The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee made his comments in an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Friday morning, a day after new figures showed that nearly 40 million Americans have filed for unemployment in the past nine weeks.
Biden’s comments stand in contrast to those from President Trump, who has optimistically predicted the nation’s economy will quickly come roaring back.
“This country is poised for an epic comeback. This is going to be an incredible comeback. Watch, it’s already happening,” the president touted on Thursday as he visited a Ford Motor Company plant in Michigan that’s been converted to making respirators for hospitals on the front lines against the coronavirus.
The president and his leading economic advisers – encouraged by the relative steadiness in the stock market and some recent other indicators – have publicly expressed confidence in the past few days that the economy will soar in the second half of this year despite the historic surge in unemployment and the shuttering of many small businesses across the country.
White House economist Kevin Hassett told reporters on Monday that he was “pretty depressed about how bad it looked a few weeks ago, but you can really see it turning on faster than I thought.”
Biden, in his interview, emphasized that “the vast majority of American people who are suffering right now, they don’t measure their public health, their physical security and their economic stability based on the market.”
The former vice president also reiterated his pledge to raise the capital gains rates for wealthy Americans and to reverse the tax cuts signed into law by Trump in 2017 after being passed by a Congress that at the time was controlled by the GOP.
“My tax policy is based on a simple proposition, which is stop rewarding wealth and start rewarding work a little bit. Let’s raise the capital gains tax on people making over $1 million a year to ordinary income. Let’s reverse the Trump tax cut. Imagine if we had that $2 trillion now as we go into, God willing, a recovery, which is a long way away as I see it right now.”
Biden also pledged that “nobody making under $400,000 will have their taxes raised. Period.”
The president’s handling of the coronavirus crisis and the cratering economy are currently the top issues as Trump runs for reelection in November.
A new Fox News Poll released on Thursday indicates the president with a 3-point edge over his Democratic challenger when it comes to handling the economy, but shows Biden with a 9-point advantage over the GOP incumbent in the White House when it comes to which candidate would do a better job handling the coronavirus outbreak.
The survey also indicates Biden with a 48-40 percent lead over Trump in the general election matchup.