Noting that the U.S. economy has reached an "inflection point," President Joe Biden on Thursday laid out several steps he plans to take to "level the playing field" and lift up the middle class.
Speaking at the White House, Biden noted that corporations and the richest Americans have gotten wealthier in the past 40 years at rates higher than middle-class Americans.
"For a long time, this economy has worked well for those at the very top...while the middle class has been cut out of the deal," Biden said.
He noted that billionaires have seen their wealth increase by $1.8 trillion during the pandemic — a fact that he called "simply not fair."
Biden said his plans to uplift the average American would start by getting COVID-19 under control. He said he hopes his recent move to force more employers to enforce vaccine mandates would help bring case rates down.
"Everything, from our public health to our economy, depends on this," Biden said.
He also called for the extension of the child tax credits that were signed into law earlier this year, which provide parents with up to an additional $300 per child each month.
The president also advocated empowering the IRS to better monitor bank accounts to stop the wealthiest Americans from avoiding income tax.
"If you can make a million or a billion dollars, that's great. All I ask is that you pay your fair share," Biden said.
Finally, Biden called on Congress to pass both his proposed infrastructure package and budget plans, which his administration says will create millions of middle-class jobs and provide much-needed services for working families.
He cited recent extreme weather events like Gulf Coast hurricanes and Western wildfires as a reason to allocate more money to infrastructure.
"We can't wait to act," Biden pleads. "We need to rebuild with resilience in mind."
In closing, Biden told Americans that the pandemic had presented the country with an opportunity.
"We can build an economy that gives working people a shot," Biden said. "We can make the investments that are long overdue in this country."