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Friday, June 21, 2024

Biden warns of Threats to Democracy in State of the Union Address

Key Takeaways:

  • Biden warned that American democracy is under threat, drawing comparisons to the Civil War era. He criticized former President Trump and some Republicans for trying to downplay the January 6th Capitol attack.
  • The President strongly denounced Trump’s deferential stance toward Russia’s Vladimir Putin, calling it “outrageous”, “dangerous” and “unacceptable.” He vowed to continue supporting Ukraine against Russian aggression.
  • To pay for his proposals, Biden called for raising taxes on wealthy individuals and large corporations, arguing they need to pay their “fair share.”
  • He took a firm stance against Republican threats to force spending cuts by refusing to raise the debt ceiling, vowing not to let them “take the economy hostage.”

President Joe Biden delivered his State of the Union address on March 7, 2024, using the speech to sound the alarm about threats to American democracy at home and abroad. Speaking to a divided Congress, Biden warned that “freedom and democracy are under assault” in a way not seen since the Civil War.

Biden takes aim at Donald Trump

The President took aim at his predecessor, Donald Trump, criticizing the former President’s stance toward Russia and NATO. “A former American President actually said that, bowing down to a Russian leader,” Biden remarked about Trump’s deferential posture toward Vladimir Putin. “It’s outrageous. It’s dangerous. It’s unacceptable.”

Biden accused Trump and some Republicans in Congress of seeking to “bury the truth of January 6th” when a mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to overturn the 2020 election results. He implored all Americans to “join together and defend our democracy” regardless of party.

Biden highlighted the continued threat of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. He vowed that the U.S. would stand firmly with Ukraine and its European allies to counter Russian aggression. “If anybody in this room thinks Putin will stop at Ukraine, I assure you, he will not,” Biden declared. He called on Congress to pass a bipartisan national security bill to provide additional assistance to Ukraine.

While acknowledging divisions, the President had an optimistic tone about America’s future and his record so far. He touted his economic achievements, including historically low unemployment, record job growth, falling inflation, and a resurgent manufacturing sector. “America’s comeback is building a future of American possibilities,” he said.

Biden’s Agenda

Biden outlined an ambitious agenda focused on strengthening the middle class, expanding access to health care and education, tackling climate change, and restoring America’s leadership in the world. He proposed capping insulin costs at $35 per month for all Americans, making the increased Affordable Care Act subsidies permanent, and giving Medicare the power to negotiate prescription drug prices.

On education, Biden called for expanding access to preschool, increasing teacher pay, and making college more affordable. He vowed to veto any attempts to cut Social Security or Medicare. He also urged Congress to pass new gun safety measures, protect voting rights, codify Roe v. Wade into law, and advance LGBTQ equality.

To pay for his plans, Biden proposed raising taxes on corporations and the wealthy, arguing that it’s time for them to “finally pay their fair share.” He pushed for quadrupling the tax on corporate stock buybacks and raising the minimum tax rate on billionaires to 25%.

The Debt Ceiling

The President saved some of his sharpest words for Republicans who threatened to block raising the debt ceiling unless Biden agreed to steep spending cuts. “Some of my Republican friends want to take the economy hostage unless I agree to their economic plans,” Biden said. “I won’t let that happen. I will not let anyone use the full faith and credit of the United States as a bargaining chip.”

President Biden’s third State of the Union laid out a vision aimed at restoring faith in American democracy and building an economy that works for all. With a potential reelection fight looming, Biden aimed to draw a contrast with Republicans and make the case that his administration is focused on issues that matter to working families.

While Biden faces a divided Congress unlikely to enact much of his agenda, the speech set the stage for his pitch to voters in 2024. He closed with an appeal to Americans’ values and “an unshakable determination to make the American Dream real for all people. A dream of freedom, justice, hope, and opportunity.” The question is whether a polarized electorate still reeling from the aftermath of January 6th and grappling with economic upheaval will embrace that vision – and give Biden another four years to see it through.

Publisher and editor of LJLNews. I am a Stock Market enthusiast, with an interest for politics. I hope you enjoy reading the articles! Contact me at: Lazaruslucas@ljlnews.com

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