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. Wisdom

    If you make a million dollars you pay 250,000 to tax...

    If you make 30,000 dollars you pay about 700 dollars...

    I'm sorry... who's flipping the bills?

    September 18, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  2. Debbie Joyner

    "It is no contradiction – the most important single thing we can do to stimulate investment in today's economy is to raise consumption by major reduction of individual income tax rates."
    – John F. Kennedy, Jan. 21, 1963, annual message to the Congress: "The Economic Report Of The President"

    September 18, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  3. john

    joe all thewayyyyyy

    September 18, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  4. Interesting

    Idiot.

    PUMA 2008!

    September 18, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  5. Debbie Joyner

    "Our tax system still siphons out of the private economy too large a share of personal and business purchasing power and reduces the incentive for risk, investment and effort – thereby aborting our recoveries and stifling our national growth rate."
    – John F. Kennedy, Jan. 24, 1963, message to Congress on tax reduction and reform, House Doc. 43, 88th Congress, 1st Session.

    September 18, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  6. Last Honest Man

    Why doesn't anybody question Biden on the illegal activities of his son?
    This guy is not clean!!!!

    September 18, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  7. ObamaMan

    I had my reservations that Joe was the perfect pick for VP but he is really growing on me this week.

    September 18, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  8. Joseph

    So on a day when McCain seems stumped about whether or not Spain is an ally or not, the Republicans try to make Biden's very honest statement and appeal some type of "gaffe." Crazy.

    Thank you, Joe Biden, for making a valid point about what we actually value in this country. The rich just milking the sweat of the workers or everyone helping all to have an opportunity to achieve the American dream.

    September 18, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  9. daliz

    War costs a lot of money. We have a huge deficit. The rich can most afford it. It's time someone asked it of them. The Republicans are spinning everything. They try to make out what's good is bad, and what's bad is good. It's time when a good idea is mentioned, that is defended.

    September 18, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  10. John (Retired Navy Chief)

    Our tax system belongs in the toilet. Why cant we have one fair tax for all? One equal tax for all people? So what if you make a billion you would still have to pay the tax. In the Federal system like the military all people have to pay 28% on bonus they receive, no matter if you are officer or enlisted, rich or poor you will pay the 28%.

    September 18, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  11. kyra

    I agree with Biden, why shouldn't the wealthy help middle/ disadvantage Americans through the hard times. They should ask themselves, "What would Jesus do?".

    Vote Obama/ Biden 08!!!!

    September 18, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  12. Huh

    Now now CNN. Why is Biden holding up a small sign that says "Vote Republican" in the picture? Is doctoring a photo of the next Vice President of the United States fair reporting? Honestly, the main stream media disgusts me.

    September 18, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  13. Robert

    I don't see any problem with the very Biblical mentality that to whom much is given, much is expected. If my taxes go to making the world a better place, and not starting offensive unnecessary wars or trying to justify torture or other things that are so unconscionable, I'll be happy to pay a bit more.

    September 18, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  14. TC-Indiana

    I'm sorry, but it seems clear to me (but what no one is saying) that many people in the top income levels got there by unethical, what should have been illegal (if not was, illegal) means. Redistributing the ill-gotten gains of criminals is NOT called redistributing the wealth, it's called paying your debt to society.

    September 18, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  15. darko

    Nice vp pick obama. It was only a matter of time.

    I especially love his bashing of McCain for being a de-regulator. He obviously is confusing regulating with oversite. Govt regulation is why healthcare costs are so high and is not the answer for wall st. Govt regulation does not work in a free market and especially not in the private sector.

    Govt oversite is the answer we're all looking for.

    Once again for the obamabots: Regulation, BAD. Oversite, GOOD.

    September 18, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  16. Jasmine

    “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.”
    ____________________________________________________
    Well Let's ask them now. Please be patriotic and help us rebuild and repair our countries infrastructure? Our bridges are falling down around us. Please be patriotic and help us repay the national debt? Please Please Please.

    September 18, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  17. Brady

    “Or should we take that $130 billion and give it to families making less than $150,000 all the way down the ladder?"

    Ummm... this sounds a whole lot like socialism to me.

    No thank you.

    September 18, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  18. Nick - Arlington, VA

    Interesting September 18th, 2008 6:41 pm ET

    Idiot.

    PUMA 2008!
    --------------------------------
    I've got a tiny violin for you –> <– ..look close...its in between the arrows.

    September 18, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  19. inuk of the north

    That's right Joe – tax the hell out of people that are smart enough to make more money than you.

    You likely know that the top 11% pay as much as the bottom 89% but that won't stop you from pandering and promoting the myth that the rich don't pay their share of taxes.

    After all, you're the guy who gave tax refunds to people who don't even pay taxes.

    Go ahead Joe, grind any possibility of a recovery to a complete halt. Nail the rich? Yeah – nail their big construction projects, nail their huge payrolls and make them pay the price for excellence.

    As if rich people can't move – to the Caribbean, to the Riviera, to the Canary islands. What, are they the only people that can't get a plane ticket?

    You don't believe a word you're saying, but you say it anyhow.

    Anything for a vote right? You should be ashamed of yourself.

    September 18, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  20. Larry

    My greatest FEAR is that Obama will be as inept as Kennedy and START World War #3 and after we BLOW EACH OTHER UP,there won't be anyone left.PLEASE THINK ABOUT IT !!!!!!

    John&Sarah 08

    September 18, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  21. Joe is Right

    This great country allows millions the opportunity to make that kind of money. What's wrong with giving back to to the system that helped you become wealthy in the first place?

    September 18, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  22. Hockey Mom, Indiana

    I hear it was a Biden operative who hacked into Sarah's computer-
    they'll both do about 5 years and become toys of the big boys in Levenworth-

    Can't wait to see it-

    September 18, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  23. George

    Yes, it's the rich folks' patriotic duty? That's what Lenin said.

    Listen , folks. As much as I want to beliee the Obama camp, it's all rhetoric. the numbers of new spending + new taxes don't add up.

    But hey, if Obama gets elected, those too lazy to get a job will love him as my hard-earned money (I'm a teacher) gets redistributed.

    September 18, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  24. darko

    wisdom said "If you make a million dollars you pay 250,000 to tax…

    If you make 30,000 dollars you pay about 700 dollars…"

    You pay a hell of a lot more than $250k if you earn a million a year.

    September 18, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  25. brandon

    I dont understand why people feel like they can have a thriving country without paying taxes. I dont think people understand that we cannot keep borrowing money from China.
    How do people think Government runs, we need schools, rodes to drive on, health care ect I could go on and on.

    Some how the repubs have convinced people that the US just runs it self without money.
    i feel it is a patriotic act and I have been saying it before Biden. What are all these rich people going to do if no one can afford to buy their products and the US crumbles. We now are one of the most hated countries thanks to BUSH, so you cant think you are going to move.

    Pay your taxes and be a pround American

    September 18, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
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