Economists: Build Back Better Agenda Will Create Jobs; Lower Costs For Middle-class

Dear Majority Leader Schumer, Minority Leader McConnell, Speaker Pelosi, and Minority Leader McCarthy:

The success of the American Rescue Plan has demonstrated the efficacy of public investments, beginning to bring the U.S. economy back to its pre-pandemic strength. But we must now be more aggressive to ensure long-term economic growth and position America to lead the global economy. 

That’s why we support passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal — a $550 billion investment to rebuild America’s crumbling infrastructure — as well as the Build Back Better agenda — a $3.5 trillion investment in clean energy, caregiving, education, child care, and much more slated to be passed through the reconciliation process.  

These once-in-a-generation opportunities will create millions of jobs, lower costs for American families and lead to significant economic growth. Some analyses suggest that together, these two packages could, on average, add nearly 2 million jobs per year over the course of the decade, while accelerating America’s path to full employment and increasing labor force participation through expanded access to early childhood programs that allow more parents to return to work. In addition, the plans will reduce prescription drug costs and lower taxes for nearly 90% of families with children in the U.S. by expanding the Child Tax Credit. Finally, they will increase GDP and deliver much-needed long term growth for the American economy.

Importantly, both the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal and the Build Back Better agenda could ease some inflationary pressures by introducing significant supply-side measures into the economy and expanding labor force participation and production possibilities.

Here’s the bottom line: for decades, the United States has suffered from underinvestment in our communities, families, workers, and small businesses — weaknesses and inequities in the economy — especially in communities of color — that were made painfully clear during the COVID pandemic. Now is the time to address these issues by investing in America and Americans through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal and the Build Back Better agenda, which will create jobs, lower costs for middle-class families, and create long-term growth for our economy.

Signed, 

Austan Goolsbee, Former Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers

Kade Finnoff, Azim Premji University

David Weiman, Barnard College and Columbia University

Neva Goodwin, Boston University and Tufts University

Alan Aja, Brooklyn College

Nina Banks, Bucknell University

Andres Vinelli, Center for American Progress

Dean Baker, Center for Economic and Policy Research

Howard Chernick, City University of New York

Adam Tooze, Columbia University

Candace Howes, Connecticut College

Christopher Barrett, Cornell University

Erica Groshen, Cornell University

Charles Becker, Duke University

John Schmitt, Economic Policy Institute

Arnab Datta, Employ America

William Ferguson, Grinnell College

Rakeen Mabud, Groundwork Action

Claudia Sahm, Jain Family Institute

J.W. Mason, John Jay College

Thomas Masterson, Levy Economics Institute of Bard College

Julia Coronado, MacroPolicy Perspectives LLC

Anna Stansbury, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Linda Loubert, Morgan State University

Gernot Wagner, New York University

Barry Bluestone, Northeastern University

Gary Clayton, Northern Kentucky University

James Stewart, Pennsylvania State University

Justin Elardo, Portland Community College

Mike Konczal, Roosevelt Institute

Lauren Melodia, Roosevelt Institute

Rick McGahey, Schwartz Center, New School for Social Research

Ellen Mutari, Stockton University

Ranjit Dighe, SUNY Oswego

Michele Naples, The College of New Jersey

Teresa Ghilarducci, The New School for Social Research

Douglas Harris, Tulane University

Christian Proano, University of Bamberg

Ronald Lee, University of California-Berkeley

Michael Reich, University of California-Berkeley

François Geerolf, University of California-Los Angeles

Raul Hinojosa, University of California-Los Angeles

Chris Tilly, University of California-Los Angeles

Daphne Greenwood, University of Colorado-Colorado Springs

Farida Kahn, University of Colorado-Colorado Springs

Haider Kahn, University of Denver

Tracy Mott, University of Denver

Yavuz Yasar, University of Denver

Marcus Casey, University of Illinois at Chicago

James Ziliak, University of Kentucky

Randy Albelda, University of Massachusetts Boston

Nancy Folbre, University of Massachusetts-Amherst

J K Kapler, University of Massachusetts-Boston

Julie Nelson, University of Massachusetts-Boston

Samuel Stolper, University of Michigan

Thomas Weisskopf, University of Michigan

Warren Whatley, University of Michigan

Sheldon Danziger, University of Michigan

Aaron Sojourner, University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management

Doyne Farmer, University of Oxford

Nathaniel Cline, University of Redlands

Manuel Pastor, University of Southern California

Brianna Carmen, Voto Latino

Joyce Burnette, Wabash College

Arthur Goldsmith, Washington and Lee University

Kate Bahn, Washington Center for Equitable Growth

Peter Schaeffer-Dresler, West Virginia University

Emily Hoffman, Western Michigan university

John Watkins, Westminster College

John Miller, Wheaton College

Sarah Jacobson, Williams College