Biden pushes higher corporate tax, touts strong economy in key speech

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US President Joe Biden called for higher taxes on corporations Thursday in his State of the Union address, pushing for lower medicine costs and improved housing affordability, seeking to allay concerns over the economy.

The 81-year-old outlined his agenda in the annual speech, in an effort to speak to voters’ worries while taking credit for the recovery of the world’s biggest economy as he seeks reelection this year.

Although the United States notably averted predictions of a recession last year as inflation cooled, Biden has struggled to convince voters on economic issues.

But Biden told the joint session of the House and Senate at the US Capitol: “Folks, I inherited an economy that was on the brink.”

“Now our economy is literally the envy of the world. Fifteen million new jobs in just three years — a record. Unemployment at 50-year lows,” he said.

Besides taking aim at rival Donald Trump, Biden touted the economy’s “greatest comeback story” under his own leadership.


– Taxes, health care –


Biden’s economic proposals further an agenda the Democrat has been driving since the 2020 presidential race.

But for Biden to enact them fully, Democrats will have to win strong majorities in both chambers of Congress in November’s elections — a situation which appears unlikely for now.

On Thursday, Biden said: “It’s time to raise the corporate minimum tax to at least 21 percent so every big corporation finally begins to pay their fair share.”

These are part of a broader plan to lower the federal deficit by trillions of dollars, and are to be accompanied by tax cuts for lower-income citizens.

Biden is also seeking to levy a 25 percent minimum tax on billionaires, and took aim at former president Trump’s administration over tax cuts that he said benefits the wealthiest.

He added that while Medicare is negotiating lower prices for key medicines, it was time to go further by expanding its power to broker lower costs for 500 drugs over the next decade to save taxpayers’ money.

Beyond corporations, the president said he wanted to provide an annual tax credit to help Americans with housing costs.

He highlighted his efforts to reduce unfair pricing and junk fees too, in an appeal to millions of Americans tuning in — with many still feeling the pinch from lingering inflation.

A particular phenomenon he seeks to curb is “shrinkflation,” where companies reduce the size of products to obscure price hikes.

The practice has drawn ire even from popular Sesame Street children’s character Cookie Monster this week, who complained about it in a widely reported social media post.


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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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