What Rubin, Stiglitz, and Wong Agree on
June 25, 2021
Beyond the Bipartisan Compromise
This week’s preliminary infrastructure agreement between White House negotiators and a bipartisan group of senators would amount to $1.2 trillion, with $579 billion in new spending over eight years.
That falls far short of the $4 trillion in President Biden’s American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan proposals, most of which lawmakers are now likely to pursue through budget reconciliation—and which former US Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, Roosevelt Chief Economist Joseph Stiglitz, and Roosevelt President and CEO Felicia Wong agree are urgently needed.
“We are not generally regarded as occupying the same position within economic policy debates. We have had divergent views on issues relating to spending, taxes, and deficits,” they write in The Hill.
“But we’ve come to the same conclusion: President Biden’s economic agenda would make long-overdue investments in our nation’s future, and the revenue measures that would fund those investments are sound, progressive, and efficient. Over the long term, we believe it would be highly detrimental to our economy not to pass the Biden plan.”
As Wong tweeted yesterday, “bottom line: we need at least the full $4T package, including climate & care, as investments in our nation’s future.”
Abolish the Filibuster
This week’s blockage of the For the People Act is a potent reminder: The filibuster has to go.
“Our multiracial democracy is under attack. The rollback of voting rights and use of the filibuster to block the For the People Act is a direct response to our communities building power,” said Roosevelt’s Kyle Strickland. “We need leaders who will act, and not hide behind a made-up procedural tool at the expense of our democracy.”
As Roosevelt’s Rhiana Gunn-Wright explained in a New York Times panel discussion with Ezra Klein, the filibuster also hinders the scale and structure of action necessary to combat the climate crisis effectively and equitably.