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Remarks: Joe Biden Discusses Strengthening the Caregiver Economy - April 9, 2024

  • Joe Biden
    Person
  • Unidentified
    Person
Unknown

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:00:00-00:00:08 (9 sec)
Hello, hello, hello. [Applause] As my mother would say, "God love you all." 1

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:00:08-00:00:14 (5 sec)
Crystal, thank you for sharing your story. It's a -- and a simple truth. 2

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:00:14-00:00:29 (15 sec)
Folks, you know, there's no better place for me to -- last year at this day, I declared Caregiver and Caretaker -- Caregivers Month. And -- and it's -- and I couldn't think of no better place to celebrate it today than here at this station. [Applause] 3

Joe Biden

Leans Negative
00:00:29-00:00:50 (21 sec)
No, no, I'll tell you why. For 36 years, I commuted from the state of Delaware to here every single day the Senate was in session. And over a millio- -- a lo- -- a lot of times. The reason I did is -- I think I understand a little bit what many of you have gone through and what you're trying to help with. 4

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:00:50-00:01:19 (29 sec)
You know, when I got elected, I was 26 -- 29 years old. I wasn't old enough to be sworn in. While I was down here hiring staff, before I was sworn in, I got a call saying my wife and daughter were dead and my two boys were badly injured. And so, you know, I -- I wasn't going to come down, but I had a -- thank God, I had a family and a lot of friends and older men- -- members like me, 45, 50 -- [laughter] -- who helped me out. 5

Joe Biden

Leans Positive
00:01:19-00:01:33 (15 sec)
But all -- but all kidding aside, I didn't have them -- I was just -- I just had started a law practice. I didn't have any money. I mean, I made a living, but I didn't have any money. And what I tried to do is figure out how I was going to raise my boys. 6

Unidentified

Unknown
00:01:33-00:01:34 (1 sec)
Wooo! 7

Joe Biden

Somewhat Negative
00:01:34-00:01:36 (2 sec)
No, I'm serious. 8

Joe Biden

Positive
00:01:36-00:01:44 (8 sec)
And I tell you what, I really wondered: Why did I commute every single day? Over a million miles roundtrip over the time I was in the United States Senate. 9

Joe Biden

Neutral
00:01:44-00:01:55 (10 sec)
And the reason I did: I couldn't afford a house down here without selling my house at home, and I couldn't afford caregiving. It was the God's truth. No possibility. None whatsoever. 10

Joe Biden

Somewhat Positive
00:01:55-00:02:09 (14 sec)
But I -- lucky I had a family. My mother, my father, my sister, my brother all moved in, helped me take care of my kids. But then we ended up with Mom getting sick and Dad getting sick, and they -- we took care of them -- the so-called sandwich generation. 11

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:02:09-00:02:23 (14 sec)
Look, you care workers represent the best of who we are as Americans. [Applause] No, you really do. We look out for one another in America. We leave nobody behind -- nobody behind. 12

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:02:23-00:02:38 (15 sec)
And you said -- all the heroes in the lives you was -- talk about. Well, you're our hero. You're the heroes to so many individuals. You really are. And you represent so many people who do it -- and do it out of love and concern, not because of the pay, because they're not getting the pay they need. It matters. [Laughter] 13

Joe Biden

Unknown
00:02:38-00:02:51 (13 sec)
As your President, I'm here with a simple message. I give you my word: I have your back. I have your back. [Applause] 14

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:02:51-00:03:06 (15 sec)
I also to thank the family of Ady Barkan, whose widow Rachael and her son here -- Carl -- are here, just backstage. I just met with them. Their family embodies why care matters. It's critical to the dignity of care, the dignity of all -- all caregivers and workers. 15

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:03:06-00:03:20 (14 sec)
My dad used to say, "A job -- Joey" -- I give you my word as a [inaudible]. "A job is about a lot more than a paycheck. It's about your dignity. It's about respect." [Applause] No, it really is. "It's about being able to look your kid in the eye and say, 'Honey, it's going to be okay.'" 16

Joe Biden

Positive
00:03:20-00:03:33 (13 sec)
Care workers and caregivers are critical to our families and to the entire economy. That's why as a candidate, as president I was determined to turn things around. We've made progress, but there's so more that we have to do -- so much more. 17

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:03:33-00:03:45 (13 sec)
If we want the best economy in the world, we have to have the best caregiving economy in the world. [Applause] We really do. They are not inconsistent. They are consistent. 18

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:03:45-00:03:51 (5 sec)
But the cost of care is too high and pay for care workers is much too low. [Applause] 19

Joe Biden

Slightly Positive
00:03:51-00:04:15 (25 sec)
Take childcare. A typical family spends $11,000 a year on childcare per child -- per child. If you live in a big city, that can be $17,000 for each child -- more than their college tuition if, God willing, you're able to get there. And a lot of parents do the math and realize they can't afford to go to work, because childcare can sometimes literally cost more than they earn -- more than they earn. 20

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:04:15-00:04:25 (9 sec)
You know, take homecare. The cost of long-term care for aging loved ones and people with disabilities rose 40 percent in the last decade. 21

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:04:25-00:04:47 (23 sec)
Medicaid offers help, but it can't meet the demand. You know, there are 700,000 seniors waiting in line -- 700,000 waiting in line, and people with disabilities are stuck on Medicaid homecare waiting lists for as long as 10 years if they survive to be qualifi- -- it's amazing. Think about it. 22

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:04:47-00:05:10 (22 sec)
Family members like ours and yours often spend their own retirement savings to pay for the care of the loved ones. Others leave their jobs to care for them. And millions are part of the so-called sandwich generation, taking care of both your kids and your aging parents at the same time -- at least that's been the experience of the Biden family. It's overwhelming. 23

Joe Biden

Positive
00:05:10-00:05:33 (24 sec)
Take paid leave. We're the only ad- -- [applause] -- we're -- we're the -- we're the only advanced economy in the world not to guarantee paid leave. We're going to change that. [Applause] That means to help a loved one, many folks have to leave work to [or] find out later that they've been fired. 24

Joe Biden

Somewhat Positive
00:05:33-00:05:45 (12 sec)
In the United States of America, no one -- no one should choose between caring for a parent who's raised them, a child who depends on them, or a paycheck that they need. [Applause] That's not why it should be -- the way it should be. 25

Joe Biden

Leans Negative
00:05:45-00:05:51 (6 sec)
No, I'm serious. You wonder whether I feel strongly about this, I do. 26

Joe Biden

Somewhat Negative
00:05:51-00:06:02 (11 sec)
Look, more often than not, from childcare to eldercare to the lack of paid leave, it's women who bear the brunt -- [applause] -- women who bear the brunt. 27

Joe Biden

Slightly Positive
00:06:02-00:06:16 (15 sec)
We saw that during the pandemic when 2 million women left their jobs to help take care of their families. It hurts our whole economy to lose so much talent in the workplace. And it keeps women from earning the equal pay they deserve because they say, "Well, you haven't been here." 28

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:06:16-00:06:34 (17 sec)
Look, a fact: Care workers are predominately women as well -- women of color and immigrants who are overworked, overlooked, and underpaid. [Applause] It's not enough just to praise them for all they're doing; we have to pay them. [Applause] 29

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:06:34-00:06:45 (11 sec)
To invest in our care economy, as soon as I came into office, I signed the American Rescue Plan. Not a single Republican voted for it, I might add -- not one. 30

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:06:45-00:07:01 (17 sec)
It made our nation's biggest investment in childcare ever. [Applause] For example, it kept 225,000 childcare workers -- cen- -- well, childcare working centers open, giving parents an opportunity -- 31

Unidentified

Unknown
00:07:01-00:07:01 ( sec)
[Inaudible] 32

Joe Biden

Unknown
00:07:01-00:07:02 (1 sec)
-- to get back to work. 33

Unidentified

Unknown
00:07:02-00:07:02 ( sec)
[Inaudible] 34

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:07:02-00:07:06 (4 sec)
Well, I tell you what -- you want to come make a speech or shush up? Okay? [Laughter] I'm not messing around with him. He -- he lo- -- he looks like he could take me. 35

Joe Biden

Unknown
00:07:06-00:07:06 ( sec)
AFSCME! [Applause] 36

Joe Biden

Very Negative
00:07:06-00:07:28 (22 sec)
Look, it expanded the Childcare Tax Credit, cutting child poverty in America in half. That's what it did. We cut it in half. [Applause] 37

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:07:28-00:07:47 (19 sec)
Overall, my administration increased funding for nearly 50 percent for -- of -- by 50 percent for childcare. And in the coming weeks, we plan to release new rules to strengthen staffing standards in nursing homes, to get homecare workers a bigger share of Medicaid payments. [Applause] 38

Joe Biden

Leans Positive
00:07:47-00:07:53 (6 sec)
But I want to -- but that's not going to be enough. I want to do more, and we can do more. 39

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:07:53-00:08:07 (14 sec)
My budget for next year makes key commitments to children, seniors, and people with disabilities, and to caregivers who look after their loved ones. [Applause] 40

Joe Biden

Negative
00:08:07-00:08:29 (22 sec)
First, for working families with small children, we're going to guarantee affordable, quality childcare. [Applause] Most families -- under our plan, most families will pay less than $10 a day per child, saving millions of folks as much as $7,000 a year. That's a lot of breathing room for a -- young families who need it badly. [Applause] 41

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:08:29-00:08:43 (14 sec)
We'll also restore the expanded Childcare Tax Credit -- [applause] -- lifting millions of children out of poverty. And, by the way, this helps the economy. It doesn't hurt the -- it helps the economy. [Applause] 42

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:08:43-00:08:50 (8 sec)
You know, our Republican friends let that expire. Well, we got to expire a couple of them, politically -- [laughter and applause] -- in order to get this passed. 43

Joe Biden

Unknown
00:08:50-00:08:53 (3 sec)
Together, we're going to bring it back. [Applause] 44

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:08:53-00:09:17 (24 sec)
Second, seniors and people with disabilities, we're going to expand Medicaid homecare services and reduce that 700,000-person backlog. [Applause] That'll mean more folks can live and work in their own communities with dignity and independence. More homecare workers will start getting a better pay and benefits and dignity they deserve. [Applause] 45

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:09:17-00:09:31 (14 sec)
By the way, if anybody is listening besides all of us, we agree on this: This is really -- I'm -- we're deadly earnest. This is not -- it's not a joke. This matters. [Applause] 46

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:09:31-00:09:52 (21 sec)
Third, for everyone caring for a loved one, my budget would finally, finally create a national paid family and medical leave program -- finally -- [applause] -- up to 12 weeks to care for a newborn, a sick on- -- a sick loved one, or yourself without losing your income. [Applause] 47

Joe Biden

Neutral
00:09:52-00:09:55 (3 sec)
Look, it's past time America caught up with the rest of the world on paid leave. [Applause] 48

Joe Biden

Unknown
00:09:55-00:10:09 (14 sec)
And, folks, all this helps families, and it grows the economy. It grows the economy. And we can afford to do it. To put another way, we can't afford not to do it. 49

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:10:09-00:10:25 (16 sec)
Look, I'm a capitalist. But I want to make sure that -- you know, if you make a million bucks, great. Just start paying your fair share in taxes. [Applause] 50

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:10:25-00:10:33 (8 sec)
But let me ask you: Does anyone here think the tax code is fair? Raise your hand. 51

Unidentified

Somewhat Negative
00:10:33-00:10:33 ( sec)
No! 52

Joe Biden

Unknown
00:10:33-00:10:34 (1 sec)
I don't either. [Laughter] 53

Joe Biden

Slightly Negative
00:10:34-00:10:38 (4 sec)
The last administration enacted a $2 trillion tax cut -- 54

Unidentified

Unknown
00:10:38-00:10:39 (1 sec)
Booo -- 55

Joe Biden

Very Negative
00:10:39-00:10:47 (8 sec)
-- overwhelmingly benefiting the very wealthy and the biggest corporations and exploded the federal deficit more than any other president has. We've cut the deficit, by the way. [Applause] 56

Joe Biden

Leans Positive
00:10:47-00:11:05 (18 sec)
It added more to the national debt than any presidential term in history. And it's due to expire next year. And guess what? I hope to be president because it expires, it's going to stay expired -- [applause] -- stay expired. 57

Joe Biden

Neutral
00:11:05-00:11:20 (15 sec)
Our administration -- our administration has already cut the deficit by $1 trillion. And I'm going to cut it even more this decade by making big corporations and the very wealthy begin to pay their fair share. [Applause] 58

Joe Biden

Slightly Negative
00:11:20-00:11:24 (4 sec)
Under my plan, nobody earning less than $400,000 a year will pay an extra penny in taxes. I don't -- I hope that [inaudible]. [Applause] 59

Joe Biden

Neutral
00:11:24-00:11:43 (19 sec)
As I've made it clear: We're not trying to beat people -- there a- -- but there are a thousand billionaires in America -- from 750 to 1,000 since the pandemic. You know what the average tax rate those billionaires pay? 8.2 percent. 60

Unidentified

Unknown
00:11:43-00:11:43 ( sec)
Booo -- 61

Joe Biden

Slightly Negative
00:11:43-00:11:49 (6 sec)
No, I'm serious. Anybody want to trade that tax rate? 62

Unidentified

Positive
00:11:49-00:11:51 (2 sec)
Yes! 63

Joe Biden

Neutral
00:11:51-00:11:59 (9 sec)
Well, look, that's far less than the vast majority of Americans pay. No billionaire should pay a lower tax rate than a teacher, a firefighter, or a care worker. [Applause] 64

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:11:59-00:12:21 (22 sec)
And that's why I proposed a minimum tax for billionaires of 25 percent. It's not even the highest rate -- just 25 percent. And guess what? It's more fair. But it also -- guess what it would do over 10 years? It would raise $500 billion -- [applause] -- $500 billion. And it wouldn't hurt anybody. 65

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:12:21-00:12:30 (9 sec)
I'm a capitalist. If you make a billion bucks, wonderful. Pay your fair share. [Applause] 66

Joe Biden

Neutral
00:12:30-00:12:42 (12 sec)
Imagine what we can do -- imagine what we can do for America. Look, folks, imagine a future with affordable childcare, homecare, eldercare, paid leave. 67

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:12:42-00:12:51 (9 sec)
But, folks, our Republican friends have a different vision. Republicans in the House of Representatives -- and, by the way, Rosa DeLauro -- she was here, I was told -- she's a hell of a champion for all this. [Applause] 68

Joe Biden

Very Negative
00:12:51-00:13:10 (18 sec)
They just released their budget -- the Republicans -- that cuts caregiving programs by a third -- the ones that exist, cuts them by a third. For example, it would mean 260,000 fewer kids in childcare. 69

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:13:10-00:13:19 (9 sec)
My predecessor and his MAGA friends want to -- I love the phrase -- the -- the language they use -- they want to "terminate" the Affordable Care Act. 70

Unidentified

Unknown
00:13:19-00:13:20 (1 sec)
Booo -- 71

Joe Biden

Slightly Negative
00:13:20-00:13:30 (10 sec)
"Terminate." Well, guess what? Killing millions of Americans -- taking them off of healthcare insurance and stripping others of services like homecare. 72

Joe Biden

Unknown
00:13:30-00:13:42 (12 sec)
Folks -- and, by the way, you know how many times they've tried to take out Obamacare and the Affordable Healthcare Act? Forty-nine times they've tried. They can keep trying, but they're not going to get it done. [Applause] 73

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:13:42-00:13:57 (15 sec)
And, look, when it comes to Social Security and Medicare, my predecessor recently said, quote, "There's a lot you can do in terms of cutting." God love him. 74

Joe Biden

Slightly Positive
00:13:57-00:14:12 (15 sec)
Right on cue, House Republicans released their budget that would raise the retirement age in Social Security -- the budget they submitted for next year -- and slash Medicare, while they cut taxes for the very wealthy again. 75

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:14:12-00:14:25 (13 sec)
I got a better idea. I'll protect Social Security and Medicare and make the very wealthy pay their fair share to make it work. [Applause] 76

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:14:25-00:14:33 (8 sec)
Look, let me conclude where I started, by thanking all of you. As Crystal said, you're all -- and I mean this sincerely -- you're all somebody's hero. 77

Joe Biden

Positive
00:14:33-00:14:40 (7 sec)
That's what I see in our nation's caregivers: heroes. We need you. Not a joke. We need you. [Applause] 78

Joe Biden

Somewhat Positive
00:14:40-00:14:52 (12 sec)
And together, I know we can do this. I've never been more optimistic about our future. We just have to remember who we are. We're the United States of America. There's nothing beyond our capacity -- nothing -- [applause] -- if we do it together. 79

Joe Biden

Very Positive
00:14:52-00:15:04 (12 sec)
So, let's stay work- -- get to work, keep working. And God bless you all. And may God bless our troops. 80

Joe Biden

Somewhat Positive
00:15:04-00:15:10 (5 sec)
Thank you. [Applause] 81