Although the plan requires difficult choices, it will ensure a vibrant economy and fiscal stability, now and in the future.
ECONOMIC POLICY INSTITUTE
John Irons, research and policy director
Recognizing that our nation faces an ongoing economic crisis, with unemployment near 9 percent and widespread economic insecurity, we believe a comprehensive approach to America’s future must focus on immediate job creation while achieving a sustainable debt path. Economists know that public investment in human and physical capital promotes long-run economic growth.
Our budget proposal finances front-loaded but sustained investments to create badly needed jobs in the near term while also pursuing a stronger economic future. Over the next decade, we would add $2.5 trillion worth of public investments in high-return areas that promote economic growth and prosperity, including education, infrastructure and basic research. We set aside about $100 billion over 10 years to fund health investment technology improvements and effectiveness research to help lower health-care costs and improve outcomes. These increases would start immediately with a $450 billion booster shot for the economy over the next two years. These kinds of investments will create jobs now across the economy, while yielding high returns for years.
Fiscal responsibility does not require immediate spending cuts or an abandonment of efforts to strengthen the recovery. In fact, a weak economy remains the biggest threat to the fiscal health of the country.
Our budget protects the middle class; modernizes the tax code (by targeting revenue increases at high-income individuals and limiting the value of tax expenditures); and strengthens health, income and retirement security. We also suggest following bipartisan recommendations from the Sustainable Defense Task Force to limit defense spending. With all this, our plan reaches primary budget balance in 2017 — after the economy has recovered — and stabilizes debt at safe levels (around 80 percent of the economy) over the next 25 years.
Zachary Kolodin, Roosevelt Institute Campus Network
Our plan reflects the views of a cross-section of some 3,000 millennials. It was created democratically, through our network’s model of student engagement, and is the only citizen-produced deficit reduction plan. We address the causes, not just the symptoms, of the federal debt and strengthen the social safety net by making it more responsive to crisis and recession through automatic stimulus and stronger worker retraining programs. Furthermore, we propose essential investments in education, health care, infrastructure and green energy to ensure a robust economy while reducing the federal debt to a sustainable level.