ICYMI: Insider: 61 economists including a Nobel winner call on Congress to pass Biden’s social spending framework
October 28, 2021
|Key Point: “The $1.75 trillion Build Back Better plan can ‘counteract decades of underinvestment’ and supercharge the pandemic recovery, a group of 61 economists said in a Thursday letter. Signatories include Nobel laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz.”|
Insider: 61 economists including a Nobel winner call on Congress to pass Biden’s social spending framework
By Juliana Kaplan and Ben Winck
October 28, 2021
The $1.75 trillion Build Back Better plan can “counteract decades of underinvestment” and supercharge the pandemic recovery, a group of 61 economists said in a Thursday letter. Signatories include Nobel laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz.
President Joe Biden rolled out the latest framework for his social-spending plan Thursday morning, pushing Democrats to approve the package ahead of an October 31 deadline. Pushback from centrist Democrats forced Biden to halve the measure’s initial price tag over weeks of negotiation, with many progressive priorities left on the chopping block. One notable omission is paid family and medical leave.
Yet the framework — which is set to be fully paid for by new taxes — still includes programs that would massively bulk up the country’s social safety net. Those include universal preschool, affordable childcare, greater insurance access, a Medicare expansion to cover hearing aids, and a lengthened child tax credit. The framework’s largest investment comes in the form of combating the climate crisis, with $550 billion allocated toward a suite of initiatives that range from creating a Civilian Climate Corps to rebates for families adopting clean-energy infrastructure.
Provisions left in the bill would serve as “long-neglected key economic investments,” the economists said in the letter organized by advocacy group Invest in America Action. By spending billions of dollars on child care, clean energy, health care, and education, Congress can “help position the US to meet the enormous challenges of the 21st century, including a changing economy and a growing climate crisis,” they added.