Biden calls out GM CEO Mary Barra for not paying enough taxes in tour of HER factory

Biden calls out GM CEO Mary Barra for not paying


President Biden took a dig at his host after touring General Motors’ factory in Detroit on Wednesday, cheekily suggesting chief executive Mary Barra was among the millionaires and billionaires who aren’t paying enough tax.

Biden was in high spirits after test driving one of the new electric Hummers being produced at the plant.

In a speech to highlight his spending plans and how they would promote electric vehicles, he said anyone earning less than $400,000 a year would not pay more in tax – before taking a shot at the multinational companies incorporated in in his home state of Delaware.

‘Guess what? They ain’t paying enough,’ he said, before adding, ‘Sorry, Mary.’ 

The line triggered laughter from his audience.

Not only is GM one of the companies incorporated in Delaware, Barra is the highest paid of its executives.

She took home more than $23 million last year – 200 times the median income of the company’s workforce. 

‘Look, I’m a capitalist,’ continued Biden. 

‘If you’re able to make a million or billion dollars, have at it. That’s good for everybody … except pay your fair share.’

GM Chief Executive Mary spoke before the president on Wednesday

President Joe Biden delivered a speech at GM's 'Factory Zero' on Wednesday

President Joe Biden took a swipe at General Motors and its Chief Executive Mary Barra during a visit to its plant in Detroit, as he said big corporations and millionaires must pay their fair share of tax. ‘Sorry, Mary,’ he said.

Barra showed Biden around the factory, which was slated for closure but then repurposed to build electric vehicles

Barra showed Biden around the factory, which was slated for closure but then repurposed to build electric vehicles

Biden was there to see construction of the company's new Hummer electric pick-ups - and the president took one for a spin

Biden was there to see construction of the company’s new Hummer electric pick-ups – and the president took one for a spin

The Consumer Price Index shows a rise in prices in every category from used cars, laundry equipment, furniture to food

The Consumer Price Index shows a rise in prices in every category from used cars, laundry equipment, furniture to food

The Consumer Price Index rose 6.2 percent in October 2021 from one year prior - the highest it has been since 1990

The Consumer Price Index rose 6.2 percent in October 2021 from one year prior – the highest it has been since 1990

Biden travelled to Detroit as part of his push for electric vehicles and to highlight provisions in his trillion dollar infrastructure bill to build a national network of charging stations.

The GM plant he visited was earmarked for closure in 2018 but has been repurposed as ‘Factory Zero’ to build zero-emission electric vehicles. 

He also used the visit to trumpet the reports of two ratings agencies that said his spending plans would not increase pressure on inflation. 

‘Reason: Because the policies I proposed, quote, “help lift long term economic growth via stronger productivity, labour force growth, as well as taking the edge off inflation,”‘ he said, quoting from one of the reports.

Last week, the Labor Department sent shockwaves through his administration with a report that consumer prices were rising at their fastest rate in 30 years. Prices had risen by 6.2 percent from October 2020 to October 2021, it found.

A string of economists – including several Obama-era officials – have said that Biden’s spending plans will only make things worse.

Biden also offered good news on supply chains and the holiday season. 

‘Walmart and Target made public today what they told me about a week ago, that they’re stocked up for the holiday season,’ he said. 

‘Their inventories are up and they’ll have all the toys, food and other items that shoppers are looking for in the holiday season. That’s going to happen.’

He spoke at the end of a tour of the GM facility. After watching an electric Hummer being assembled by union workers, he got to take one for a spin. 

‘Anybody want to jump in the back? On the roof? This sucker’s something else,’ Biden said as he sat in the driver’s seat after whizzing around an empty parking lot.  

'Anybody want to jump in the back? On the roof?' Biden said

'This suckers' something else,' he added

Biden was in Motown celebrating his win on the $1.1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, which includes provisions for electric vehicles

The president, a car enthusiast, excitedly drove himself in the new vehicle, whipping around an empty parking lot in the factory.

The president, a car enthusiast, excitedly drove himself in the new vehicle, whipping around an empty parking lot in the factory.

Biden sings praises of the vehicle after his test run

Biden sings praises of the vehicle after his test run

Unlike their gas-guzzling predecessors, the military-style pickup trucks operate on battery power. 

GM boasts that the 9,000-lb vehicle can go from 0-60 miles per hour in three seconds and has a 350-kilowatt fast-charging capability which allows it to add 100 miles of range in just 10 minutes. However, the Edition One comes at a $112,595 cost.  

One GM staffer told the president the vehicle prototype was ‘three times the weight of your Corvette and twice as fast.’ 

Biden was in Motown celebrating his win on the $1.1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, which includes provisions for electric vehicles. 

The infrastructure bill allocates $7.5 billion to build electric vehicle charging stations. Most of those, however, will likely be ‘Level 2’ variety, which can give a vehicle 25 miles of battery capacity per hour.  

His choice of venue raised eyebrows among ethics experts after it emerged that GM this year paid $160,000 to a lobbyist whose brother is one of the president’s closest advisers. 

Jeff Ricchetti, the brother of Counselor to the President Steve Ricchetti, reported being paid $160,000 by General Motors this year to lobby the White House and Congress. 

His lobbying disclosures indicate that the work included efforts on electric vehicle tax incentives. 

It is Biden’s third visit to one of the big three automakers this year, following trips to see a Fiat-Chrysler plant in March and a Ford factory in May.

Biden visited a grand opening ceremony for 'Factory Zero'.at the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Center, where a broad array of new electric trucks and vehicles will be built

Biden visited a grand opening ceremony for ‘Factory Zero’.at the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Center, where a broad array of new electric trucks and vehicles will be built

Counselor to the President Steve Ricchetti

Lobbyist Jeff Ricchetti

Steve Ricchetti (l) is a longtime Biden confidant and is currently counselor to the president. His role has attracted frequent accusations of a conflict of interest when his brother, Jeff  (r), is a lobbyist who has seen business grow more than four-fold since Biden took office

A senior administration official said there was no hint of family favoritism.

‘Jeff had no role in this visit,’ said the official.

Even so Ricchetti’s lobbying firm, which he set up with his brother, has enjoyed a bumper year since Biden took power.

In the first half of 2021, Ricchetti Inc. took in $1.67 million in fees in the first half of the year, according to financial disclosures – a huge increase on the $370,000 it reported in the same period of 2020.

In response to previous accusations of a possible conflict of interest, the White House said Steve Ricchetti recuses himself from issues raised by his brother or his firm.

‘I do not lobby my brother, nor have I lobbied the White House this quarter,’ Jeff Ricchetti told the Wall Street Journal earlier this year.

But the link still raised concerns among ethics experts amid reports that Steve Ricchetti was involved in negotiations over the infrastructure bill.  

‘Steve Ricchetti ought to completely recuse himself from any part of the legislation that his brother’s firm is lobbying on, and then have the White House not take calls from his brother,’ Richard Painter, a former Democratic Senate candidate who was President George W. Bush’s chief ethics lawyer, told the Free Beacon which first reported on the lobbying connections on Wednesday.

His brother is a long time Biden confidant and one of the most powerful people in the White House. 

He worked as deputy chief of staff in Bill Clinton’s White House before opening Ricchetti Inc. with his brother.

But he stepped aside when he went to work for then Vice President joe Biden in 2012. 

During the visit, Biden will deliver remarks on how the law ‘builds electric vehicle charging stations across the country to make it easier to drive an electric vehicle, reduces emissions to fight the climate crisis, and creates good-paying, union jobs across the country,’ the White House said in a statement.

A broad transition to electric cars and trucks will help the United States meet Biden’s pledge to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions 50% from 2005 levels by 2030.

Democrats are working on a separate social spending and climate bill that contains up to $12,500 in tax credits for U.S.-made EVs, including a $4,500 credit for union-made vehicles. 

The bill is a key pillar of Biden’s domestic agenda but has faced hurdles to passage from competing views between progressive and moderate lawmakers in his party.



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Written by Bourbiza Mohamed

A technology enthusiast and a passionate writer in the field of information technology, cyber security, and blockchain

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