White House national economic director Brian Deese on Sunday touted the Democrats’ $1.75 trillion social spending and climate package as the solution to reducing inflation, saying services like universal preschool and affordable housing will get more people to participate in the economy and reduce price pressures.
During appearances on CNN’s “State of the Union” and ABC News’ “This Week,” Deese said he’s “confident” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., will bring President Biden’s Build Back Better Act for a vote this week and that it will advance to the Senate.
“We want to improve the productive capacity of our economy, which will actually reduce price pressures,” Deese told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. “We want to get more people to work, which will actually reduce price pressures. The provisions in this bill have strong support of independent experts.
“You look at something like universal preschool, you know, George, economists for decades have been saying there’s probably no single investment that could do more to improve the productive capacity of our workforce than investing in universal preschool. This bill would do that,” he continued.
“By providing affordable child care, affordable elder care, we’re going to help get those people back into the workforce, which will reduce price pressures while also reducing the practical costs that Americans face,” he added. “That’s the case we’re going to make and that’s the case why delivering right now for the American people is the right thing to do.”
Deese also said the bill is “fully paid for” by raising taxes on big corporations and the wealthiest Americans, though the Congressional Budget Office has yet to release its scoring of the bill’s budgetary impact. A report is expected in the coming weeks, but Deese said he’s confident the tab will ultimately be zero.
“We’re confident this bill, as it moves through the process, is going to be fully paid for,” he said. “And not only that, it’s actually going to reduce deficits over the long term.”
On CNN, host Jake Tapper asked Deese to respond to comments by former Clinton Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, who said Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan that was passed in March has been a major reason behind the rise of inflation.
“Well, no, that’s not our perspective,” Deese responded. “The American Rescue Plan saved us from an acute economic emergency.”
Deese also predicted, citing “lots of independent experts,” that inflation will begin to moderate next year.