OP-ED: “EXPLAINING THE BUILD BACK BETTER PLAN FRAMEWORK”
Joe Biden believes to his core that there’s no greater economic engine in the world than the hard work and ingenuity of the American people. But for too long, the economy has worked great for those at the top, while working families get squeezed. President Biden promised to rebuild the backbone of the country – the middle class – so that this time everyone comes along. The Build Back Better framework does just that.
The Build Back Better framework will level the playing field and make corporations and the wealthiest pay their fair share, so that middle class families can finally get some breathing room. It is a transformative investment in climate, care, and kids that will lower the costs of things families depend on, help people get back to work, and grow the economy.
President Biden campaigned on a promise to forge consensus and make government work for working people again. Today, he is delivering on that promise. President Biden heard input from all sides and announced a Build Back Better framework he is confident will pass through Congress and be signed into law, delivering generational investments in the economy for working people.
This framework will be the most transformative investment in children and caregiving in generations – transforming the lives of millions of children, saving parents thousands of dollars, and adding two years of free, universal schooling to our education system for the first time in over 100 years. It will be the largest effort to combat climate change in history. It will cut taxes for tens of millions of middle class families. It is the biggest expansion of affordable health care in a decade. As the President said, it’s a big darn deal.
Children & Caregiving: Preschool, child care and care for older loved ones is prohibitively expensive for middle class families. Build Back Better will deliver two years of free preschool for more than 6 million children – which costs an average of $8600 per year – and increase the quality of preschool for many more children already enrolled. Research shows that every $1 invested in high-quality early childhood care and education can yield $3 to $7 over the long-run, in the form of improved health and education outcomes, increase likelihood of being employed, and higher earnings in adulthood. The last time America added years of free schooling was more than 100 years ago. This is an investment in our kids and in our competitiveness. Build Back Better will ensure that no middle-income family pays more than 7% of their income on child care and will help states expand access to high-quality, affordable child care to about 20 million children per year. The framework also delivers affordable, high-quality care for older Americans and people with disabilities in their homes, while supporting the workers who provide this care. And, Build Back Better will give 35 million families a major tax cut by extending the expanded Child Tax Credit. This is a historic proposal that will save middle class families and enable families to work and succeed in the economy.
Climate: Scientists have been warning us for years that extreme weather is going to get more extreme. We’re living it in real time now. Extreme weather cost America $99 billion last year. Build Back Better will cut greenhouse gas emissions by well over one gigaton in 2030, reduce consumer energy costs, give our kids cleaner air and water, create hundreds of thousands of high-quality jobs, and advance environmental justice by investing in a 21st century clean energy economy – from buildings, transportation, industry, electricity, and agriculture to climate smart practices in our lands and waters. The framework expands access to rooftop solar and home electrification, cutting the cost of installing solar for a home by around 30% and shortening the payback period for a family by around 5 years. And, BBB will create manufacturing credits for solar and on shore and off shore wind, creating millions of good-paying jobs building clean energy technology. These investments will ensure that we can meet our goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions between 50 and 52 percent below 2005 levels by the year 2030.
Health Care: Before the American Rescue Plan, even people with health insurance struggled to pay their premiums. About 30 million people were uninsured in 2019 before President Biden took office, and coverage under the ACA (even with the premium subsidies) was too expensive for many families. The President believes no one should lie in bed wondering “what will I do if she gets cancer” or “will I go bankrupt.” Build Back Better will reduce premiums for more than 9 million Americans by extending the expanded Premium Tax Credit, deliver health care coverage to up to 4 million uninsured people in states that have locked them out of Medicaid, and help older Americans access affordable hearing care by expanding Medicare.
Build Back Better will improve our immigration system consistent with the Senate’s reconciliation rules.
And, the framework will reduce the deficit. Build Back Better is paid for by rewarding work, not wealth – and ensuring that the super-wealthy and corporations pay their fair share and can’t cheat on their tax bills. No one making less than $400,000 will have their taxes raised
Along with the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal, which makes historic investments in equity and in tackling the climate crisis, Build Back Better will create millions of good-paying jobs, ensure that American workers, businesses, and farmers can compete and win in the 21st century, and save middle class families money. President Biden’s agenda will grow the economy so that everyone gets ahead.
American Samoa has already seen firsthand the many blessings made available through President Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and the rest of the Biden Administration and Democrats Build Back Better agenda will continue upon that progress by providing a once-in-a-generation investment for families of American Samoa.