Democrat says Americans ‘desperately need’ trillions of investment that centrists are blocking in Congress
The former US president, in an interview broadcast on Tuesday, told ABC News’ Good Morning America that America’s billionaires “can afford it” and said: “I put myself in this category now”.
“I think anybody who pretends that it’s a hardship for billionaires to pay a little bit more in taxes so that a single mum gets childcare support or so that we’re doing something about climate change for the next generation, that’s an argument that’s unsustainable,” he told Robin Roberts.
Both the $3,5tn spending package and a smaller $1tn infrastructure bill are currently being debated in Congress and are expected to be voted on by the end of the week — although Democrats are reportedly in a battle with centrists in the party to accept that price tag.
The former president, who has an estimated net worth of several million, theorised that his Democratic successor would be able to pass the bill in the end.
“I believe that it will get done,” Mr Obama said. “It will be messy — it’s always messy to get big, serious legislation done.’
“When you look at the overall package, it’s got a headline price tag of $3.5 triljoen. But that’s not a single year, this is spread out over a number of years,’ Mr Obama said.
“And most importantly, it’s paid for by asking the wealthiest of Americans to pay a few percentage points more in taxes in order to make sure we have an economy that’s fair for everybody.”