Editor’s Note: Joe Biden is the President of the United States. The views expressed here are his own. Read more opinion on CNN.
Over the past nearly two years, we have made enormous progress. My administration, working with Democrats in Congress, is building an economy that grows from the bottom up and middle out.
The unemployment rate is 3.5% – a 50-year low. We’ve created 10 million jobs, including almost 700,000 manufacturing jobs. On my watch, “Made in America” isn’t just a slogan, it’s a reality.
We have more work to do. Inflation – driven by the pandemic and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine – is a global challenge. I know a lot of people have a job and are still struggling to pay for groceries, gas and rent. That’s why I’m so determined to lower costs for families.
I’m working to reduce the burden on working- and middle-class people by bringing down the costs of everyday things they need for their families, such as health care premiums, prescription drugs and energy bills. We passed the Inflation Reduction Act without a single Republican vote to lock in lower health care premiums for 13 million Americans and lower prescription drug prices for seniors.
And partly because of the actions we’ve taken – including a historic release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve – gas prices are decreasing. They’re down $1.20 since their peak this summer and just this week they fell another 10 cents. That’s adding up to real savings for families.
But all of our progress is at risk. The American people face a choice between two vastly different visions for our country.
Republicans in Congress are doubling down on mega, MAGA trickle-down economics that benefit the wealthy and big corporations. They’ve laid their plan out very clearly. It would raise your costs and make inflation worse.
My administration finally gave Medicare the power to negotiate lower drug prices. We capped out-of-pocket prescription drug costs at $2,000 a year for seniors and capped seniors’ monthly insulin payments at $35 a month. Big Pharma and scores of lobbyists spent hundreds of millions of dollars trying to prevent health care savings for Americans. They failed.
Many Republicans in Congress are calling to roll back these provisions that lower prescription drug costs – some of which take effect in January. That means the $2,000 cap on prescription drugs for seniors would be gone. The $35-a-month cap on insulin for seniors would be gone. The average savings on health care premiums of $800 a year for millions of Americans would be gone. Republicans would increase those everyday costs.
Democrats are making sure the biggest corporations begin to pay their fair share in taxes. In 2020, 55 of the wealthiest corporations in America paid zero dollars in federal income tax. No longer. I signed into law a 15% corporate minimum tax. And, I’m keeping my campaign commitment: no one earning less than $400,000 a year will pay a single penny more in federal taxes.
The Republican plan is to repeal the 15% corporate minimum tax and extend the Trump tax giveaway for the wealthy and large corporations. That would add $3 trillion over 10 years to the deficit and mean an average tax cut of more than $100,000 for the top 0.1% – those earning more than $4 million.
Republicans plan to cut taxes for the wealthy, and some aim to cut Social Security and Medicare for seniors. Rick Scott, the Senator from Florida who is in charge of electing Republicans, has a plan requiring Congress to vote every five years on keeping, cutting or eliminating Social Security and Medicare. Senator Ron Johnson from Wisconsin has proposed putting Social Security and Medicare on the chopping block every single year.
Republicans have even said that if they win control of Congress they may refuse to raise the debt limit and force our country into default unless we yield to their demands to cut Social Security and Medicare.
Let me be clear: as long as I’m President, Social Security and Medicare will be protected.
We need to make it easier, not tougher, for hard-working Americans to get by. That’s why I took action to ease the burden of student debt for families recovering from the pandemic. Republicans criticized the move, but I will never apologize for helping working- and middle-class Americans as they recover from the pandemic. Especially not to the same Republicans officials who voted for a $2 trillion tax giveaway that mainly benefitted wealthy Americans and the biggest corporations.
The fact is, this is not your father’s Republican party: Many Republicans in Congress want to pass a national ban on abortion. I would veto it right away, and if we elect more Senate Democrats and keep the House, I’ll move to codify Roe v. Wade in January.
Democracy is being put to the test in America. We are learning what every generation has to learn: nothing about democracy is guaranteed. You have to defend it. Protect it. Choose it.
I’m absolutely confident that, just as they did in 2020, the American people will again vote in record numbers and make it clear that democracy is a value that both defines us and unites us as Americans.
The stakes couldn’t be higher. And the choice couldn’t be clearer.
Over the last few years, we’ve faced some of the most difficult challenges in our history, but we did not relent. And, I have never been more confident about our future. In 14 days, the American people will decide whether we keep moving forward or go backwards.