Joe Biden has hit out at ‘trickle down economics’ in a social media post ahead of a highly anticipated meeting with Prime Minister Liz Truss.
Twitter users were quick to point out that Mr Biden comments about the economic policy appeared to mirror the policies of Ms Truss, ahead of their meeting at the United Nations General Assembly summit in New York. His comments also came ahead of a policy announcement set to be made by Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng on Friday (23 September).
But what did Joe Biden say, and what has been the reaction to the tweet? Here’s everything you need to know.
What did Joe Biden say in his tweet?
The US President tweeted on Tuesday (20 September): “I am sick and tired of trickle-down economics. It has never worked. We’re building an economy from the bottom up and middle out.” The message was tweeted from the official POTUS Twitter account.
Twitter users were quick to jump to the conclusion that Mr Biden was directly referring to Ms Truss’s policy, or that his comments came suspiciously close to their meeting. Journalist Pippa Crear pointed out the timing of the tweet, saying: “Liz Truss’s bilateral talks with Joe Biden are going to be interesting.”
What has Liz Truss said about the tweet?
Ms Truss has not directly referenced the tweet. However her spokeman has said that it is “ludicruous” to suggest that Mr Biden was referring to Ms Truss directly.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “Any suggestion that it’s in some way a direct criticism of UK policy would be ludicrous.
“No two countries’ economies are structured in the same way, each have unique challenges.”
What is trickle down economics?
Trickle down economics is a theory in which it is argued that benefits (such as tax breaks) for corporations and the highest earners will eventually boost the economy. This boost would theoretically then ‘trickle down’ to those lower in the economic chain, for example minimum wage workers, who would reap the benefits of the blossoming economy.
However, the theory and method has been criticised, for widening the gap between the richer and the poorer in society, as those at the top end of earners will substantially grow their fortune by taking advantage of tax breaks and other benefits, while those at the bottom end would have to wait to see an effect on their income, if any.
Does Liz Truss use trickle down economics?
As the newly-elected Prime Minister, Ms Truss - who won the Tory leadership election by gaining the support of the party membership - campaigned on the platform of tax breaks and being anti-windfall tax for energy companies. Her reasoning was that she wants to boost investment in Britain, and in turn boost the rapidly failing economy.
In an interview with BBC on the morning of her meeting with the US President, Ms Truss said: “We have to look at our tax rates. So corporation tax needs to be competitive with other countries so that we can attract that investment,” indicating that she was also willing to review all tax rates including income tax.
She added: “Lower taxes lead to economic growth, there is no doubt in my mind about that.” However, Mr Biden’s tweet suggests that their meeting may see the two leaders go head-to-head on their economic philosophy.