Joe Biden's views on taxes, billionaires and the economy

Former Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday announced his bid for the presidency, a move that makes his views on the economy and finance of increased importance as voters consider his candidacy.

Amid a growing group of contenders for the Democratic Party, many believe Biden would serve as a more moderate voice compared to a few of the more progressive declared candidates – like Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Here’s a look at some of Biden’s view on the economy and Wall Street:

The middle class and workers

The former vice president has moved to position himself as a champion of the middle-class, without isolating wealthier Americans in the process.

“When the middle-class does well, everybody does very, very well,” Biden said during a speech at the Brookings Institution last May. “The wealthy do very well, and the poor have some light.”

He added that companies also do better, jobs increase and “everybody wins.”

When it comes to workers’ rights, Biden said he wants to ban non-compete clauses and increase wage transparency.

He has also supported a $15 minimum wage.


While many of the more progressive Democrats have railed against the wealthy for their role in creating inequality, Biden has taken a different view.

Biden specifically distanced himself from Sanders’ critical take on billionaires.

“I’m not Bernie Sanders,” he said at the Brookings Institution. “I don’t think 500 billionaires are the reason why we’re in trouble … We have not seen this huge concentration of wealth. The folks at the top are not bad guys. I get in trouble in my party when I say wealthy Americans are just as patriotic as poor folks.”

At the same time, Biden noted that a widening income gap was pulling the country apart.

Tax code

Biden has also said the tax code is “wildly skewed” toward “taking care of those at the very top.”

“It favors – overwhelmingly favors – investors over workers,” he said. “It’s riddled with unproductive expenditures.”

Pointing to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Biden said “once again” those at the top received the biggest breaks.

He said he favored a pro-growth, progressive tax code that favors workers and pays for the programs things intended to help the country grow.


Free higher education

Like many other members of the Democratic Party, Biden has advocated for making higher education free.

He first endorsed the proposal back in 2015, during President Barack Obama’s tenure. At the time, he called for four years of free higher education.

On his Biden Foundation website, the former Vice President also calls for advancing community colleges. His wife Jill is a teacher at a community college.