Pence: ‘We knocked the rust off the Rust Belt’ but Biden’s policies would ‘devastate the economy’

Pence cited an analysis from the non-partisan Tax Foundation that found Biden's policies would result in a loss of 585,000 jobs

Updated: July 18, 2020 - 1:56pm

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Vice President Mike Pence told reporters that President Trump “knocked the rust off the Rust Belt” with his handling of the economy and argued that Joe Biden’s economic policies would reverse the improvements made over the last three and a half years.

The Rust Belt term refers to the historical decline of manufacturing in areas of key battleground states that Trump won in 2016 including Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.

“Joe Biden's policies would devastate the economy of Midwest America. I mean, under President Trump's leadership, we've seen the industrial Midwest come roaring back,” Pence said on Wednesday during a “Tax Day” conference call organized by the Trump campaign.

“When Joe Biden was Vice President, part of an administration that was raising taxes, increasing regulation, stifling American energy, we lost 655,000 manufacturing jobs and under President Donald Trump, we've actually added hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs, roughly half a million manufacturing jobs all across this country.”

Pence referred to former President Obama saying during a 2016 town hall event that a president can't wave a magic wand to bring back manufacturing jobs in the U.S.

“We didn't need a magic wand. We just needed President Donald Trump in the White House,” Pence said. “All of the taxes and regulation would stifle American manufacturing; would stifle economic growth in the heartland, and it's just one more reason why we need four more years of President Donald Trump in the White House because under this president, it's not the Rust Belt anymore. We knocked the rust off the Rust Belt."

Citing a Tax Foundation analysis of the Biden campaign’s tax plan, Pence said Biden’s proposed tax increases would “stifle” economic growth during the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and result in the estimated loss of 585,000 jobs.

“It would devastate the recovery that we are beginning to see under the president's leadership. Even in the middle of this pandemic, Joe Biden is planning to raise taxes on individual Americans by $1.9 trillion and he'd raise taxes on American businesses by $2.1 trillion,” he said. “That $4 trillion tax hike is more than double what Hillary Clinton called for in 2016."

According to the Tax Foundation analysis, Biden would “raise tax revenue by $3.8 trillion over the next decade on a conventional basis” with a capital gains tax hike as well as a tax increases hitting individuals and families making more than $400,000 per year. The foundation estimates that the Biden tax plan “would reduce GDP by 1.51 percent over the long term.

 

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