On Day 92, the Biden White House contends with the reality of who has to pay for all the moments we’re meeting.
Meeting The Moment: Climate Edition.
President Joe Biden kicked off his virtual Leaders Summit on Climate—an effort to “galvanize efforts by the major economies to tackle the climate crisis,” tout the United States’ new commitment to halve emissions by 2030, and pitch the benefits of a climate action overhaul to key business leaders—with his favorite phrase: “meet the moment.”
Under the Biden presidency, “meet the moment” is a rhetorical flourish that always precedes something very, very expensive, which nonetheless is (supposedly) less expensive than not doing anything. Sure enough, Biden has talked to the experts, and the verdict is in: “I talked to the experts, and I see the potential for a more prosperous and equitable future. The signs are unmistakable. The science is undeniable. But the cost of inaction is—keeps mounting.”
The virtual event, which included a handful of low-grade live-streaming catastrophes, featured remarks from Chinese president Xi Jinping—”Failure to respect Nature or follow its laws will only invite its revenge”—and Pope Francis, who said that “Both the global catastrophes, Covid and climate change, prove that we do not have time to wait.” Prime Minister Boris Johnson also noted that “It’s vital for all of us to show that this is not all about some expensive, politically correct, green act of bunny-hugging.” A youth activist named Xiye Bastida told world leaders that “We demand comprehensive, non euro-centric and intersectional climate education including literacy on climate justice, environmental racism, ancestral and indigenous wisdom, disability justice, green careers, and sustainable living.”
- Doubling annual public climate financing development to developing countries by 2024
- Mobilize private capital for climate projects
- Reduce spending on fossil fuel energy projects
Contending with the reality that moving away from fossil fuels in order to reduce carbon emissions will kill traditional energy jobs, the White House is strenuously pitching Biden’s planned climate actions as job-creation opportunities. Climate czar John Kerry provided these three examples of jobs that grew in 2020: wind turbine technician, nurse practitioner, and solar panel installer.
“How do we realistically get there without turning the economy on its ear?,” one reporter asked Kerry. “Does this mean the U.S. has to reach 40 percent renewable power by 2030; that we have to have 25 percent of the cars on the roads, by 2030, be electric?”
Kerry had no specific answers. “What it means is that we’re going to be investing,” Kerry said. “This is an investment in new ways of getting energy to people that’s more efficiently delivered; that’s lower cost, in the long run; and it’s really going to open up a whole group of employment opportunities that we know—that are beginning to be seen in America today.”
Biden Reportedly Plans To Double Capital Gains Tax.
Bloomberg reported Thursday that Biden “will propose almost doubling the capital gains tax rate for wealthy individuals to 39.6% to help pay for a raft of social spending that addresses long-standing inequality.” Federal tax rates for investors earning $1 million or more could be has high as 43.4 percent—up from the current base rate of 20 percent—in order to pay for the upcoming, $1.5 trillion American Families Plan.
“Selling on Wall Street was widespread following the report about Biden’s tax plan,” the Associate Press reported.
Biden is set to unveil the American Families Plan next week, a bill that will reportedly include major childcare investment, free community college, universal pre-kindergarten, and additional paid family leave.