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Joe Biden addresses a joint session of congress. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

During his joint address to Congress on Wednesday, President Biden spoke of the need to tax the ultra-wealthy to fix economic inequality in the U.S.

Why it matters: Biden wants to use tax hikes on the rich to pay for his American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan. This philosophy has been a sticking point for many Republicans.

The big picture: Biden noted that tax cuts during the Trump administration were a boon to corporations and wealthy Americans and the pandemic has only increased economic inequality in the U.S.

  • Biden's plans, he argued, would invest in the "human infrastructure" that allows for the growth of the middle class and raising people out of poverty.

What he's saying: "I will not add to the tax burden of the middle class of this country. They’re already paying enough."

  • "What I’ve proposed is fair. It’s fiscally responsible."
  • "My fellow Americans, trickle-down economics has never worked," Biden said.
  • "It’s time to grow the economy from the bottom up and middle-out."
"A broad consensus of economists – left, right, center – agree that what I’m proposing will help create millions of jobs and generate historic economic growth."

Go deeper

Updated Apr 28, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden's latest $1 trillion+ plan

Photo: Drew Angerer / Getty Images

President Biden on Wednesday will present his third $1 trillion+ package to Congress since taking office, asking for $1.8 trillion in new spending to expand the American education system, provide more help for childcare and create millions more jobs.

The big picture: Biden is also proposing a series of tax hikes on the rich, which his administration vows will not hit Americans who make less than $400,000 and households with less than $1 million in capital gains.

Scoop: Biden plans to ask Congress to pay for $1.8 trillion in new spending

President Biden speaks about updated CDC mask guidance from the North Lawn of the White House on Tuesday. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Biden plans to ask Congress to pay for the entirety of the $1.8 trillion in new spending on health care, child care and education he’ll unveil on Wednesday night, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Biden’s decision to fully offset both the $2.25 trillion American Jobs Plan he announced last month, and the $1.8 trillion American Families Plan being rolled out in his joint address, all but guarantee big political battles on both the spending and tax sides of the combined $4 trillion proposal.

Apr 28, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Senate Democrats resist Biden's $1.8 trillion pay-for plan

Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii). Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

President Biden will ask Congress to pay for the entirety of his $1.8 trillion American Families Plan, yet some Democratic senators want him to finance it with deficit spending, lawmakers and their aides tell Axios.

Why it matters: The "human infrastructure" proposal, which Biden will formally unveil Wednesday night during his joint address to Congress, is already dead on arrival among Republicans — so the Democratic reaction is key.