Biden on the Record: Progressive Governance Conference

And that is that it’s time to build a new foundation for a much broader and sustained growth moving into the 21st century. And I think to the extent that — are we able to — is it being translated?

I think the answer lies less in ideological prescriptions than it does in practical applications of the circumstances we face.

And so I’m going to talk a little bit about how the United States is attempting to respond to this economic crisis. And we understand we share a responsibility. Some of you suggest we are primarily responsible, but regardless of your perspective, we understand we share a real responsibility. Some of the approaches that I’m suggesting may be applicable elsewhere, as I said, but I recognize that every country’s circumstances are different.

For the Obama/Biden administration, progressive government in a time of economic crisis that we find ourselves in means basically four principles. The first is to aggressively pursue the necessary steps to offset this recession, and bring about robust economic growth. Forbearance is not an option. Some of our colleagues around the world seem to think that forbearance may be the answer. Well, we will not stand down in our country until we reverse the negative trends in jobs and incomes that exist within our country — and in many of yours, all of yours, quite frankly.

The second is we want to build a policy framework to ensure that, A, we can achieve lasting prosperity, based not upon excessive borrowing supported by speculative bubbles, whether they be the bubble or the housing bubble, but by investing in the future, by — and secondly, that prosperity has to be broadly shared. It has not been in my country and many of yours over the past decade or more. We believe it’s essential that there be a strong middle class, and access to the middle class from those who are striving to join it.

The third principle of our agenda is that making public investments in health care, energy, and education are the three areas we believe are the new foundational basis upon which we can build a sustained economic growth that everyone can share in.

And, fourthly, doing all this in the context of a fiscal budget that ramps up to meet the crisis we face today, and then has mechanisms built into it that allows it to achieve a stable fiscal path by building into that budget that we’ve submitted the ability to regain control of these deficits.

Progressive governance must occur with respect to a global economic context within which we all reside. We recognize that, as well. The President and I realize how interconnected our economies are and we are deeply committed to resolving this crisis we all face. A strong American economy, not out of a sense of chauvinism, but out of a sense of necessity, a strong American economy is integral to a strong global economy, at least for this moment.

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