Peterson Foundation Statement on Build Back Better Framework

Oct 28, 2021

NEW YORK — Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, commented today following the release of a new framework for the administration’s “Build Back Better” agenda, outlining spending and revenue provisions. Peterson said:

“It’s a positive step that lawmakers have identified specific ways to pay for this significant new spending.

“At the same time, many of the policies are funded only temporarily, with artificial sunsets that conceal a program’s true potential cost. Timing gimmicks not only game the budget, but can be highly disruptive to our economy and society because of the year-to-year uncertainty they present for millions of Americans. Short-term policy does not effectively solve long-term problems, and it’s an unfortunate punt to future lawmakers that adds significant risk to our budget. If a program is worth enacting, it is worth paying for in a fiscally sound and sustainable manner.

“Beyond these current bills, it’s critical to remember that we already have a significant existing fiscal imbalance in America. Our leaders should consider very carefully whether they want to enact a range of large, temporarily funded new programs when vital programs like Social Security and Medicare are already on an unsustainable path. How much does it help Americans, especially our most vulnerable, if we fund new initiatives temporarily but allow our existing essential safety net to remain at risk?

“Responsible policymaking means both meeting today’s needs and planning for the future. Doing so will effectively address near-term challenges in a sustainable way, while also securing our long-term fiscal future so the next generation can confront the challenges of tomorrow.”

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