Press Release Budget Economic Crisis and Recovery United States

Public Investment and the Green New Deal Expands CEPR’s Federal Budget Activists’ Guide

February 03, 2021

Contact: Karen Conner, 202-281-4159Mail_Outline

Washington DC — As fiscal activism meets a new administration, the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) releases today the second of a three-part guide on how to optimize the use of public spending and taxation. 

How to Make Joe Biden’s Budget Better, Part II: Public Investment and the Green New Deal — Do Everything!, by CEPR senior research fellow Max B. Sawicky, addresses the longer-term needs of the nation. “An economic downturn is an ideal time to commence a prolonged period of new public investment,” said Sawicky.

Sawicky urges the expansion of the Green New Deal concept to include “…a New Deal that is Green” that prioritizes investments in shovel ready or other projects that provide a rapid injection of stimulus.

However, Part II of the guide makes clear that “…the expansion of US public investment will depend primarily on increased Federal aid to the states.”

“The bulk of resources for a US public investment boom in keeping with a Green New Deal, and for an expanded care infrastructure, must be provided to state and local governments,” explains Sawicky. He broadens assumed notions of infrastructure to include the care infrastructure, meaning services and capital projects for the care of those unable to care for themselves, including children, the elderly, the disabled, and others.

Sawicky outlines several different avenues the federal budget can use to increase aid at the state and local level, and discusses the bang-for-the-buck effects from bonds, taxes, and federal grants, like Medicaid extensions.

This three-part guide is written for advocates, decision-makers, and the interested public. Last month CEPR published Part I: Send Money Now! that focused on cash assistance to families and to state and local governments. The third part will discuss the roles that defense spending cuts and tax reform should play going forward. Taken together, the guide lays out guideposts mutually recognized by the diverse interests that are clamoring for action by the incoming administration.

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