Joe Biden has taken a lot of heat for telling a room full of wealthy donors this week that their standard of living isn’t going to change when he’s elected president, but that snippet was taken out of context. He implied that he’d raise their taxes, but he wouldn’t do it to the degree that other Democrats want. But there were other statements he made that should be a concern, as Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins explains.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

On Tuesday, Joe Biden met with a group of more than 100 wealthy donors in the Carlyle hotel in New York to promise them and reassure them that nothing is going to change if he is elected president. Or at least that’s what a lot of the headlines want you to think. Joe Biden said now to be sure Joe Biden said that, but he said it in a broader context right now, there’s a lot of headlines going on saying Joe Biden promises wealthy people, their standard of living won’t change if he’s president and people are freaking out saying, ah, there’s the corporate as Joe Biden, we’ve been warning you about, make no mistake. Joe Biden’s a corporatist Joe Biden was absolutely kissing the ring of these wealthy donors. And I’ll get to that in a moment. But that particular snippet is not what it seems. And there are plenty of other snippets from his little fundraiser that should cause even more concern.

And again, I’ll get to those in a minute. Um, but here is the full context, the full quote of what Joe Biden actually said. He said, the truth of the matter is you all, you all know, you all know in your gut what has to be done. We can disagree in the margins, but the truth of the matter is it’s all within our wheelhouse and nobody has to be punished. No one standard of living will change. No, nothing would fundamentally change. So what he’s talking about is look, Hey, wealthy folks, we all know what has to be done. You know, I got to raise your taxes, but it’s not even going to really affect you because you have so much money that, that, that’s what Joe Biden’s here, uh, saying that that’s what he said. So, okay, maybe that part was a little bit overblown. Right? Well now here’s the part folks that you need to be pissed off about.

Joe Biden also said, I mean, we may not want to demonize anybody who’s made a lot of money. He goes on to say, when we have income and equality as large as we have in the United States today, it brews and ferments political discord and basic revolution. It allows demagogues to step in and say, the reason where a, where we are is because of the other. You’re not the other. I need you very badly. I hope if I win this nomination, I won’t let you down. I promise you I have a bad reputation. I always say what I mean. The problem is sometimes say all that. I mean, so here he is. That’s a swipe at people like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, people who say, guess what, billionaires, we’re going to tax you to help pay for other things in this country. And Joe, I understand you don’t want to piss off the people who are going to fund your campaign because the grassroots folks are gravitating towards the warrens and the Sanders.

But uh, if you think that these people bear some of the responsibility for income inequality here in the United States than you are beyond delusional. And I’d put you in the same delusional level almost as Donald Trump because yes they are. These are the people who run the corporations who run the businesses that aren’t giving people raises, but they’re giving themselves raises. They’re the people who are not reinvesting into communities and expanding their businesses and hiring new workers and paying better benefits and giving people vacation time. Yes, Joe, they are responsible for it. And if you don’t see that, and if you don’t understand that, then I can promise you you’re 2020 presidential campaign is not going to make it past the New Hampshire primary. You’re in for a very rude awakening once these debates start next week, and people on a national scale who may not read these stories and they may not watch these videos, but they’re suddenly going to see what you’re all about and what you’re all about is protecting the interest of your wealthy donors, just like a Republican does.

And that’s not going to sit well with the majority of people in this country who understand that radical change is the only way to fix the biggest problems in this country. And they’re going to look at you, they’re going to watch you on that debate stage, and they’re going to suddenly realize that you’re not the candidate to deliver any kind of change, especially not the change that this country desperately needs. So go ahead and keep pandering her wealthy folks, let them empty your wallets, their wallets, because in the end, that’s all it’s going to be. It’s going to be wasted money on a failed corporate candidate who doesn’t understand that this country is changing. And if he’s not willing to change with it, then he just needs to get the hell out of the way.

Farron Cousins is the executive editor of The Trial Lawyer magazine and a contributing writer at He is the co-host / guest host for Ring of Fire Radio. His writings have appeared on Alternet, Truthout, and The Huffington Post. Farron received his bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of West Florida in 2005 and became a member of American MENSA in 2009. Follow him on Twitter @farronbalanced