The Biden Budget
April 1, 2022
Critical building blocks, flawed framing.
The Roosevelt Rundown features our top stories of the week.
A Better Economic Story
The White House’s newly released budget proposal for FY 2023 has a lot to commend.
Major investments in education, public health, and housing, among other long-underfunded areas.
Significant stock buyback restrictions, “critical building blocks to steer the economy toward prioritizing what really matters,” as Roosevelt’s Niko Lusiani said in a statement.
And a billionaire minimum income tax that would have represented a leap forward in progressive taxation (though defeat is all but assured after Sen. Joe Manchin’s latest position).
But what the White House got wrong: emphasizing deficit reduction in its rollout and reinforcing falsehoods that have inflicted job loss and economic harm in past recoveries.
“The flawed logic of ‘fiscal responsibility = reduced deficits’ is what led deficit hawks—including leading Democrats—to hamper our recovery from the Great Recession,” Roosevelt President and CEO Felicia Wong tweeted.
“It doesn’t speak to voters’ concerns about jobs, the economy, and the high cost of living. And it comes at the expense of many far more effective ways to tell the story of today’s economy,” she wrote.
“A better story: emphasize public investment for jobs—good jobs numbers today, again.”
The Jobs Momentum Continues
The economy added 431,000 jobs in March, and has regained 93 percent of the jobs that were lost at the start of the pandemic two years ago.
As Roosevelt’s Aaron Sojourner notes, the “[e]conomy added 6.494 million jobs over 12 months to Mar 2022. Recent over-the-year growth has been about twice as fast as during the post-Great Recession expansion.”
But more work remains. “Now is the time government should be doing all they can to get all workers over the recovery finish line, esp as the Black-white employment gap remains large,” said our partner, Community Change co-president Dorian Warren.
What We’re Reading
The Climate Left Has a Tough New Pledge for Democrats [feat. Roosevelt’s Adrien Salazar] – New Republic
Big Banks Promised Climate Action. So Where Is It? – Mother Jones
“Their Inflation Strategy Is Working”: Corporate Profits Soared to Record High in 2021 [feat. Roosevelt Fellow Lindsay Owens] – Common Dreams
How the Student Debt Crisis Hurts Women – The Nation