Vice President Joe Biden entered the election-year campaign fray last Thursday, telling a senior-citizens audience at Wynmoor Village in Coconut Creek, Fla., key differences between what President Obama and Democrats offer, and what Republican/Tea Party opponents want to do.
In a refreshing change from the hard-sell snark, lies and distortions Republican president wannabes have been dishing out for months, Biden spoke with quiet confidence and in terms respectful of the intelligence of his listeners.
We especially like this portion of Biden’s remarks.
Last year with the help of my two colleagues, we cut spending by $1 trillion. We also made a deal — we also made a deal with our Republican friends to cut it by another $1.2 trillion and set up that super committee, remember? What did they come up with? Nothing.
And we were on our way, on the cusp of negotiating — I was doing most of the negotiation for an agreement that would have cut the overall deficit by $4 trillion. But the Republicans, they walked away from it. Why? Because they wanted to maintain every major tax cut for the very wealthiest and have them move in perpetuity.
Look, they wanted an additional trillion dollars in tax cuts. And I want to explain to you — when you say that, it’s like, a trillion, that doesn’t — I mean a trillion, I can’t even — you can’t even calculate that.
Let me put it this way, of that trillion dollars, $813 million of that trillion dollar tax cut will go to households making over $1 million a year. Three hundred and fifty — 315,000 of the wealthiest families in America, average income $3.1 million a year, would get a $100,000 tax break per year for the next 10 years through that.
Look, we’re not asking anybody very wealthy to change their standard of living. We’re not — no serious. We’re not asking them to do anything they can’t do now. On $3.1 million, you don’t need another $100,000 to maintain your home, to drive the vehicle you drive, to vacation where you want to vacation. But when we ask you to take a 20 percent cut or a 30 percent cut in your Medicare or your Social Security or your children, that changes the standard of living.
Ladies and gentlemen, we don’t think it’s fair, and we don’t think it’s right. And more importantly, we don’t think it’s in the interest of the economic growth of this country. Folks, it’s simple math, either preserve Medicare and fix Social Security and draw down the deficit, or you spend another trillion dollars on tax cuts for the wealthiest. You can’t do both of these things. You can’t do both, and we refuse — we refuse to shift the burden and responsibility of putting America’s fiscal house in order on the backs of those who will have to change their standard of living, who have played by the rules, who have worked hard all their life and have earned the retirement benefits they’re getting.
We mentioned Republican candidates’ lies and distortions. For more on that, we turn to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, who last Wednesday cited GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney for outperforming at lying in a field of tough competitors for the title of Most Dishonest Republican Candidate Ever. This segment from Maddow’s March 21st show deserves an Emmy for telling it like it is.
Maddow is quick to say she’s not a journalist. We’re just as quick to say she’s doing a better job of reporting solid political news than many who say they are journalists.