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. cecil

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

    September 18, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  2. Kelly

    Country First, right?

    Then why doesn't Cindy McCain make a donation to the USA to help pay off some of its debts? She could surely spare a million for such an important cause when our economy is in shambles.

    September 18, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  3. Deanna in Denver

    Wisdom wrote:

    "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?"

    I think you mean the person making $30,000 pays about $7,000 not $700. and the person making a million probably has so many write-off's (unlike the lower income person he probably owns his own home) his $250,000 gets greatly reduced.

    September 18, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  4. Mike

    sarah Palin says...I am ready, ready to serve. Paris Hilton says...I am like totally ready to lead. Which celebrity to choose. Well I think I like Paris because she is like 'Totally' Ready.

    September 18, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  5. J Williamson

    Some of my best friends are rich, and some are poor – others, like myself, are somewhere in that middle-range. The rich have had an exceptional ally under Geo. Bush – the (Republican) party's over! Pony up and pay you're fair share!

    September 18, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  6. Patty

    I listened to Obama today and he had so many spending programs
    but he just doesn't understand this country is broke. I just wish he would wake up. I know two couples that have small businesses that this tax increase would hit. They are not wealthy people but they do employ 5 /8 people. They are either going to have to lay off a person or raise the price of their product to cover this tax burden. Bad idea in this economy . Senator Obama is out their getting everyone very excited about a tax cut but his $1000.00 won't mean much to the people who might loose thei job or the higher prices all of us will be hit with. Who gets it and who doesn't get it

    September 18, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  7. Tamarra

    The whole argument is stupid. No ones taxes is going up with Obama. What will happen is that the rich will pay the taxes they are supposed to pay and corporations who shipped jobs overseas have to pay for that lose of income for putting people out of a job. Sounds good to me.

    September 18, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  8. Wes

    I wholeheartedly agree with you Joe. I'm even more impressed since it means you will pay more too, but then looking at your tax returns it doesn't look like you try to use lots of loopholes or shelters to hide from paying taxes. Some republicans slammed you for the amount given to charity, but neglected to note what percent of income you paid in taxes.

    God's speed Joe Biden!

    Obama-Biden in 2008!

    Palin-McCain NEVER!

    September 18, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  9. Matt

    Debbie Joyner: If you make 30,000 a year you pay 15%. Your math is way off. You would not pay $700. You would pay $4500. So you would be making $25,500. There are a lot more people in that bracket then the 1 million up bracket. That $4500 means more to the 30K earner than the 250K does to the 1 million earner.

    I'm sorry, but I don't feel sorry for the "poor sap" who only brings in 750K after taxes. Give me a break.

    September 18, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  10. RJS413

    Anyone who thinks more government is what will solve the financial challenges should take a look at Europe and how stagnent they've become. After working non-stop for 25 years to obtain a decent financial situation, I'm now expected to give my hard earned money away to those who choose easier paths.

    September 18, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  11. DJ Los Angeles

    FDR said it best that taxation should be based on what people can afford to pay.

    It's a joke that McBush thinks it's okay to double-down on the Bush tax cuts for only the rich.

    Also very few people are cognizant of special tax loopholes that allow some millionaires to zero-out and not pay ANY tax. How is that fair???

    September 18, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  12. dr.mimi de la cruz for OBAMA

    WHAT'S WRONG WITH BIDEN? IS HE WELL?

    THE WEALTHY ARE ENTITLED TO OUR TAX

    DOLLARS IN SOME FORM OF AID TO THE RICH.

    GOD FORBID SHOULD THE TAX PAYERS ACTUALY

    GET SOME OF THEIR MONEY SPENT ON THEM. THAT

    IS A LIBERAL ACT. AMERICANS YOU HAVE BEEN SOLD

    OUT, LIED TO & MANIPULATED OUT OF YOUR WEALTH BY

    IMMORAL, IGNORANT, GREEDY, HEARTLESS SCUM BAGS.

    September 18, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  13. aware

    Biden, it is time for you to retire! America doesn't need you or the "arrogant dilettante" and "dos caras" — "two faces" Obama! :(

    McCain/Palin 08! :)

    September 18, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  14. Los Angeles, Hispanic Conservative

    Biden, well, I hate to say it - was a big mistake. One gafe after another... but atleast he says the truth. So he really thinks its patriotic to pay more taxes??? Well, there you go.... listen up liberals,,, you will be sending uncle sam more money (money you dont even have), cause the economy is so bad (Obama said so). There is no Hope here...

    September 18, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  15. aware

    Patriotism?

    Biden, it is time for you to retire! America doesn't need you or the "arrogant dilettante" and "dos caras" — "two faces" Obama! :(

    McCain/Palin 08! :)

    September 18, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  16. SAB

    The mere fact that Joe Biden the Democratic VP candidate is making his self available to the media says a lot. Sarah Palin is being shielded because the Republicans do not want the public to see how shallow she is on the issues. Any one can see that this lady does not have the experience to be VP.

    September 18, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  17. the other jd

    Oh for heaven's sake Jean...re-read the article. What you think was said, was so totally NOT was said.

    September 18, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  18. Beverly, NYC

    Any of you on this blog who think Mccain will not have to raise taxes to pay down t400 Trillion dollars in debt are delusional. I remember another politician named Bush who promised "read my lips, no new taxes." He wasn't in office 2 minutes when he raise taxes and we were not in this type of debt then. If you know basic economics, you know we can't just print more $ to may it all go away, and the current Bush had already tried ignoring it. Ask anyone facing foreclosure, looking for work if that's worked. Keep believing the Republican dream people.

    Pride in Ignorance.

    September 18, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  19. COUNTRY FIRST

    OH MY GOD, JOE BIDEN IS JUST PLAIN STUPID.
    YOU ARE SUCH A JOKE YOU TAKE MY BREATH AWAY.
    DO YOU EVER..............................THINK !!!!!!!

    September 18, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  20. cecil

    The Same GOP Supporters Who Claim Sen. Obama Wasn't Patriotic
    Enough Because He Didn't Wear A Flag Pin Early On!

    Are Now Crying About Sen. Biden Statement!

    Same Old Politics

    September 18, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  21. Jack 64 year old

    The wealthy could care less about the majority of Americans unless of course you need privates to fight to maintain your world oil supply.

    The wealthy do feel that they deserve their status after all most of them have had a silver spoon since birth and a free ride to the best Ivy league schools. Yes and that education slots them into the executive ranks with bloated salary's. Is their education any better then those graduating from state collages? NO but, the pedigree comes with it's special benefits.

    So are the very wealthy patriotic and they are willing to serve as officers that tell the rest of us how to fight while they wait back at headquarters. In the case of Vietnam those glory officers sent men into the rice paddies to be ambushed as they flew over in their command helicopters so they could get their combat badges and the next promotion. Patriotic – well I guess you have to define it better for me because I don't see many rich patriots!

    September 18, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  22. Peter of Oregon

    Biden has a point. Even the benefit Barack Obama wants to give young people, getting $4,000 in government aide toward college if they complete community or military service is something the rich have no need of. America hasn't been asking the very rich to make any sacrifices. Their paying more taxes to help bring America out of this recession is a necessary one, a patriotic one.

    September 18, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  23. Sean John

    Debbie Joyner – I'm sorry but your "facts" are wrong. The top 1% don't pay income taxes, why? Because they make their money off of interest and dividends. Their 100 million dollars sits in the bank, earning far higher interest rates than you or I, and they live off that, no payroll taxes you see.

    Wisdom – you're wrong. I only make 36,000 a year and already I've paid more than $4,000 in taxes. Don't get your "facts" from Sesame Street.

    September 18, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  24. Texas Witch Twister

    OH gimme a break, BIDEN ALL THE RICH BOYS WITH OUR TAX DOLLARS. YOU AND OBAMA ARE NOT FOR CHANGE. AND YOU DEFINITELY ARE NOT FIT TO RUN THIS COUNTRY. TAXES IS NOT THE ANSWER COME UP WITH ANOTHER ANSWER. BOY WHAT HAPPENED TO CHANGE FOR THIS COUNTRY.

    September 18, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  25. john

    go Biden smash the GOP smash them all you can you havte the right

    September 18, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
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