Biden visits Lehigh Valley
In a short visit to the Mack Trucks assembly plant in Lower Macungie July 28, President Joe Biden took his economic plan to the country.
He joked with the group of supporters, saying, “We’re not here to say anything. I just came here to drive a truck,” as he eyed the five Mack trucks arrayed behind him in the cavernous warehouse stocked with truck parts.
Before Biden got into the business of delivering his message, he quickly acknowledged some of the political leaders present.
“You’re one of the best governors in the country, a good friend,” he said of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf.
To U.S. Congresswoman Susan Wild, D-7th, he said, “You’ve been a tireless champion for the men and women of the Lehigh Valley.”
In regard to the COVID-19 pandemic, Biden said, “We have a lot of people not vaccinated. The pandemic we have now is a pandemic of the unvaccinated. So please, please, please, please, please protect yourself and the children out there. It’s important.”
Addressing the economy, he added, “I said I was running (for president) for three reasons - to restore the soul of this country, to restore decency and respect and to rebuild the backbone of this country.
“It was hardworking middle-class folks who built this country. It was unions who built the middle class.
“That’s why I moved to pass the American Rescue Plan after I got elected because we needed to act quickly and boldly to save jobs, save businesses and save lives. We added more than 600,000 jobs per month since I’ve taken office. That’s over three million jobs,” Biden said.
He said the economy is experiencing the fastest growth of any administration on record.
“We brought the economy back from the brink - checks in people’s pockets, shots in people’s arms, tax cuts for working families with children, and we designed our strategy not only to provide a temporary boost, but to lay the foundation for a long-term boom that brings everyone along.”
Biden said life has been great for corporations and for the wealthy, those who are at the top.
“There are 55 major corporations that, for the past three years, have paid zero in federal taxes, making over 40 billion dollars. They have no complaints,” he added.
He pledged to “change the paradigm, so that working people can have a fighting chance again, get a good education, get a good job and a raise, to take care of their elderly parents and afford to take care of their children, to stop losing hours of their lives stuck in traffic because the streets are crumbling and to stop waiting on an Internet that is slow and spotty.
“That’s what the economy we’re building is all about,” Biden said.
He added a bipartisan pact has been made on infrastructure, including “bridges, roads, transit systems, high-speed Internet, clean drinking water, cleaning and capping orphan (abandoned gas) wells and mines and a modern, resilient electric grid.
“While there is a lot we don’t agree on, I believe we can work together on the few things we do agree on,” he said.
Biden spoke on many more topics, including his Build Back Better plan, education, child care, caregivers, elder care, paid leave, buying in America, supply chains, shortage of computer chips and electric vehicles.
Biden wrapped up his remarks touting the resilience and productivity of the American worker.
“If you give American companies and communities the chance, there’s nothing they can’t build,” he said.
Among local business people and political leaders in attendance were Lehigh County Executive Phillips Armstrong, Northampton County Executive Lamont McClure and Lehigh County Commissioner Geoff Brace.