Over the past few weeks, and more so the past few days, there has been a lot of discussion concerning Biden’s Build Back Better plan and whether or not it will move forward. Although not too long ago, it seemed to be, Joe Manchin, a West Virginian senator, seems to have halted the plan in its tracks. Now, many democrats are insisting Biden move forward regardless. This has resulted in a lot of heated debates across the nation, from living rooms to the senate.
So, before we form an opinion on the matter (even though I already have), let’s discuss what this plan actually entails. According to the White House administration, the Build Back Better plan aims to invest in the backbone of this country: the middle class. The Pew Research Center states that the average middle-class income ranges from $48,000 – $145,000. However, it appears it can go upwards towards $400,000 yearly.
Anyways, Biden details that some things covered in this reform range from affordable and accessible childcare to climate change. The result of this bill, if passed, will be things such as lowered prescription costs, providing funding to locally led projects, especially within marginalized communities, universal and free preschool, advancements in environmental justice, and more. Now, where a lot of the concern comes from, including Manchin’s, is the cost to create all of this.
From what is discussed, it appears that these projects will be solely funded by taxing the rich (those who make more than $400,000/year) and large corporations effectively. I know too many these actions seem drastic, so let’s consider what is actually happening in our country as of now. There are new environmental disasters weekly, crime is on the rise, and there is a deadly pandemic. There are a lot of drastic things happening. So maybe, and I mean hear me out for a minute, it is time we have a “drastic” response.
There have been plenty of opportunities where actions against climate change, crime, and more, were not only affordable, but did not feel so overwhelming. Generations before us have torn down this world and escaped without taking any accountability. As drastic as it may all seem now, these issues have been years in the making. Build Back Better won’t solve everything. Resolution will take a sustained, collective effort. However, this could finally be a jumping off point.
Bennett, J., Fry, R., & Kochhar, R. (2021, August 3). Are you in the American middle class? find out with our income calculator. Pew Research Center. Retrieved December 21, 2021, from https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2020/07/23/are-you-in-the-american-middle-class/
The White House. (2021, December 3). The build back better framework. The White House. Retrieved December 21, 2021, from https://www.whitehouse.gov/build-back-better/