Sen. Kennedy: Nothing Free in 'Candy Man' Biden's Infrastructure Plan Senator John Kennedy, R-La., speaks as FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on March 2, 2021. (MANDEL NGAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
By Sandy Fitzgerald | Monday, 03 May 2021 09:42 AM
Sen. John Kennedy, remarking on President Joe Biden's trip to Louisiana this week to promote his infrastructure package, said Monday that there are a lot of promises being made, but the overall plan is a "Green New Deal and welfare plan and it's a mess" that "looks like somebody knocked over a urine sample."
"I'm sure the president is coming to say that 'I'm the Candy Man, and I've got more free stuff for you,'" the Louisiana Republican said on Fox News' "Fox and Friends." "The problem is that there's nothing free. Anything free, somebody had to work for."
Kennedy said the plan can be fixed if it sticks to infrastructure and if serious discussions are held about paying for the projects by reducing spending rather than raising taxes.
"We spend $144 billion a year on improper payments, including to dead people," he said. "We don't have to give our federal employees a pay raise every year. We can repurpose some of the coronavirus money that we don't need."
Kennedy said he does give Biden credit for calls to eliminate a tax loophole for special interests.
"It has to do with what's called intellectual property and transfer of pricing," said Kennedy. "(For) example, Coca-Cola just got tagged by a federal judge for $3 billion in back taxes … it did it by moving its recipe for its syrup to other low-tax countries like Ireland and others and some clever accounting and they got caught."
Kennedy said that as many multi-national corporations do similar things, he's willing to speak with Biden about how to close the loophole.
"I'm not for raising corporate income taxes across the board, because the employees are the ones that pay for it," he added.
Meanwhile, he insisted that the United States is not in an economic crisis, and officials have known that since December.
"Everybody in Washington knew," said Kennedy. "We haven't been in a crisis for several months. That's why the (coronavirus relief) bill that President Biden passed was so expensive and unnecessary. It wasn't even about the coronavirus and we're not going to spend all of that money immediately. We don't need to spend it now. We're not in a crisis. Some of that money is supposed to be spent over the next 10 years and I think the better use of it is to spend it on infrastructure."
Kennedy also discussed continued school closures, noting that he's been a substitute teacher himself, "doing it several times a year since 2003."
"One of the deepest scars left by the coronavirus will be the fact that we'll lose some of our kids educationally," he said. "Some of these kids are missing out and it's so avoidable. All the president has to do is stand up and be very firm. The teachers aren't the problem. It's their leadership. It's the teacher unions, and he controls the purse strings. He can fix this. He can fix this by the end of the week, and for the life of me I just don't understand why he won't do it."