September 18th, 2008
06:05 PM ET
6 years ago

Biden defends the link between patriotism and higher taxes

Sen. Biden is sticking by his recent comments on taxes.
Sen. Biden is sticking by his recent comments on taxes.

AKRON, Ohio (CNN) – Hours after drawing Republican fire over a comment that those making more $250,000 per year will be expected to pay higher taxes because “it’s time to be patriotic,” Joe Biden told supporters in a small union hall Thursday afternoon that the wealthy are patriotic but “we have not asked anything of them.”

Earlier, John McCain and Sarah Palin seized on the original remark from Barack Obama’s running mate. “To the rest of America that's not patriotism,” said Palin at an Iowa rally. “Raising taxes is about killing jobs and hurting small businesses and making things worse." McCain called the comment “just plain dumb.”

Biden said both Obama and McCain are in favor of tax cuts - but the decision over who gets them is a question of values.

“Is it a higher value that [those making more than $250,000] get that tax cut?” Biden asked. “Or should we take that $130 billion and give it to families making less than $150,000 all the way down the ladder? What do you value? Tell me what you value.”

“The point I want to make to you,” Biden added, “is wealthy people are just as patriotic as poor people. We just have not asked anything of them.”

After repeating “it’s a time to be patriotic,” Biden argued that the county has “no problem sending our kids to war” and hit McCain for not supporting the recent GI Bill.

“I tell you Democrats,” Biden said angrily, “don't you step down from anybody telling you that we don't value, we don't have American values. I have had it up to here. I have had enough. Tell me what you value!”

Biden also jabbed McCain and Palin for not holding press conferences. The Republican nominee hasn’t had one in over a month, and Palin hasn’t since being named to the GOP ticket. Biden said he was asked by a reporter what he thought of Palin but replied he didn’t know because she doesn’t talk to the press.

“I don’t have any idea. I don’t know!” exclaimed Biden. “It’s not just Sarah Palin. When’s the last time John had a press conference?”

Looking over at Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, he added, “Ted, you and I know, when elected officials stop holding press conferences, it ain’t because he’s found a new way to communicate, it’s because he doesn’t want to communicate.”

McCain spokesman Ben Porritt responded that in the midst of a troubled economy and a presidential election, “Why on earth does Barack Obama’s running mate worry so much about our media relations strategy?”


Filed under: Economy • Joe Biden
soundoff (217 Responses)
  1. Debbie Joyner

    "We just have not asked anything of them" – Biden
    Excuse me the top 1% pay 40% of the entire income tax burden in this country! The bottom 50% pay less than 3% – stop talking about paying fairness – it's socialism!

    September 18, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  2. PALIN POWER

    Obviously Biden values more taxes... big surprise...

    It's all spin... over 250K a year is 99% of small business...

    You increase my payroll tax... I lay two people off... you increase tax on profits... I lay off two more... I have overhead, social security to match, pension to match, payroll tax, insurance, utilities, etc...

    On paper I make a lot... however very little hits the wallet... this is typical Dem spin... THEY WILL RAISE TAXES... except yes... if you paid 700 last year you might pay 400 under their plan... but if you employ 40 people... and pay 185,000 in taxes... it goes to 245,000... that's two or three people gotta go!

    September 18, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  3. Nation of Whinners-Ventura ca

    GO AWAY John & Sarah!!!!

    September 18, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  4. Gorbashov - Long Beach, Ca.

    The percentage of income that those top couple of persent at the top pay has never been lower in recent times.

    They need to stop their whining and pay their fair share.

    Caribou Barbie and Daddy War(over)bucks are sure becoming a couple of whiners!

    September 18, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  5. Chitown Jason

    Biden's the real deal. Looks like time is proving who made the wiser VP choice.

    September 18, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  6. Kent D

    The Rich need to pay their share. They have to remember that much of their precious dividend is composed out the 'savings' made from paying hard working Americans less than $8/hour.

    Maybe McCain should talk about linking the minimum wage with how many houses he owns – one dollar per house. What would it be now – $10 or $11/hr? He should do that – he really cares for and loves poor people. That's why he wants to make more of them.

    September 18, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  7. Go Joe!!!

    You keep doing your thing

    September 18, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  8. bob in LA

    The question of what is patriotic should be answered with- what is best for the country. Higher taxes to help us out of the mess we are in is financially responsible and VERY patriotic and far-sighted, thinking of future generations.
    Good for you Joe!

    September 18, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  9. Tim in Syracuse

    It seems that so far, the people being asked to sacrifice the most are the little people. I think its high time that the top tier whom have prospered greatly under the Bush Administration and stand to continue to under a McCain Administration to pony up and show that thye are willing to suffer for this Country too.

    Country First, right John?

    September 18, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  10. mitchell

    you dont have to defend yourself ,joe! we gotcha back! it's time for the wealthy to kick in for america!

    September 18, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  11. cecil

    Patriotism; John F. Kennedy

    Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You, But What You Can Do For Your Country.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 18, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  12. MD in ND

    Joe Biden rocks!!!

    September 18, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  13. Steve

    What Biden said this morning was absolutely right. And then, of course, McCain and Palin misrepresented it, because....hey, birds gotta fly, fish gotta swim.

    September 18, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  14. Richard Wright

    Tax and Spend........Nothing newsworthy about that....

    September 18, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  15. Pamela, CT

    It's silly season and we won't allow McPain to throw a shiny metal object up in the air. We are still very focussed on the economy and the fact that he said that our "economic fundamentals are stong". Mac is daft, and the economy is NO WHERE NEAR STRONG.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 18, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  16. Tiffany

    JOE,
    YOUR 100% CORRECT!!!!
    GET THEM, JOE!!!!!!
    WHAT A WEAK RESPONSE FROM THE MCCAIN CAMP!!!

    September 18, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  17. Boye

    I am kinda confused, what is wrong in saying "it's time to be patriotic" to people you are expecting to tax higher. You think going to war is the only way of showing patriotism? I mean, people making $250k and over will be giving up some of their cash for the good of the country's economy, that's patriotism in my book.

    September 18, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  18. Debbie Joyner

    Stuck in awaiting moderation again – of course I forgot to add Go obama! Now my comment is sure to get through -

    Excuse me the top 1% pay 40% of the entire income tax burden in this country! The bottom 50% pay less than 3% – stop talking about fairness – it's socialism.

    September 18, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  19. McCain Invented the BlackBerry, Palin Invented the Manure Spreader

    Go JOE!!!

    September 18, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  20. John Kaleto

    You can try to put all kinds of lipstick on that pig, Joe, but it's still called "redistribution of wealth". Fancy that! A modern-day Robin Hood with hairplugs!

    And if democrats were patriotic, they wouldn't seek to destroy America at every turn.

    September 18, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  21. Indie Voter

    Sarah Palin's talking points:
    I'm ready, I'm ready to serve.

    Great...

    September 18, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  22. FactCheck

    I make over $250,000 a year. My ability to hire good people to work for me is limited by their inability to find housing, afford gasoline for travel or maintain a decent amount of savings despite the fact that I pay them quite well. I agree with every single word Sen. Biden says.

    September 18, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  23. Observer

    Hey, I'm ready for the wealthy to take the fair share of tax burden in this country. They can give up buying a small gift, such as a Maserati, for a son or daughter, and join the rest of us in supporting our country financially.

    September 18, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  24. Donna

    But on Tuesday, when asked how much worse the economy would have to get before the campaign released a specific plan, McCain senior adviser Doug Holtz-Eakin said that it wasn't "imperative" for an "exact" plan to be drawn up yet.

    "I think the moment when we write down a specific plan is the moment we send legislation from a McCain administration to Congress. That's the moment when that happens," he said.
    ______________________________________________________

    Well this isn't very "patriotic" in my opinion...you let the people know UP FRONT what you plan to do to help them..not sneak into the White House while the rest of us HOPE you do right....

    September 18, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  25. Debbie Joyner

    "Lower rates of taxation will stimulate economic activity and so raise the levels of personal and corporate income as to yield within a few years an increased – not a reduced – flow of revenues to the federal government."
    – John F. Kennedy, Jan. 17, 1963, annual budget message to the Congress, fiscal year 1964

    September 18, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
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