President Joe Biden spoke in Michigan on Tuesday to pump his beleaguered Build Back Better Plan, about which he said there's a "whole lot of hyperbole," noting that he was there to "set the record straight."
If we don't pass it, he said "we risk losing our edge as a nation." "Twelve nations have a better infrastructure than we do," Biden said, and complained that we are 35th out of industrial nations in investment in earlier childhood education.
"We've taken our foot off the gas, I don't know what's happened," he said, before pressing his proposed "two critical pieces of legislation ... first, a bill to invest in our physical infrastructure, and the second ... to invest in our human infrastructure." He also said "this isn't about two pieces of legislation, it's about the inflection point ... in our history."
Of those things these bills are slated to pay for are "jobs that can't be outsourced." "We're going to put line workers and electricians that were clean thousands of miles of transmission lines, and to build a modern infrastructure and energy grid. We're gonna make high speed internet affordable available everywhere in America we talked about on the way over," he said.
He said China was doing better than the US in their infrastructure spending, saying that the US could do the same with union jobs. Biden didn't note that Chinese workers are not organized labor, but subjects to a communist, authoritarian regime, and many workers, such as those in the Uyghur minority, are known to be exploited.
Biden's infrastructure bills, he said, would create jobs that "don't require a four-year college degree." And he said that the human infrastructure bill would invest in early childhood education so that America's three- and four-year-olds could be primarily enrolled in school.
Biden took his speech to Michigan, to speak before unionized workers, to try to press his bill through Congress. Republicans are primarily opposed to the massive spending deals, but Democrats are also divided. Moderate Senators Krysten Sinema and Joe Manchin want to see less spending, while progressives in Congress want to ensure that the passage of the first bill will come with the passage of the second bill, as well.
And he blamed legislators in Washington for not pushing through these spending bills per his wishes. The bills are $1.2 trillion and $3.5 trillion respectively.
"All those investments in roads, bridges, high speed and water, everything else, all in it would be less than one half of 1 percent of our economy each year, and it's all paid for," he said. "They don't increase the debt because they're paid for. I asked the very wealthy to begin to pay their fair share. As a matter of fact significant portion of this plan, cuts taxes for working people. And best of all the cost of these bills in terms of adding to the deficit is zero," he said.
To the wealthy, he said "join the crowd, man," and told them to "pay your fair share."
"I know we can do this, I'm positive we can, I've never been more positive about this country than I am right now," he said. "We're going to restore faith, pride, dignity, street for this country. Both, both of these bills start building this economy to beat the competition, whatever for working families."