President Biden took an early victory lap Friday on a strong jobs report but said the surge in hiring in March won’t deter him from pushing through a multitrillion-dollar infrastructure plan with a massive tax increase.
“Raising taxes, the studies show, will not slow the economy at all,” Mr. Biden said at the White House. “It will make the economy function better.”
The president highlighted a government report showing that employers added a whopping 916,000 jobs in March, and the unemployment rate fell from 6.2% to 6%. Mr. Biden credited in part his $1.9 trillion relief package, signed into law earlier this month, that provided $1,400 checks to most families.
The president said the employment report means his administration has created more jobs in its first two months than any administration in history.
“But we still have a long way to go,” Mr. Biden said, insisting that the economy still needs a boost from his proposed infrastructure plan. He said there are still 8.4 million jobs lost during the pandemic, and that his proposal will create 19 million jobs.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republicans are lining up in opposition to the new spending plan and proposed corporate tax hikes, saying a huge tax increase would hurt the economy and send jobs overseas.
Mr. Biden countered, “If the Republicans argue that we don’t need infrastructure … I think Republican voters are going to have a lot to say about it.”
Referring to his proposal in the infrastructure package to replace lead pipes, Mr. Biden asked, “What do you think would happen if they found out all the lead pipes were up in the Capitol, every time we turn on the water?”
Asked how much credit he is taking for the jobs numbers, Mr. Biden said “I’m giving credit to the American people.”