Biden saved some of his harshest criticisms for an unlikely target, given his past history clashing with the likes of Sen. Elizabeth Warren on the banking industry. He “unloaded,” Politico says, on Wall Street and big business, saying “this is the second time we’ve bailed their asses out.” Banks like Wells Fargo, he said, “only alive because of the American taxpayer.” That too is very true. He seems livid at the diversion of Paycheck Protection Program small business loans in the CARES Act from small business to big, publicly traded and well-financed businesses. He laid that at the feet of the banks. “We knew from the beginning that the big banks don’t like lending to small businesses,” Biden said. “I’m telling you, though, if Main Street businesses don’t get help, they’re gone.”
He says he wants to come out the other side of this crisis with Americans recognizing that workers like grocery clerks “and all the other folks out there saving our rear ends and risking their lives for eight bucks an hour,” and that those are the people we’re investing in. “I think there’s going to be a willingness to fix some of the institutional inequities that have existed for a long time,” Biden said. “Milton Friedman isn’t running the show anymore.”
He says he’s “in constant conversation” with Democratic leadership. Let’s hope they’re taking these words from him and using them. His backing on going big, on trying to save Main Street, on using this to invest in long-term green-new-deal styled initiatives is important. A united Democratic front, with Biden banking the drum to back up Democratic efforts means House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer have more room to go very, very big.