Even in a presidential election year, government has still got to govern. So it was refreshing this week to see the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) release a budget blueprint that prioritizes everyday Americans by stressing the importance of infrastructure and good-paying jobs.
The People’s Budget, as CPC calls it, invests $1 trillion to transition to a more modern infrastructure, which ensures our roads, bridges, railways and facilities are strong. In addition, it supports wage increases for working Americans, negotiating rights and fair pay – with a goal of reducing poverty by half in the next decade.
“The Progressive Caucus Budget rebuilds our crumbling roads and bridges, creates good paying jobs, and increases educational opportunities from pre-kindergarten to college,” said Rep. Mark Pocan of Wisconsin, a CPC member. “Our budget invests in the American people and gives working families the best opportunity to get ahead.”
These are many of the same goals the Teamsters trumpeted when it released its “Let’s Get America Working” platform last year. They are essential to creating a 21st century workforce that can earn sustainable wages that support U.S. families and build the nation’s economy.
Others also support such a movement. The Economic Policy Institute (EPI), for instance, endorsed much of CPC’s budget proposal, saying it would quicken the pace of U.S. economic and employment growth. It estimated gross domestic product would grow by three percent and employment by 3.6 million jobs in the short term if the budget was enacted.
“The big boost to public investment that the People’s Budget provides will help address two of the most glaring problems in the American economy today: a still-incomplete economic recovery and decelerating productivity growth,” said Hunter Blair, EPI’s budget analyst. “Further, the budget’s target of genuine full employment is essential if low- and middle-wage workers are going to see significant gains in hourly pay in coming years.”
Candidates and elected officials interested in getting the U.S. back on track economically must endorse a platform that invests in this country. That is the only way to make the Teamsters strong and America stronger.