Peterson Statement on Biden Administration’s Proposals

Apr 28, 2021

NEW YORK — Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, commented today ahead of President Biden’s address to a joint session of Congress on the administration’s policy agenda. Peterson said:

“For the past year, we have rightly been focused on providing immediate support to address the devastating effects of COVID. We are not yet out of the woods, but as the pandemic recedes and the economy recovers, our nation can thankfully begin to transition to a post-COVID world.

“The Biden Administration has put forward thoughtful proposals aimed at creating jobs for working- and middle-class families, increasing our global competitiveness, and addressing important national priorities like infrastructure, climate change, and racial equity. The Administration deserves substantial credit for identifying ways to pay for these proposals.

“Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, as well as strong bipartisan majorities of American voters, hold deep concerns about our growing national debt. The fact that these new policies are paid for is a key strength of the proposal — and it’s critical that our elected leaders maintain this fiscally responsible approach moving forward.

“In the same way that our leaders are advocating for broad-based economic prosperity in the short term, we also must ensure an inclusive, fair, prosperous, and moral economic system over the longer term, for every American. Trying to tackle important long-term challenges — from the environment to equality to education — without securing our nation’s fiscal position only undermines our ability to actually achieve our goals.

“If the last year has taught us anything, it’s the vital importance of preparedness, health security, and the economic safety net in times of need. Essential programs like Medicare and Social Security are irreplaceable underpinnings of our society, but they remain at risk. Every lawmaker has a responsibility to secure these programs for the future, so they are strong and stable, especially for the most vulnerable. Building broad-based economic opportunity and security for the next generation must include managing our budget and finances in a sustainable way that enables the hopeful expectations that young people have for their future.

“The past year has shown us that unforeseen events can happen, and that financial strength and resources can be essential to recovering from them. As we emerge from this pandemic, we rightly are beginning to focus on broader goals and our collective future. Making responsible and future-oriented decisions about our fiscal outlook is a necessary element of positioning America for its next chapter.”

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