tv Pres. Biden on Infrastructure Child Care in Hartford CT CSPAN October 16, 2021 2:58am-3:29am EDT
i know a lot of people are in desperate need of a facility like this and childcare. i didn't fully appreciate it as a young member of the county council, when i was 27 years old. but when i got elected to the united states senate when i was 29, i wasn't old enough to be sworn in yet. between the time i got elected and the time i openly went to the congress, i turned the eligible age of 30. also in the meantime, there was an automobile accident that my wife was christmas shopping and my daughter was killed. my wife was killed. i to young boys, beau and hunter, were very badly injured and hospitalized for a long time. and so i thought, well, i will get some help. and i was making a decent salary as a u.s. senator, $42,000 a year. that was a decent salary.
i could not afford the childcare. everybody wonders why a commuted every day, 265 miles a day back-and-forth and forth with my children. i could afford the train, it was cheaper to be able to take every day so i could kiss my boys -- we would have breakfast in the morning, and when they got older i would get them off to school. and then i would get in the train and come home in time -- if i got home in time to have dinner, it was seldom i would get home in time. i would have my dinner, they would save their desert, and i got to kiss them good night. it made me realize how difficult it is for the vast majority of people who need help. i was lucky. i had a mother who was nearby, my sister, my best friend, who quit her job temporarily and quit her job -- and moved in
with her husband to help take care of my kids. people don't have that option. i am conscious of the lack of access and lack of financial ability with childcare for a long time. i want to thank the team here at the capital development center for welcoming us today, and i want to thank the leaders you have here. ned, you are one of the best governors in the united states of america. you really are. [applause] president biden: you really are, because you stand up for what up -- for what you believe in and you don't back down. luke is an afghan war veteran. we were talking about all the work he has done with the governor placing afghan refugees, coming out of afghanistan. thank you for what you do. i really mean it. and richard blumenthal, who in back in those days, was the
attorney general. when my son bo was still alive, he was attorney general. he looked for help from richard, who took him under his wing. you know what he thought of you. chris murphy, who has not only been a real soldier, but he has stood up and stuck up for me and chris. it matters. it matters when things are tight and you stand up and make the case. i do appreciate it. don larsen and i go back a long way. jill, you can't deny me. there is no way out. [laughter] president biden: and i don't want to keep you, but the time i came up this way, my son was going to yale law school and her mother -- was it a committeeman? alderwoman.
i was up on the latter, helping him paint the place he had just rented. this knock on the door and this lovely woman comes and says, where's joe biden? i was up on a ladder with paint all over me, and i was a u.s. senator, and i said, i am here. she said no, where is biden? she brought the chief of police over to let him know that everything was going to be taken care of, but your mother was something else. the expression the apple doesn't fall far from the tree -- rosie, you have been an incredible leader in all things having to do with the health and well-being of children. we would not have had the legislation we are now trying to continue were it not for you. you are the real deal. [applause] president biden: as well as the comments i got from giovanna, i get from everybody.
where's jill? where's jill? i am jill biden's husband. i think she's either in new jersey or virginia, i am not sure, after teaching 15 credits this week at community college. she is out there making a case. i am here today to talk about what's fundamentally at stake right now, in my view, for the families not only of connecticut, because you are ahead of the curve and some of what you have done on your own, but for our country. for a long time, america set the pace across the globe. for most of the 21st century, we let the world by significant margin investments we invested in our own people. in our people. not only our roads, highways and bridges, but our people and our families. we didn't just build the interstate highway system to win the space race. we were also among the first to provide access for free education, beginning back at the turn of the 20th century. it was a distinction and a
direction to invest in our children and families, and it's a major reason why we were able to lead the world in the 21st century. one of the few countries in the world with universal education for everyone. but along the way, we stopped investing in our people. our infrastructure has fallen, 13th in the world. but just as important as the organization of economic opportunity and cooperation, no ranks america 35 out of 37 major countries when it comes to investing in early childhood education and care. another way the world is catching up and beginning to pass us. jill has my community college -- dr. biden has an expression she uses. any country that out educates us will out competes us -- outcompete us.
we cannot be competitive in this global economy if we fail to invest. that's why i propose two pieces of legislation being debated in washington right now. they are both bills that are not about left versus right, about moderate versus progressive or anything else that pits one american against another. these bills are about competitiveness versus complacent the complacency, opportunity versus decay, and a lot of folks know what's at seeking the infrastructure bill. it's about rebuilding the arteries of our economy, putting people in good paying jobs. good paying jobs, union jobs. not five dollars an hour, seven dollars $.50, but $40, $50 an hour that you can raise a family on. you can live with some dignity and pride.
bring our roads and bridges up to speed, replacing lead water pipes. there are over 40,000 schools across america where there is lead in the water and children brief poison, and turn on the faucets so that every place in america, you are sure the water is clean and can be drunk. lay transmission lines for modern and brazilian energy grids. make high-speed internet affordable and available everywhere, from urban, suburban, rural. there are parts of the country that have been left behind and parts of the country and states that are economically prosperous that are being left behind. in the process, we will create millions of good paying jobs. i have had a couple of conferences i have already held, we are going to comp 26 in scotland shortly, and i guess i had 71 heads of state on the first when i did in the white
house, and i said, and people are starting to talk about it now. not about me, but the idea. when i think climate, i think jobs. good paying jobs, union jobs. this is an opportunity. we are the only country in the world that has turned to into opportunity. we have achieved a way to not only make this world more livable, but create greater opportunity for people. making landmark investments in public transit and rail and increasing efficiency, reducing emissions. there's millions of kids getting on diesel school buses and getting asthma. we think there should be electric buses. so look -- i have a tendency to say more than i need to say, because you understand it, but the bottom line is, too many folks in washington do not realize this is a chance to invest in our physical
infrastructure. we also have to invest in our people. that's the second bill does, the build back better initiative. seeing children and educators at the center is a perfect reminder why our families and our economy needs so badly to be able to thrive. you all know the statistics because of teachers here. a child coming out of a single-parent house where there is real difficulty will cure one million fewer words spoken, not different words, but fewer words spoken in a child coming out of the middle-class household. so you start them at the same age, age six or 7, 5 or six, they are already behind the curve. already behind the curve. how can we compete in the world where millions of americans, especially moms, cannot be part of the workforce. and elder care -- there is a sandwich generation getting crushed. the average annual cost to bring your toddler to good
child care center is $16,000 a year. that's a lot of money. $16,000 after taxes. after you pay your taxes. the average two-parent family, two young kids, spends 26% of their income on childcare every year. my build back better plan is going to change that. it's going to cut the cost of childcare for connecticut families in half. no more middle-class family will pay more than 7% of their income on childcare. [applause] president biden: that will help get you back into the workforce or make ends meet, or the other piece of it you all know, is eldercare. 80,000 people waiting to qualify under medicaid and there are no spaces we can afford to do this.
look, you and the legislatures were way ahead of the curve. you decided for people working in legislatures, there should be a place for their children. well, you know, what we want to do is make sure we encourage businesses to do the same. does it -- to get a significant tax cuts. to be able to, if they have an on-site facility, take care of their workers children. or they go to work with your child and you have a serious facility on site. studies show when you have on-site care for a children center, businesses, the businesses have less employee turnover, less absenteeism and higher productivity. although studies, it's real. we can afford to lag behind other countries. when america's made -- america made 12 years of public education universal 12 years ago
-- occasion universal years ago. if we had none, we would say, what are we going to do? we need free public education. does anyone think we would think 12 years was enough in the second quart of the 21st century? the fact is today, only half of three or four-year-olds in america are getting early childhood education. in germany, france and the u.k., even latvia, a number of children in those countries enrolled is 90%. 90%. my plan gets us back on track. provides two years of high quality preschool for every child in america. it also makes investments in higher education by increasing pell grant. i don't know that i can get it done, but i have also proposed free community college, like you've done here in the state of
connecticut, to help students from lower income families attend community college at four-year schools and invest in historically black colleges and universities, make sure that everyone has a shot at good paying jobs in the future. we also extend this lady's child tax credit. [applause] president biden: which is finally a tax cut for the middle class. [applause] president biden: we never had a problem approving $2 trillion in tax cuts for the very wealthy. i don't think you should be able to make one million or $1 billion. i am a capitalist. but i also the poorest man in the congress. but i make big money now, i am the president. but all kidding aside, i don't think we should punish anybody, but just pay your fair share. just pay your fair share. you know, the issue that has
been championed by rosa for years in the past as if you pay your taxes and have an income high enough that you are able to take the $2000 per child deduction, you can write it off your taxes. but how many families do you know of cops and firefighters and schoolteachers that don't pay that much in tax, because they pay the tax, but there is nothing -- you say you get $4000 back for your kids? it's nonrefundable. it either comes off your tax bill or you don't get it at all. the american rescue plan, which folks voted for as well, recognize that people with lower incomes do not get the benefit of that tax break because they don't have that much to deduct. so we make it refundable. so you get that back over the years. if you only had $1000 in taxes
and you had three kids, you would end up in a situation where you get $5,000 refundable to you. they would pay you. the government would pay you. we increase that amount to 3600 dollars to every child under the age of six, $3000 between the ages of six to 17. it's projected to cut child poverty and the -- in connecticut by 40%. it's a life changer. the build back better act says that you get the first half of it paid to you, and the second half, you get paid on a monthly basis. hard-working families are getting a check in the mail on the 15th -- today is the 15th, isn't it? or their bank account, like you get the social security check. it's for being able to raise your kids.
that monthly tax cut for parents is going to end in just a couple of months. it's going to impact families with 61 million kids right at the holidays, when the winter heating costs are going up. when we need to keep the taxes for families going down. bottom line is this -- when you give working families a break, we are not just raising their quality of life, we are positioning the country to compete in the future. when i talk to all you folks out on the break ground -- playground, and i joked because everyone knows i like kids better than people -- they like me, maybe that's why i like them -- but we all talked about what it means for the families of these children and granted, you had to cut way back. because of a lot of things happening, things are not the same as they were. but these bills are about strengthening the economy for decades to come. both of these bills spend out
over 10 years. take the infrastructure bill. all those investments in roads, bridges, highways, clean water, represents less than one half of 1% for our economy each year if you added it up. the cost of build back better in terms of adding to the deficit is zero. some people say it costs $3.5 trillion. i don't think we are going to get three point $5 trillion this year. we are going to get something less than that. but all kidding aside, we are going to keep coming. the more we demonstrated works, the more we can do. it's paid for because big corporations and the very wealthy got to start paying their fair share. let me be clear. nobody, and since i got elected, nobody who makes under $400,000 a year, which is a lot of money, will see their taxes above one
single penny. not one. that's why didn't that a gas tax, so i would keep that commitment. in fact, there is no reason why billionaires should pay a lower tax rates, literally a lower tax rate, then a schoolteacher or a firefighter. that's what happening now. it isn't right, that 55 of our fortune 400 companies, the largest companies in america, 55 of them paid zero in taxes and they made $14 billion in profit. i am glad they made a profit. i mean that sincerely. but pay your fair share. just paying a decent portion of what we layout in this piece of legislation. by the way, i have had a number of fortune 500 companies come to
me and say, you are right. we can pay a higher tax than we are paying now. because they understand the impact if we don't invest like we have to on their long-term health and well-being. this needs to change. working folks understand it. that's why this plan still has the overwhelming support of the american people when they were told what was in it. they understand, and when families have a little more breathing room, america has a lot better of a shot. my dad used to say for real -- by dad was a well read, well bred man who regretted his whole life that he never got the chance to go to college. he works like heck. he would come home for dinner and go back to work. we lived in a four-bedroom split-level home with four kids and grandpa. my bed was against the wall were my parents bed was against the adjacent wall.
i remember one night, i could tell my dad was so restless. i was in high school. the next morning i asked mom, what's the matter with dad. she said honey, his company just told him they are doing away with health insurance. no health insurance. you know what? my dad -- we weren't poor. my dad probably made on average those days, $22,000, 20 -- $25,000 a year, which is a decent salary. but everyone is entitled to a little bit of reading room. you know, they know this is about dignity and respect. it's about moving this for economy -- this economy from the bottom up in the middle out. some of you, beyond my college and the congress, have degrees in economics -- namely a
time and eric -- in american history when america was doing well that the wealthy didn't do very well? it's not hurting anybody, we are just making sure everyone gets a shot. let me close with this, and this is not hyperbole -- the world is watching. autocrats believe that the world is moving so rapidly that democracies cannot generate consensus quickly enough to get things done. not a joke. i have had hours and hours and hours and hours of things and personal conversations with xi jinping. i spent more time with him, i believe, than any other world leader has, both as vice president and now on the phone. every time we talked, the conversation is between an hour and a half and two and a half hours. but he does not think democracy is convenient. because they cannot react quickly enough.
in my summit with putin, switzerland, they are betting that democracies can't compete. we cannot move quickly enough. i went to the g20, come back from the g7. they don't measure us based on the size of our military, they don't measure us on how money -- how much power we have that way, they want to know, can we get things done? not a joke. many of you travel internationally. can we get anything done? can you put things together to get something done in america? folks, they are betting we will respond to this -- we will not respond to this inflection point in history, but i have said this 1000 times. it's never a good bet to bet against the american people. never a good bet. [applause]
president biden: time for us to invest in ourselves. show the world that american democracy works. we have always run the world not by the example of our physical power, but by the power of our example. that is why the world has followed. giving us half a chance is not a single solitary thing that we can't achieve if we do it together. i am hopeful. there are a lot of questions the press is going to want to ask me about how the negotiations are going and how we are going to get this done and so on. i told you before what my neurosurgeon said years ago when i had that aneurysm, your problem is you are a congenital optimist. i am convinced we will get this done. we are not going to get $3.5 trillion, we will get less than that, but we will get it. and we will come back and get
the rest. i want to thank you all, god bless you. i know you are asking about president clinton. i have been taking calls and he seems to be doing well. when i talk to him, i will let you know. meantime, thank you for taking the time to be here, and i say this again, for all of you elected officials, it is like a holiday for you. [laughter] i mean this without exception, i am so proud to be associated with each one of you. honorable, decent, smart women and men and there is a lot we can get done. so thank you. [applause]