by Moahmmad EditorArabs and the world2 Hours ago
Written by Jerome Cartier
US President Joe Biden painted before Congress on Wednesday a picture of the United States that rose again after a series of serious crises, and expressed his will to reform, calling on the wealthy to "pay their fair share."
On the eve of the symbolic station of the 100th anniversary of his assumption of the presidency, the Democratic President presented his plan, "Project for American Families," worth about two thousand billion dollars and intends to finance it from the increase in taxes.
He talked about a "state in crisis" when he took power ... a health and economic crisis, but also the storming of the (Capitol) building on January 6 by Donald Trump's supporters, considering it "the worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War."
But he also emphasized the path he had traveled. "In a hundred days, I can tell the country that America is moving forward again," he said.
For the first time in US history, two women were standing behind the president in front of the cameras: Democrat Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Kamala Harris, who in January became the first female vice president.
"The time has come," the president said, before he fully began his speech, to loud applause.
- “Forgotten” Americans -
As a defender of the middle class, Joe Biden has praised a massive investment plan to create "millions of jobs" for Americans who feel excluded.
"I know some of you are wondering if these jobs are right for them," Biden said. They feel neglected and forgotten in light of a rapidly changing economy, ”an implicit reference to his predecessor, Donald Trump, who used to present himself as the hero of the“ forgotten ”.
He stressed that "about ninety percent of the jobs in the infrastructure (included in his plan that he presented last month) do not require university degrees."
The plan, which angered Republicans, is ambitious, as it allocates investments worth $ 1,000 billion, especially for the education sector, and provides for tax cuts for the middle class of $ 800 billion.
To fund it, the Democratic president is proposing to cancel tax cuts given to the wealthiest under Donald Trump, and to increase taxes on capital income for the wealthiest, who make up 0.3 percent of Americans.
"It is time for American companies to start, and the one percent of Americans who are the richest, pay their fair share," he said.
He promised that no American with an annual income of less than $ 400,000 would see an increase in taxes.
This speech also marks the beginning of a grueling battle in Congress. His $ 1.9 trillion plan to support the economy has easily overtaken the obstacle, but discussions of massive investment programs in infrastructure and education will surely be stormy.
- “Socialist vision” -
On the pulpit, the Democratic president said that the vaccination plan put in place in the United States to combat Covid-19 was “one of the greatest logistical successes” in the country's history.
More than 96 million people, or about thirty percent of the population, have fully received the vaccine. In a highly symbolic decision, health officials announced Tuesday that vaccinated Americans no longer need to wear masks outside, except in crowded places.
On another hot issue in society, Biden called on the Senate to adopt a broad project of police reform starting in May on the anniversary of the death of African American George Floyd from suffocation under the knee of a white policeman.
On the diplomatic front, Joe Biden reiterated his firm stance on Beijing and Moscow, but at the same time stressed that he was ready for dialogue.
After confirming that he "does not seek to conflict with China," Biden said that he "is ready to defend US interests in all areas."
Republican Senator Ted Cruz denounced the Democratic president's "socialist vision". Summarizing his position on the presidential speech, he said in three words: "Boring but radical."
Usually, the presidential speech in Congress that prints American political life is surrounded by specific ceremonies, which took place this year in a unique atmosphere due to anti-Corona measures.
- No ripping sermons -
Only two hundred people attended the ceremony, in which more than 1,600 people usually participate in the ancient hall of the House of Representatives. This year, members of Congress have been asked to present a list of "virtual" guests.
John Roberts was the only Supreme Court judge who attended the speech, along with Secretary of State and Defense Secretary Anthony Blinken and Lloyd Austin.
But the rest of the government watched the speech on television.
In another violation of norms, this year a "specific survivor" was not chosen, that is, a member of the government chosen every year so that he would not attend the speech and remain in an unknown location until he could take power in the event of an attack on the building.
The forty-sixth president of the United States concluded his speech, which lasted a little over an hour, by saying, "I have never felt as confident and optimistic about America as I do now."
There was a much less tense atmosphere than during the last speech by Donald Trump in this hall in February 2020.
Before the speech, Trump evidently avoided shaking hands with Nancy Pelosi at the time. Immediately after the end of his speech, the Speaker of Parliament tore up her copy of the text.
Source: :copyright: AFP