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Biden says he’s ‘tired of trickle down’ leaving out the middle class: ‘Just pay your fair share’

  • At a CNN town hall, Biden said he is “tired of trickle down” economics leaving out the middle class.
  • Trickle-down economics is the idea that benefits for the wealthy will “trickle down” to the rest of society.
  • Biden said a solution to creating an equitable economy is ensuring the wealthy pay their fair share in taxes.

Economic recovery is largely driving President Joe Biden’s agenda, and to him, a primary part of that recovery means boosting the middle class. To do that, he said the wealthy need to start paying their fair share in taxes.

“I’m tired of trickle down,” Biden said during a CNN town hall on Wednesday. “I come from the corporate state of America.”

Trickle-down economics is the idea that tax breaks and benefits for the wealthy will “trickle down” to the rest of society, but this theory has been discounted by some economists, and the president. During the town hall in Cincinnati, Biden touted his infrastructure bill as a way to create “good-paying union jobs,” but he added that there has never been a time when the middle class did better than the wealthy, stressing a need to reform the economic system.

“I’ve never seen a time when we have the middle class growing that the wealthy didn’t do very, very, very well. So that’s what we have to do, build it out and up, not just down,” he said, referring to the economy.

While Biden did not specifically mention a wealth tax or a corporate tax hike during the town hall, he has previously supported hiking taxes for the rich as a way to ensure they are paying their fair share. 

In April, Biden defended his proposed corporate tax hike to 28% as a way to level the playing field for businesses and average Americans, saying at the time that he was “not trying to punish anybody, but damn it, maybe it’s because I come from a middle-class neighborhood, I’m sick and tired of ordinary people being fleeced.”

But, as Insider previously reported, Biden does not support the idea of a wealth tax, which is an outright tax on someone’s net worth, but rather, supports a capital gains tax, which applies to existing taxes. However, the idea of a wealth tax is popular among Democrats, with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren being a leader behind her ultramillionaire tax proposal, which would tax the top 0.05% of American households. 

Republican lawmakers strictly oppose raising taxes on the wealthy, but many Democrats, and Biden, believe it is the solution to creating a fairer economy. 

“And by the way, I think you should be able to go out and make a billion dollars or $100 million to do it, if you have the capacity to do it, but I ask just one thing,” Biden said at the town hall. “Pay your fair share. Just pay your fair share.”

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