Fighting for a U.S. federal budget that prioritizes peace, economic security and shared prosperity
Is President Biden’s $2.3 trillion jobs plan too big? Conservatives are arguing that the package is too expensive and its broad reach is unnecessary.
In order to assess the size and necessity of the bill, it’s important to situate Biden’s jobs plan within a larger federal budget context. Looking at the spending patterns going back decades, the upshot is that the Biden plan is really not all that big, especially given how overdue it is. In fact, progressives have argued that the package, while ambitious in its aims, doesn’t provide enough resources. The plan as proposed is less ambitiousthan Biden’s campaign proposals, and it already enjoys widespread popularity. There’s plenty of room to make this bill larger, and to make that easier by cutting some of the most egregious uses of federal dollars.
$2.3 trillion sounds like a lot, and it is. But trillions have been spent and are still spent every year in the course of normal government business, on everything from wars and weapons to much-needed but exclusionary social programs like the GI Bill, to tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy. To reach the level of spending that is really needed to solve problems like climate change and inequality, it will be necessary to be as bold with this jobs package as the country has been with so many other costly endeavors.