President Biden on Wednesday labeled former President Trump the “great MAGA king” and bashed Republicans, notably Sen. Rick Scott (Fla.), for their plan to combat inflation.
“Under my predecessor — the great MAGA king — the deficit increased every single year he was president. The first year of my presidency, the first year, I reduced the deficit, literally reduced the deficit by $350 billion, first year,” he said in remarks at an International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers conference in Chicago.
Biden has been highlighting deficit reduction as a way to fight inflation in order to respond to criticism from Republicans that his American Rescue Plan, which had the price tag of $1.9 trillion and passed early last year, negatively impacted the economy.
“My Republican colleagues say these programs to help the working class and middle-class people, that, they say, that’s why we have inflation. They’re dead wrong,” Biden said on Wednesday.
He argued that “reducing the deficit is one of the main ways that we can ease inflationary pressures.”
The president brought up Scott’s proposed tax plan, which he has attacked recently while comparing it to his administration’s plan to combat inflation. Scott is the head of Senate Republicans’ campaign arm.
“I call it the ultra-MAGA plan, Make America Great Again plan,” he said of Scott’s proposal.
Biden and White House press secretary Jen Psaki this week have criticized the Republican Party for embracing what they call an “ultra-MAGA agenda.”
“Right now, the majority of our Republican friends just see things differently. They don’t want to solve inflation just by lowering the cost. They want to solve it by raising taxes and lowering your income,” Biden said. “If I didn’t see the actual document, I’d think I was making it up.”
“The ultra-MAGA Republicans’ proposal puts, here’s what it does, it puts social security, Medicare — this is the Republican plan now, the only one out there — and Medicaid on the chopping block every five years,” he added.
The proposal released by Scott earlier this year calls for imposing federal income taxes on Americans who currently pay none and sunsetting all federal legislation after five years, presumably including programs such as Social Security and Medicaid.
Biden and Scott have been fighting through statements this week. Biden on Tuesday said he thinks Scott “has a problem” in response to criticism from Scott that the president is “incapacitated and incoherent.”
The White House has previously gone after Scott, highlighting that aspects of his proposed plan would raise taxes on middle-class and lower-income Americans.
“I proposed a minimum tax for billionaires, but congressional Republicans have proposed the minimum tax for teachers, firefights and electricians,” Biden said on Wednesday.
Biden has also tied congressional Republicans to Scott’s plan, although other Republican lawmakers have either distanced themselves from Scott’s proposal or declined to embrace it.
The president on Wednesday also bashed Republicans for not supporting the PRO Act, which has stalled in Congress. The bill would stiffen penalties for employers who violate workers’ rights and strengthen protections for employees against retaliation.
“Let’s be clear, for our Republican friends, you can’t say you’re working, you’re for working for people and vote against the PRO Act. It’s not consistent,” Biden said.