Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

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).

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

'Incredible': Omar and Khanna Staffers Join Levin's Office in Unionizing

"It is long past time the United States Congress became a unionized workplace, and that includes my own staff," said Rep. Ilhan Omar. "I am proud of all the people on my team who have played a leading role in the staff unionization effort. Solidarity forever."

Jessica Corbett ·

Destructive Hurricanes Fuel Calls for Biden to Declare Climate Emergency

"Mother Nature is not waiting for the president or Congress to declare a climate emergency. She's showing us in real-time here in the United States—with wildfires, floods, heatwaves, hurricanes, and drought."

Jessica Corbett ·

Spain Approves 'Solidarity' Tax to Make Nation's Top 0.1% Pay a Fairer Share

The country's finance minister said that looming changes are bound to make the tax code "more progressive, efficient, fair, and also enough to guarantee social justice and economic efficiency."

Kenny Stancil ·

'Time to Take to the Streets': Working Class Hold 'Enough Is Enough' Rallies Across UK

"Does a CEO need an extra zero at the end of their salary—or should nurses, posties, and teachers be able to heat their homes?" said one supporter ahead of the #EnoughIsEnough National Day of Action.

Julia Conley ·

Ukraine Responds to Putin Annexations With Fast-Track NATO Application

Lamenting the lack of any progress toward a diplomatic settlement, one anti-war campaigner asked: "Will the world stand idly by as we careen towards nuclear apocalypse?"

Jake Johnson ·

Common Dreams Logo