Biden pushes infrastructure plan in U.S. South

BIDEN: "Trickle down ain't working very well, man. We gotta build from the bottom up, and the middle out."

With an aging bridge as his backdrop in Lake Charles, Louisiana, U.S. President Joe Biden took his infrastructure plan to the southern, historically Republican U.S. state on Thursday, where he made the case that tax hikes on corporations and the wealthy would be to the benefit of all Americans.

BIDEN: "Let me ask you. What's better for America. A tax cut to make corporations and CEOs richer, or investments that are going to make our country stronger, more competitive, and up the standard of living for everybody. And by the way, this is not punishing anybody. All those folks are going to have their two homes, three homes, their jets. Won't matter."

Biden wants to hike the corporate tax rate to between 25% and 28%

And use some of that to help pay for water and storm projects in cities like deeply conservative Lake Charles, which was battered by hurricanes just last year.

Louisiana is the latest stop on what the White House bills as the "Getting America Back on Track Tour" to promote Biden's $2.25 trillion infrastructure spending plan…

Biden's push to spend more federal money on schools, roads, job training and other public works, and tax the wealthiest Americans and companies to pay for it faces stiff opposition from Republican lawmakers.

"Not surprisingly, critics are worries I'm going to stunt economic growth by raising taxes on corporations and wealthy. There's just one problem with their argument. The facts. Experts have looked at it. The last time taxes were around the rates I'm proposing was in the 90s and the economy boomed."

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell predicted last week that Biden's infrastructure and jobs plan would not get support from Republican lawmakers and said he plans to fight Democrats quote "every step of the way."

The White House is betting trips like this will build public support for Biden and his spending proposals, even among Republican voters who backed former President Donald Trump, who continues to hold enormous sway over his party.

In the closely divided Senate, Biden would need every Democratic vote if no Republicans support the bill. In Lake Charles, Biden said he was meeting with Republicans in Congress to see "how much they're willing to go for" and "what compromises" they can offer.

"I'm ready to compromise… I'm not ready to have another period where America has another 'Infrastructure Month' and doesn't change a damn thing."