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Biden defends plan to raise taxes on the rich

President BidenJoe BidenAtlanta mayor won't run for reelection South Carolina governor to end pandemic unemployment benefits in June Airplane pollution set to soar with post-pandemic travel boom MORE on Monday defended his plan to raise taxes on wealthy Americans to pay for free preschool and community college and tax credits for middle- and low-income families, arguing his proposal would “balance” the economy and help the U.S. better compete with other nations.

“The choice is about who the economy serves,” Biden said in remarks at a community college in Norfolk, Va. “Is it more important to shield millionaires from paying their fair share or is it more important than every child gets a real opportunity to succeed from an early age, and ease the burden on families?”

Biden reiterated that he would not raise taxes on those making less than $400,000 and he said that his $1.8 trillion families plan would not add to the deficit “unlike the last gigantic tax cut which increased the deficit by $2 trillion.”

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“It’s about balancing the system and growing the economy,” Biden said. “Trickle-down economics has never worked. For too long we have had an economy that gives every break in the world to the folks who need it the least. It’s time to grow the economy from the bottom up and the middle out.”

Biden's proposal to raise taxes on corporations and wealthy Americans to pay for his infrastructure and families plans has come under hefty criticism from Republicans. Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinManchin touts rating as 'most bipartisan senator' Bowser on Manchin's DC statehood stance: He's 'not right' It's Joe Manchin vs the progressives on infrastructure MORE (D-W.Va.) has also voiced opposition to Biden’s proposal to raise the corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 28 percent.

Biden used a sizeable portion of his remarks in Virginia rebutting the criticism, characterizing his families plan as a “once in a generation” investment in American families that will make the U.S. more competitive against other global economies.

“We’re in a race,” Biden said. “It all starts with access to a good education.”

Biden’s proposal calls for free preschool for all three- and four-year-olds, two years of tuition-free community college and tax credits for middle- and low-income families.

The proposal would need to be passed by Congress and faces an uncertain fate in Washington as Biden also pushes for the passage of his $2.3 trillion infrastructure package.

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With extremely slim majorities in the House and Senate, Democrats would need to resort to budget reconciliation to pass any of Biden’s plans should the White House fail to attract Republican support. Doing so would require virtually every Democrat to vote in favor of a bill.

Biden said Monday he believes his families plan is popular among voters, including Republicans, based on polling data.

“Now I just got to get some of my Republican colleagues to support it,” he said.