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Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) speaks during a news conference with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) to announce legislation that would tax the net worth of America's wealthiest individuals at the U.S. Capitol on March 01, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) speaks during a news conference with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) to announce legislation that would tax the net worth of America's wealthiest individuals at the U.S. Capitol on March 01, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Progressives Urge Biden to Go Bigger, Bolder, Faster in Spending and Tax Plans

Leading research and movement organizations and progressive Democrats call for rapid passage of legislation to transform the economy.

The Biden administration has crafted two major legislative packages aimed at making our economy more equitable, sustainable, caring, and better prepared for future crises.

Last month, the president unveiled his American Jobs Plan, which requests about $2.3 trillion over eight years to modernize the nation’s infrastructure, with most of the costs to be covered by a corporate tax rate increase.

The job for progressives is to demand solutions that truly solve the staggering challenges of our time and that leave no one behind.

On April 28, Biden will unveil an American Families Plan, which is expected to include proposals for national child care, pre-K, paid family leave, and tuition-free community college, as well as an extension of the expanded Child Tax Credit.

The approximately $1.8 trillion proposal would be at least partially funded by a set of taxes on the wealthy, including a significant increase in the capital gains rate for individuals earning more than $1 million per year. Biden has also vowed to beef up IRS enforcement of wealthy tax evaders.

Most leading progressives have welcomed Biden’s twin proposals while urging the administration and Congress to go further to meet the magnitude of the current moment.

The Institute for Policy Studies, the Economic Policy Institute, and the Progressive Change Action Fund issued a statement last week calling the Biden proposals “necessary but insufficient in scale and scope.”

More than 80 organizations, including labor, racial justice, consumer, fair tax, Wall Street reform, and other movement organizations endorsed the statement.

These progressive organizations said Biden’s economic plan “must be scaled up,” noting that it “falls short of the $7 trillion President Biden proposed on the campaign trail and well short of the at least $10 trillion over 10 years (3 percent of GDP annually) suggested by many advocates and experts to meet the extent of our country’s needs.”

The statement also urged the administration to go big in his American Families Plan to include “much-needed provisions on paid leave, child care, housing, drug pricing, Medicare expansion, higher education, immigration, unemployment insurance, poverty-reducing tax credits, and taxes on the wealthy — changes that would lead to greater economic security and opportunity for everyone.”

The fight over the size and scope of the legislation is already heating up in Congress.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.

John Cavanagh

John Cavanagh is director of the Washington-based Institute for Policy Studies, and co-author of The Water Defenders: How Ordinary People Saved a Country from Corporate Greed (Beacon Press, 2021).

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