Spending versus Investments, the Great Debate

We’re finally reaching the point where real economic change is on the horizon through the upcoming infrastructure and reconciliation bills. During this time it can be hard to clearly see progress with all the confusion and noise of Washington. Debates about government spending have often been dominated by concerns from conservatives and moderate politicians. Even still, we have to remember that making investments that will help our citizens is good and that taxing the rich is the best thing we can do to secure our country’s future.

While there are many who oppose these bills, mostly due to the spending associated with them, it is long past due that we make the desperately needed investments in public services and social programs. Roads and bridges, education, housing, healthcare, and jobs are only a segment of our current infrastructure that is so insufficient, it’s unable to support our society. We must make the sacrifices needed to fix these shortcomings, while also ensuring we create an environment that allows our economy to thrive.

In this week’s Roundup, we’ll look at reasons why the upcoming economic improvements, as well as the investments in our country, are great and why now is the right time to tax the rich.

Something I’ve Always Wanted To Do by Stephanie Kelton

Most Americans think about the national debt similarly to how they think about their own debt- as something that can cause massive problems if we take on large amounts. But the debt of a nation that not only creates its own currency but also has the largest economy in the world doesn’t function the same as personal or business debt would. Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) describes a method of resourcing the investments we need in our society, whether it be healthcare, infrastructure, education, or other, as well as a way to control inflation. It’s irresponsible to treat a nation’s deficit the same way we would the deficit of an individual, household, or business.

Opinion | Don’t Let Inflation Anxiety Undermine Our Future by Paul Krugman

With the new infrastructure bill approaching, conservatives and moderate liberals are back to their usual song and dance of fussing over inflation. Will the spending allocated for this new bill, which includes investments for traditional infrastructure and provisions for housing, education, and jobs, really threaten to cripple or even collapse the largest economy in the world? The answer is a resounding no. With the nearly $3.5 billion in spending spread out over the next 10 years, only a portion of that will be money derived from new sources. Not only that, but the total amount that is predicted to be invested is only about 1% of the US’s GDP. We cannot forget that this is an investment in our nation and our people, one that we will surely see a return on in the future.

Elon Musk’s tiny home won’t help save the world. Paying more taxes would by Arwa Mahdawi

Elon Musk is once again being lauded by his fans for doing less than the bare minimum. The second richest man in the world has made his primary residence a “tiny house” that he rents from his company, Space-X. While his supporters argue the multi-billionaire’s model of meekness and humility are world-changing, if he, and other billionaires, just paid their fair share in taxes we could provide desperately needed funding for public services and social programs that ACTUALLY create meaningful change in the world. Elon Musk, would you please just do the bare minimum?

Ron Johnson Does the Bidding of the Ultra-Rich by John Nichols

As a follow-up on last week’s damning article by ProPublica, a deeper dive into Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson’s history at Capitol Hill has been needed. The senator kept a low profile and an unimposing reputation before Trump’s presidency, after which his interactions with past and potential donors became more unprincipled. This all came to a head just before the Trump tax cuts for the rich went up for vote. Johnson demanded that the deal be sweetened by including additional provisions to put more money in the pockets of his donors. This is just one egregious example of the corruption that our political system is steeped in as a result of giving the ultra-wealthy special treatment over the average American voter.

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