Joe Mansions, Stephanie Kelton, Stony Brook University discussed on The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell
Tra- standards over here saying at msnbc. This is what we do and this is where we are today now. nine house. Democrats sent a letter to speaker. Nancy pelosi saying quote. We will not consider voting for the budget resolution until the bipartisan infrastructure. Investment and jobs act passes the house and his signed into law end quote. The moderate democrats are reportedly concerned about the so-called price tag that three and a half trillion dollar reconciliation bill which includes childcare universal. Pre-k free community. College paid leave. Medical leave healthcare expansion glasses. Dental things like that senator. Joe manchin raised the same concerns earlier this week. Quote millions of jobs remain unfilled across the country and rising inflation rates are now an unavoidable tax on the wages and income of every american these are not indications of an economy that requires trillions in additional spending given the current state of the economic recovery. It is simply irresponsible to continue spending at levels more suited to respond to a great depression or great recession not an economy that is on the verge of overheating so joe mansions worried about the cost but there's another much higher cost that he should be much more worried about or at least acknowledging in his calculation. Stephanie kelton is a professor of economics and public policy at stony brook university. She's the author of the deficit. Myth seventy good to see you again. Joe mentioned and others are missing a very big point that this is not spending for the sake of stimulating. The economy spending it spending on things. We should actually spend so when you when you built the the highway system. In america the purpose of that was not stimulating. The economy it was to build a highway system so that people can get around the things that this reconciliation. Bill is going to address like eyeglasses and dental care for people who don't have it like the cost of college tuition. it's the same thing stimulating the economy. I agree with you completely. I don't think we should be thinking about the proposed three and a half trillion dollar package as economic stimulus. That's not what it's about it at all as you say it's about president was referring to it early on his part of the bill. Back better agenda. This was an agenda aimed at making some really big and strategic investments in things like healthcare in education in elder care in infrastructure and a broad range of things that you just mentioned so. I think you're exactly right. This isn't about Stepping on the gas pedal and trying to juice the economy. This is about taking aim at many of the real deficits you know the deferred maintenance that things that we've long ignored in our economy and attempting to make some investments that boost economic well-being. So there's there's always this selective concern about deficit and debt. No republicans had it in two thousand seventeen when we had massive tax cuts that were supposed to result in everybody getting four thousand dollars extra whatever the case is but there. There's a disregard for the millions of hungry children in this country. The millions of people who can't afford a college education the millions of people can't get their healthcare the way they need to end the long-term economic costs of that. That's generational that sticks around for decades if you fail people on that front if you if you we've seen it with the child tax credit you give people a little bit of money upfront. Who actually need the money and it immediately betters their circumstance circumstance and therefore enriches the economy. I mean that's a perfect example. Because this is a single provision in a piece of legislation that congress passed this march and just that single provision the expansion of the child tax credit is going to lift almost half of all the kids who were living in poverty in this country out of poverty. The problem is it's it was a temporary move and what this next piece of legislation in the three and a half trillion. That's being proposed. There is an effort to make that more permanent to extend it up to five years. And so you know you. You look at an accomplishment like that said we just pulled almost half of all the kids living in this country out of poverty. Why on earth would we let them slide back yet. We've demonstrated how easy it was to pull half of them out. Why don't we turn our attention to the and it was pretty cheap. Compared to a whole bunch of other things we do pretty cheap. I guess my question is the inflation. Cudgel is back and and people often use it with respect to if we have too much debt. The money will be worthless and we'll have inflation. The inflation that we're seeing today is real. Gas prices are up fifty percent off from where they were last year. None of which has that anything to do with debt or or deficits. Yes absolutely right. I mean what we're experiencing our what. I've been calling growing pains. We have just been through. And let's be real. We're still going through it right. This virus is not done with us and so we have an economy. And i'm telling you about a global economy that has experienced in different parts of the world at different times. Waves of the corona virus that have led to shutdowns lockdowns partial shutdowns disruptions in the supply chain and the ability to produce manufacturing ship goods and services. And i think we have actually held up remarkably well in light of all that we've been through yes. Inflation is running hot. it's moderating and i think we're starting to make the adjustments that are necessary to bring the economy fully back online and to bring inflation back down to more normal levels and we're seeing it already begin to happen. I think we're getting there. And i think you're right where we're starting to see some republicans many republicans. And maybe some democrats get skittish in light of recent inflationary pressures but you gotta keep in mind that so much of what is in. This proposed three point five. Trillion dollar spending package actually helps mitigate inflationary pressures. There's money there to build more semiconductors. There's money there to help with childcare. So people can enter the labor market again. You know what i'm saying is that you can actually spend money and reduce inflationary pressures. We shouldn't be thinking of all spending as something that necessarily pushes prices higher lot of what we're proposing here. Or what's being proposed actually has the potential to build our economic capacity increase productivity help reduce inflationary pressures but we have this built-in reaction that when you give poor low wealth people anything it's a giveaway that The rest of us and our grandchildren are going to be paying for stuff and he good to see you again. Thank you for joining.