September 18th, 2008
06:05 PM ET
10 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. I Just Said Thanks, but No Thanks to Another 4 Years of g.o.p. corruption, arrogance and incompetence

    Why is Palin criticizing Biden for asking Americans to be patriotic?

    September 18, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  2. Republican Mama for Obama

    Only in Republican America would a BLACK man with a law degree from Harvard, 12 years in politics, 4 years on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee & manager of one of the most impressively flawless & forward thinking presidential campaigns be charged with not being ready for the presidency while a WHITE female evangelical former beauty queen with 19 months in national politics and a bachelors in journalism is considered "ready on day one."

    September 18, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  3. stan turecki

    'we' havent asked anything of the wealthy says biden?

    lets see. the top earning 1% of this country pays 39.89% of the individual income tax collected in the united states (2006) figures. And thats after the tax cuts for the wealthy that so many democrats criticized.

    if asking 1% of the country to pay almost half the total individual income tax burden isn't asking 'anything' of the wealthy – what the heck is?

    if paying higher taxes is patriotic, why not ask the bottom 50% to pony up a little more? after all the bottom half of tax payers contribute a measly 2.99% of the individual income taxes collected.

    anyone who claims the wealthy dont pay their 'fair share' should have their income tax bracket raised to the 35% level and see how they like it, or better yet the 39.6% level reflecting the days before dubya's tax cut to top earners.

    September 18, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  4. Larry

    You are really STUPID ! Are you under the impression PRICES are not going to go up to COVER THE HIGHER TAXES corporations will have to pay??????????? DUH!!!!!!!

    September 18, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  5. Mario fl

    I am convinced that everybody understand what Joe mean. Except these two like McCAin and Palin..

    September 18, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  6. J. A. Wilson

    I love and strongly support Senator Biden's comment about asking "wealthy people" showing their patriotism on this difficult time for our Nation.
    Wait, wait.... something even better, WHAT ABOUT THOSE INFAMOUS CEO's contributing their entire severance package to the bailout of all those big businesses instead of squeezing the taxpayers!!!! They get those huge bonuses even after they bankrupt the companies they are responsible for!!!


    September 18, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  7. Democrat from AZ

    Yes, Debbie Joyner, you are correct when you say that rich Americans pay more then regular people in taxes. You are complaining about wanting to help some of your less fortunate AMERICANS by paying a little more in tax, but yet you don't mind McCain continuing to spend all of our tax dollars -$10 billion a month to be exact-for a war that NONE of us Americans want. So, just because Senator Obama wants to raise your tax, you want to continue paying out all that money for the war?? Why do the rich Americans act like royalty and us the serfs??

    September 18, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  8. Answer for Patty

    Patty, if we responsibly end this war, instead of wasting billions of dollars each month, we would have enough money to rebuild crumbling America. McSame doesn't want to end the war anytime soon, while Obama wants to bring our troops home. Obama's tax plan should make the rich pay more taxes. it is only fair. Become more 'aware' of the situation!

    September 18, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  9. Joan, NY

    Higher taxes from Joe Biden--just what we need to reduce consumer spending at the worst time--this guy is an economic jerk–Sarah Barracuda is going to destroy him on Oct 2-I suggest he stay home and claim illness--it won't even be a fair fight–

    Sarah palin 12 & 16'

    September 18, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  10. pat

    it is obvious that mccain is against the higher tax against the rich. cindy is worth a 100m

    September 18, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  11. Time To Put Up

    J-MAC- Palin, "Team Liars", when are you going to face the music and talk to America with some honesty? Your supporters are worried that you might be stretching the truth, the Republican party is turning on you. America has ailing issues and you have NO answers to it's problems either through policy or ideas. Its a sticky web your weaving.

    We Got Em on the Run, OBAMA/BIDEN

    September 18, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  12. DV

    Good work Joe. While nobody likes paying taxes, some of us understand that, as has been said:

    Taxes are the price you pay for living in a civilized society.


    September 18, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  13. Western Voter

    The wealthy have cleaned up in the last 8 years...their only real sacrifice has been to put magnetic yellow ribbons on their Lexus' and Hummers.

    Surley those with incomes of a quarter of a million dollars a year can pay their fair share as an act of pseudo-patriotism.

    Go get 'em Joe!

    September 18, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  14. down with the GOP.

    Yes! I love when Biden gets press- He's got such a good message- it's a shame we don't pay attention to him anymore..

    September 18, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  15. Vic

    Say it ain't so, Joe. You continue to sound like you're bipolar, and in politics that's ketchin'. Beware Obama!

    September 18, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  16. tom NY

    Why is McCain always questioning someone's love of their country? its so disrespectful.

    September 18, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  17. Trysh, Los Angeles

    I once had a boss who is a millionaire and then some. Once after complaining about all the taxes taken out of MY check, he said to me that paying taxes was like tipping for the great service we receive in this country. Yet, he votes Republican because he doesn't feel that HE should have to pay too much out of HIS money.

    I thought it was funny that he felt that I should be happy to tip when his being a millioniare and then some meant that HE was getting the great service, but I was usually treated like I ordered a side salad and tap water.

    September 18, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  18. Lisa

    I saw Biden's interview this morning and thought this comment was great. Patriotism is more than wearing a pin and raising the flag. It is about raising to people to the level that they can reach their full potential and serve their country in the best way that they can, whether that be in the military, teaching, nursing, etc.

    I like this guy!

    September 18, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  19. cecil

    Some Of You Americans Really Need To Google This Search Term;

    HOW The Rich Don't Pay Taxes!

    September 18, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  20. Olivia

    It's amazing how the thought of getting free money, earned by someone else, can motivate some people and bring out accusations towards those that actually did the hard time.

    What makes me sad is the way Biden comes off as being sanctimonious and totally blameless for any decisions over his 30 years + stint in congress. Doesn't even mention his son giving up certain activities to make him look better.

    So, who's perfect? Biden?

    September 18, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  21. Cindy

    I wonder if Halliburton and Cheney will give back any of the billions they're making off the war and our taxes, or will they continue to break America's back in the name of patriotism?

    September 18, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  22. Larry

    Joe Biden is a buffoon. He know's full well that the marginal tax rate on those making over $357k is TWICE that of those making $32k.

    So what's "fair share"? 3x? 4x? For chrissakes people, this is nothing more than government sponsored redistribution of wealth. I don't make $357k, but I'm also not going to steal from those who do.

    September 18, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  23. Nickel and Dime Me

    Hey Senator Obama; what does AIG stand for????

    Obama: American Insurance Group......

    Me: No. It stands for American International Group.

    You flunked that test and it was a very easy one.

    I can only imagine our government, if you are our end result.

    September 18, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  24. Franky

    "The Republican nominee hasn’t had one in over a month, and Palin hasn’t since being named to the GOP ticket."

    Really? I remember when the Senator had a couple. But as for Palin, I don't even know! LOL!! I have to say, that's not a bad strategy.

    We know the GOP doesn't like the liberal media, is no secret. But when you accussed the other of being secretive and it makes it look like they are hiding something, you know for a fact people wanna have questions. That's interesting...

    September 18, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  25. TRUTH

    Need more money to waste – take from the rich

    Need gas for your new car - get it from the rich

    Can't afford your home –take it from the rich

    Social secruity going bankrupt - take it from the rich

    Give me a break, Liberalism = Socialism

    September 18, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
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