The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

The Biden Bill:
Promises, Not Solutions

Oct 25, 2021

For several months, we have been flooded with news about President Biden’s social program and climate change proposals. The centerpiece of Biden’s election was this promise to “Transform America” and “Build Back Better.”

So, after watching the debates, what we now know is that the 3.5 trillion-dollar spending plan has been reduced down to a reported 1.9 trillion dollars. And that promises like free community college have “bit the dust.”

Biden’s original plan seemed to include any and everything “good” for workers. Like universal prekindergarten, child-care subsidies, an extension of the child tax credit, paid family leave, free community college, an expansion of Medicaid, adding dental, vision and hearing aid coverage to Medicare, as well as programs to slow down global warming and climate change.

Sounds great, right? All these things are desperately needed. But in fact, few really know what was included in the plan.

Where will the money come from to pay for whatever program is finally passed? Biden originally proposed a small tax increase on corporations, setting the corporate tax rate at 27%, back to where it was before the Trump administration cut it to 21%. Now they are only talking about a small tax increase on a few billionaires, which may not be implemented, given “loopholes.” Most of the money for any new social programs will come from public money, taxes that are paid mostly by the working class.

As this soap opera drama over the spending proposal plays out in Washington, D.C., the blame for cutting back the climate change and social programs and refusing to tax the rich has fallen on all the Republicans and on two Democratic senators, who get a lot of campaign contributions from the rich and the corporations.

That part is true. They do. But guess what? All the politicians in both parties are funded by the moneyed class, by the capitalist class. They all work for the bankers, the corporate CEOs and the Wall Street investors.

For decades, politicians from both parties have been giving public money to the corporate and the banking elite in the form of tax breaks, subsidies, grants and bailouts. The politicians write laws that help the capitalists exploit the working class, increasing corporate profits, while the workers’ standard of living goes down. The labor of the working class produces all the wealth of society. But many trillions of dollars of wealth have been taken from the working class and given to the capitalist class. All this stolen wealth could easily pay for all the proposed social programs that are needed. Better education, childcare, good medical care affordable for all, addressing climate change. Yes, the money is there for all of that. And much more! But it has to be taken back from the capitalist class that stole it.

The politicians who helped the wealthy steal this money are never going to be the ones to take it back. It is only the working class which has the reason to do that. And the working class has the power to do that.

In the past, the working class has made many fights to defend our interests, to defend our standard of living. But when the fight dies down, the capitalists always come to take back whatever they may have conceded to the workers. Their whole system is based on taking from the workers. It can’t ever be otherwise.

When the working class is ready to fight, we have power to not only take back the wealth that has been stolen from us, but we also have the power to use it. We can get rid of the system that exploits working people and build a society that provides for the social needs of all people, not just a wealthy few.