Folks, whatever — whatever he thinks, and I mean this from the bottom of my heart, I know I’m called Middle Class Joe. In Washington that’s not meant as a compliment. It means you’re not sophisticated. But I know why we’re strong. I know why we have held together. I know why we are united. It’s because there’s always been a growing middle class. This guy doesn’t have a clue about the middle class. Not a clue. (Applause.)
Because, folks, when the middle class does well, the rich do very well, and the poor have hope. They have a way up. He has no clue about what makes America great. Actually he has no clue, period. (Laughter and applause.)
But, folks, let me — you got it.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Okay. But, folks, let me say something that has nothing to do with politics. Let me talk about something that I am deadly serious about. This is a complicated and uncertain world we live in. The threats are too great, the times are too uncertain to elect Donald Trump as President of the United States.
Now let me finish. No major party nominee in the history of this nation has ever known less or has been less prepared to deal with our national security. (Applause.)
We cannot elect a man who exploits our fears of ISIS and other terrorists, who has no plan whatsoever to make us safer; a man who embraces the tactics of our enemies — torture, religious intolerance. You all know. All the Republicans know. That’s not who we are. It betrays our values. It alienates those who we need in the fight against ISIS. Donald Trump with all his rhetoric would literally make us less safe.
We cannot elect a man who belittles our closest allies while embracing dictators like Vladimir Putin. No I mean it. A man who seeks to sow division in America for his own gain and disorder around the world; a man who confuses bluster with strength. We simply cannot let that happen as Americans. Period. (Applause.)
Folks, I have — no one ever doubts I mean what I say. It’s just that sometimes I say all that I mean. (Laughter.) But, folks, let me tell you what I literally tell every world leader I met with — and I’ve met them all. It’s never, never, never been a good bet to bet against America. (Applause.)
We have the finest fighting force in the world. (Applause.)
AUDIENCE: USA! USA! USA!
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Not only do we have the largest economy in the world, we have the strongest economy in the world. We have the most productive workers in the world. And given a fair shot, given a fair chance, Americans have never, ever, ever, ever let their country down. Never! Never! (Applause.)
Ordinary people like us who do extraordinary things. We’ve had candidates before who attempted to get elected by appealing to our fears. But they have never succeeded. Because we do not scare easily. We never bow. We never bend. We never break when confronted with crisis. No! We endure. We overcome. And we always, always, always move forward. (Applause.)
That’s why I can say with absolute conviction: I am more optimistic about our chances today than when I was elected as a 29-year-old kid to the Senate. The 21st Century is going to be the American Century. (Applause.) Because we lead not only by the example of our power, but by the power of our example.
That is the history of the journey of America. And God-willing, Hillary Clinton will write the next chapter in that journey.
We are America, second to none. And we own the finish line. Don’t forget it. (Applause.) God bless you all and may God protect our troops. Come on! We’re Americans! Thank you. (Applause.)