Democratic White House nominee Joe Biden committed to raising taxes for anyone earning more than $400,000 a year.
In his first joint interview with running mate Kamala Harris since last week’s virtual Democratic National Convention, Biden told ABC “World News Tonight” anchor David Muir that everybody should pay “their fair share.”
“I will raise taxes for anybody making over $400,000,” Biden said, adding “there will be no raising taxes” on the “90% of the businesses out there are mom-and-pop businesses, that employ less than 50 people.”
“We have to provide them with the ability to reopen. We have to provide more help for them, not less help,” he said.
The 2020 Republican National Convention got underway Monday, with President Donald Trump expected to highlight his administration’s record on overturning business regulations, pulling out of international agreements, appointing two U.S. Supreme Court justices and transforming the U.S. immigration system.
The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on the US economy, with more than 30 million Americans currently on some form of unemployment benefits. Last week, after two straight weeks of decline, new US Labor Department statistics said more than 1 million Americans filed jobless claims.
Biden said he would follow public health advisers’ advice if they called for a national shutdown should he take office and the coronavirus had not abated.
“I would be prepared to do whatever it takes to save lives. We cannot get the country moving until we control the virus,” Biden said. Asked specifically whether he’d push to shutter economic activity if scientists said it was necessary, Biden replied: “I would shut it down.”
Harris noted racial wealth gaps in the U.S. and the disproportionate effects of COVID-19 on Black and Hispanic communities. Biden, she said, “is addressing these truths, he speaks these truths.”
Biden said he has consistently backed adding a “public option” to existing private insurance markets. Harris signed on to Sen. Bernie Sanders’ bill that would create a single-payer government insurance system to replace private insurance.
“I signed on to bills that were about great ideas to fix the problem,” Harris told ABC, arguing she and Biden “are completely aligned on … making sure everyone has health care.”