Congress Should Heed White House Call to Pay for Infrastructure
For Immediate Release
Today, the White House unveiled a $2 trillion infrastructure and investment “American Jobs Plan.” Below is a statement from Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget:
It is both notable and admirable that the Biden Administration supports fully paying for their infrastructure package. That is an important marker of fiscal responsibility – new initiatives, including temporary ones, should be fully offset. Considering the strong pace of vaccination, expectations of a robust economic recovery, and massive amounts of money still in the recovery pipeline, at this time there is no further justification for additional borrowing.
Congress should heed the President’s call to fully offset all new spending and tax cuts. If they do not like the specific proposals included in President Biden’s plan, they should offer alternative tax increases and/or spending cuts, or reduce the size of the package to what they are willing to pay for.
In light of a record high, growing, and unsustainable debt, this infrastructure spending package should be paid for over a shorter time period than the 15 years they propose. It is critical that new spending in the plan be credibly temporary, especially considering the unusually long window for offsets, and that dollars be spent effectively on true and worthwhile one-time investments.
Finally, the price tag on this plan is high. While the country is clearly in need of infrastructure investment, it is not at all clear that $2 trillion of spending is needed or justified. Congress should do the important work to build a package this is a reasonable cost, well targeted, economically justified, and free of political favoritism.
A well-designed and fully paid-for infrastructure package could help support strong economic growth. Policymakers must not turn this package into a political wish list, paid for by our grandchildren.
It is encouraging to see a policy proposal put forward along with a way to pay for it. If something is worth doing, it is worth paying for.
For more information, please contact Ben Tomchik, Deputy Chief of Staff, at firstname.lastname@example.org.