PRESS RELEASE: SENATORS, ECONOMISTS: “NO ECONOMIC EVIDENCE” TO SUPPORT REPUBLICAN ATTACKS ON BUILD BACK BETTER AGENDA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 28, 2021

Contact: 
Maddy McDaniel, Communications Director

[email protected] or 914-471-7716

SENATORS, ECONOMISTS: “NO ECONOMIC EVIDENCE” TO SUPPORT REPUBLICAN ATTACKS ON BUILD BACK BETTER AGENDA

Sen. Van Hollen: “Predictably, we’re now hearing Republicans try to scare the public about the Build Back Better agenda, including waving around the risk of inflation. We cannot allow that fear-mongering to slow down or stop our efforts to take the next steps.”

Sen. Casey: “If we’re going to be the greatest country in the world, we have to have the best caregiving in the world and invest in those who need these services.”

Nobel laureate Professor Joseph Stiglitz: “If you look at these bills…there is no conceivable way that they would have any significant inflationary effect on the economy. Indeed, because of supply side effects, the bills would actually ease inflationary pressures.”

Former CEA Chair Dr. Laura Tyson: “Republican opponents of the bill are using concerns over inflation to posture themselves, but there is no economic evidence that says inflation should be a serious concern.”

AFL-CIO Chief Economist Dr. Bill Spriggs: “We’re going to beat inflation by expanding labor force participation and expanding production possibilities.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Biden’s proposed Build Back Better agenda is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make long overdue investments in clean energy, caregiving, education, school construction, and much more. The plan will create millions of jobs, reduce costs for families, and lower taxes on working and middle-class Americans.

But Senate Republicans have already chosen a line of attack to oppose the Build Back Better agenda, claiming that it will hurt our economy and increase inflation. These attacks are unfounded. Not only will the investments in the Build Back Better agenda create millions of good-paying jobs, they will “lift the economy’s longer-term growth potential and ease inflation pressures,” according to a report released last week from Moody’s chief economist Mark Zandi.

Yesterday, Sen. Chris Van Hollen, Sen. Bob Casey, Nobel laureate Professor Joseph Stiglitz, former chair of the Council of Economic Advisers Dr. Laura Tyson, and AFL-CIO Chief Economist Dr. William Spriggs made the following statements at a press call hosted by Invest in America Action:

“Predictably, we’re now hearing Republicans try to scare the public about the Build Back Better agenda, including waving around the risk of inflation. We cannot allow that fear-mongering to slow down or stop our efforts to take the next steps of the Build Back Better agenda,” said Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD). “The report published last week from Moody’s Chief Economist Mark Zandi indicated that our plan will increase GDP by $4.5 trillion over the next ten years, create 2 million jobs per year, and ease the risk of inflation. And very importantly, it’s paid for through tax reform — closing down tax loopholes on corporations that park their profits overseas. As all signs indicate, it’s the kind of investment that we need in our infrastructure and our people.”

“We have a major opportunity to make a transformative investment — and that’s a wild understatement — by making sure that we invest in older Americans, people with disabilities, family caregivers, and the workforce,” said Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA). “Every politician in Washington says they care about seniors. We all say we care about people with disabilities. We all say we care about children. But we haven’t done nearly enough — neither party — to make the investments in those Americans over a long period of time. This is a great American idea whose time has come: if we’re going to be the greatest country in the world, we have to have the best caregiving in the world and invest in those who need these services.”

“We are facing three crises: a climate crisis, an inequality crisis, and a health crisis. These bills will make a big dent in addressing all three of those crises,” said Nobel laureate, Professor Joseph Stiglitz. U.S. labor force participation ranks at the bottom of large, developed countries, he said, and it will continue its downward trajectory “if we don’t have the important care parts of the Build Back Better agenda. If you look at these bills, the impact on our deficit is actually miniscule. They are almost entirely paid for, and if they are passed as proposed, there is no conceivable way that they would have any significant inflationary effect on the economy. Indeed, because of supply side effects, the bills would actually ease inflationary pressures, as Moody’s has noted.”

“The inflation concerns are just misplaced — we have a lot of slack in the economy, measured by labor force participation rates, employment population rates, and broader measures of the unemployment rate,” said Dr. Laura Tyson, former Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers. “Republican opponents of the bill are using concerns over inflation to posture themselves, but there is no economic evidence that says inflation should be a serious concern. One way to see that is to look at expected rates of inflation — those are quite stable — indicating the markets understand the current uptick in inflation is temporary.”

“We must remember that this century is built on a massive investment by a Republican administration both to build out a state highway system and to create the means by which students would have better and more affordable access to college. That gave us the engineers and wherewithal to launch this century of technology. We have not made a similar commitment to invest in America or Americans in this new technological age,” said Dr. William Spriggs, Chief Economist for the AFL-CIO. “We’re going to beat inflation by expanding labor force participation and expanding production possibilities. Going forward, the rest of the 21st century has to be built on 4 million more jobs that fully utilize the skills and talents of all Americans in high-productivity jobs with the right bargain. That will take this investment, that will take an eye on equity, and that will take political leadership.”

About Invest in America

Invest In America is a national rapid response operation advocating for robust public investment to rescue the economy from the COVID crisis and create prosperity for the future, and to fight back against fear-mongers who use deficit concerns as a scapegoat to starve American communities and businesses of resources.

The operation consists of two components: Invest in America, the charitable and public education arm, which is a fiscally sponsored project of Economic Security Project funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and Economic Security Project co-chair Chris Hughes; and Invest in America Action, the advocacy and social welfare arm, which is a fiscally sponsored project of Economic Security Project Action funded by Chris Hughes and the Omidyar Network.