POLITICS: PennAve

Joe Biden: Republicans will 'further damage' the middle class

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Politics,White House,Barack Obama,Paul Ryan,Joe Biden,PennAve,Susan Crabtree,Economy,Budgets and Deficits,Income Inequality

Vice President Joe Biden used a speech at George Washington University to blame Republicans for the country's income inequality and argue that the House Republican budget would only exacerbate the disparity.

In blunt terms, Biden told students that the Republican Party has shifted over the years and its current policies set forth in the budget created by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., make it tougher, not easier, for middle-class workers and families.

“Show me your budget, I will tell you what you value, my dad would say. What they clearly value, this new Republican Party, is more tax cuts for the wealthy at the expense of the middle class,” Biden said.

The Ryan budget calls for cutting key domestic programs by about 15 percent and an additional $5.7 trillion in tax cuts — the vast majority of which Biden said “goes into the bank accounts of the very wealthy.”

Before Biden's remarks were over, Republicans were already pushing back. Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, accused the vice president of “lashing out” to distract from stubbornly high unemployment rates.

“This administration has overseen the worst economic recovery in our history and has a budget that never balances, ever — and hysterical attacks from Joe Biden won't change that,” Buck said.

A House Budget Committee spokesman said the GOP budget plan balances the budget and helps create jobs.

“...The administration doesn't have much to brag about,” he said. “Now all they've got left are baseless attacks and stale rhetoric.”

Based on analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, Obama's plan would increase spending by $1.1 trillion and raise taxes by nearly $1.4 trillion over the next 10 years. It would never balance and would the U.S. would still be running a $746 billion deficit in fiscal year 2024.

True to form, Biden sprinkled his speech with several rhetorical questions and at times underscored his point with a “my lord” or “c'mon.”

At one point, Biden used an Oldsmobile ad from 20 years ago to try to prove that the Republican Party today does not understand most middle-class problems.

"There used to be an ad 20 years ago when they made Oldsmobiles, and they said, this is not your father's Oldsmobile," he said. "This is not your father's Republican Party."

Although the plain language made some of the speech seem spontaneous, parts of it leaked to the Washington Post early Monday morning in a story claiming Biden's remarks are aimed at reprising the Democrats 2012 election strategy of trying to frame Republicans as out of touch with middle-class voters.

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