Joe Biden Says LaGuardia Airport Like a 'Third World Country'

Veep says infrastructure, not taxes, is the reason America is falling behind China

February 6, 2014

Vice President Joe Biden said if he blindfolded someone and took him or her to the LaGuardia airport that individual would think they were in a "third world country" Thursday in a speech.

Biden was comparing the Hong Kong and LaGuardia airports. The blindfolded person in Hong Kong, Biden said, would most likely think they were in America. The individual at LaGuardia, however, would most likely assume they were in a "third world country."  "I'm not joking!" Biden added with emphasis.

The vice president was trying to make the point that America's failing infrastructure is one reason we are economically lagging behind our eastern counterparts. "Why do businesses decide to locate in a certain geographic area, transportation. [...] Businesses go where they can get their product to market the cheapest and fastest way they can," he said.

The United States has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the developed world which results in companies stashing billions overseas. Hong Kong, by contrast, has a 16.5 percent corporate tax rate and overall is one of the most tax friendly environments in the world.

Oddly, that discrepancy did not find its way into Biden's remarks.

The Vice president expressed admiration for Hong Kong in a similar fashion last fall:

Published under: Hong Kong , Joe Biden