Amid COVID-19 and the financial consequences of the pandemic, a top United States economic adviser recently stated that there is still “a long way to go” in America’s economic recovery (Fox News).
In a Sunday Fox News interview, National Economic Council Director Brian Deese spoke with Chris Wallace about the March jobs report and what to expect in the coming months. In the month of March prior to the $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill and an increase in vaccinations, 916,000 jobs were added and the unemployment rate fell to 6%. Deese called the March jobs number “certainly a welcome sign. It’s good to see the economy starting to improve, and we certainly think it’s a sign that the economic and vaccination strategy that this administration has put into place from day one is starting to have an impact, but we have a long way to go.”
The jobs report was positive, Deese said, but more changes can still be made. Currently, the United States is down 8.4 million jobs when compared to numbers from a year ago, millions of Americans are out of work, and more than 2 million women have left the workforce when deciding between working and caring for family members. The plan in place is to keep the economy going, see more and more job creation, and put into greater consideration long-term investments. Investments in infrastructure and research and development will drive prosperous, long-term job growth “in a way that we haven’t since the 1960s.” This, Deese said, will create a rebound in the economy that can be sustained for many coming years.
An example of the investment plans Deese mentioned is President Biden’s recently proposed $2 trillion infrastructure spending package. According to CNBC, “The plan Biden outlined Wednesday includes roughly $2 trillion in spending over eight years and would raise the corporate tax rate to 28% to fund it.” The current corporate tax rate is the third largest source of federal revenue, although it is smaller than the individual income tax and payroll taxes. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 signed into law by President Donald Trump amended the Internal Revenue Act of 1986 (which lowered the top tax rate for ordinary income from 50% to 28% according to Tax Policy Center) by lowering the top corporate income tax rate to 21% (Tax Policy Center Briefing Book). President Biden’s plan would “stop offshoring of profits” in addition to raising the corporate tax to complete funding of the infrastructure plan within fifteen years. Political figures have voiced their opinions on the proposed plan.
Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14) stated via Twitter on Tuesday, “This is not nearly enough. The important context here is that it’s $2.25T spread out over 10 years. For context, the COVID package was $1.9T for this year alone, with some provisions lasting 2 years. Needs to be way bigger” (Business Insider). In contrast, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) stated, “This plan is not about rebuilding America’s backbone. Less than 6% of this massive proposal goes to roads and bridges… It would spend more money just on electric cars than on America’s roads, bridges, ports, airports, and waterways combined” (Fox News).
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