Two speeches, exactly 40 years apart, reveal clashing philosophies. And clashing realities Given the message of Joe Biden’s first presidential speech to the U.S. Congress, he could hardly have chosen a more symbolically fitting date to deliver it. April 28. On the exact same date, 40 years ago, another first-year president strode into that chamber under heavy applause on a mission to chop: to cut back government and taxes. Ronald Reagan had just survived an assassination attempt and at a moment of towering personal popularity successfully persuaded Congress to slash taxes and welfare. Biden’s program would slam the door on that era. The new president’s speech promised more: More taxes on the wealthy, more taxes on corporations, and more social spending.