On Labor Day, President Biden took the stage in Philadelphia, delivering a spirited address to members of the Sheet Metal Workers Local 19 at the annual Tri-State Labor Day Parade. In his speech, he did not shy away from criticizing the job and benefits record of his predecessor, former President Trump.
President Biden began by highlighting the disparities between his administration’s job performance and that of Trump’s. He pointed out that when Trump left office, the nation had fewer jobs than when he first assumed the presidency. The president emphasized his administration’s shift from outsourcing jobs to China to a renewed focus on creating jobs within the United States.
A key theme of his speech was the protection of pensions, and he gave credit to the attendees for their contributions in saving millions of pensions. He underlined his perspective as someone who understands the challenges faced by towns like Scranton, Pennsylvania, and Claymont, Delaware, rather than those on the more affluent Park Avenue.
The atmosphere during President Biden’s speech resembled a campaign rally, with him energetically pacing behind signs that read “Union strong.” Attendees held signs expressing their support for unions and the USA.
The president also referenced the recent jobs report, which indicated the addition of 187,000 jobs in August but a slight uptick in the unemployment rate to 3.8 percent. He proudly touted his administration’s fiscal accomplishments, including reducing the deficit and debt by $1.7 trillion, attributing this success to ensuring that the wealthy paid their fair share of taxes.
President Biden expressed concern about the tax rates paid by billionaires in the U.S., highlighting that many of them paid only 8 percent in federal taxes, a rate he believed was lower than what many in the parade audience paid.
In response to questions about his age, President Biden, who is 80 years old, asserted that age had brought wisdom and experience to his role and reaffirmed his commitment to serving with the support of the American people.
Notably, his predecessor, President Trump, at 77 years old, continues to be a prominent figure within the GOP. Recent polls even suggest he leads in popularity among potential Republican candidates for the 2024 presidential election, setting the stage for a possible rematch of the 2020 election.
President Biden closed by reiterating his claim of being the most pro-union president in American history and embraced the nickname “middle-class Joe,” a moniker that has followed him throughout his political career. He also called on Congress to pass the PRO Act, legislation aimed at bolstering workers’ rights and protections against employer violations and retaliation.
“THE GUY WHO HELD THIS JOB BEFORE ME WAS JUST ONE OF TWO PRESIDENTS IN HISTORY … LEFT OFFICE WITH FEWER JOBS IN AMERICA THAN WHEN HE GOT ELECTED OFFICE.
WHEN THE LAST GUY WAS HERE, YOU WERE SHIPPING JOBS TO CHINA. NOW WE’RE BRINGING JOBS HOME FROM CHINA,” BIDEN SAID. “WHEN THE LAST GUY WAS HERE, YOUR PENSIONS WERE AT RISK; WE HELPED SAVE MILLIONS OF PENSIONS WITH YOUR HELP.”
“WHEN THE LAST GUY WAS HERE, HE LOOKED AT THE WORLD FROM PARK AVENUE. I LOOK AT IT FROM SCRANTON, PENN., I LOOK AT IT FROM CLAYMONT, DEL. NOT A JOKE,” HE SAID.
EVEN WITH WHAT WE’VE DONE — UNLIKE THE LAST PRESIDENT — IN MY FIRST TWO YEARS, ALL THIS STUFF, GUESS WHAT? I CUT THE DEFICIT $1.7 TRILLION. CUT THE DEBT $1.7 TRILLION,” BIDEN SAID. “ONE OF THE WAYS I WAS ABLE TO INVEST IN YOU AND STILL BRING DOWN THE DEFICIT WAS I STARTED MAKING PEOPLE PAY THEIR FAIR SHARE.
YOU PAY ENOUGH. IT’S TIME FOR BIG CORPORATIONS AND THE VERY WEALTHY TO START PAYING THEIR FAIR SHARE.
“I’LL TELL YOU WHAT, SOMEONE SAID YOU KNOW, THAT BIDEN HE’S GETTING OLD, MAN,” THE PRESIDENT SAID ABOUT PEOPLE LIKE TRUMP RIPPING HIS AGE. “THE ONLY THING THAT COMES WITH AGE IS A LITTLE BIT OF WISDOM. I’VE BEEN DOING THIS LONGER THAN ANYBODY, AND GUESS WHAT? I’M GOING TO CONTINUE TO DO IT WITH YOUR HELP.
I’M PROUD TO SAY UNION. I’M PROUD TO BE THE MOST PRO-UNION PRESIDENT, ACCORDING TO THE EXPERTS, IN AMERICAN HISTORY,” HE SAID. HE ADDED THAT HE’S BEEN REFERRED TO AS “MIDDLE-CLASS JOE” THROUGHOUT HIS POLITICAL CAREER.