Washington, D.C. — As Congress moves to advance President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better agenda, Jason Furman, former chair of President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, said the measures will help improve economic growth, increase inclusion, and tackle climate change without contributing to higher inflation.
Furman made the remarks Monday during an online event hosted by the Center for American Progress to discuss the historic opportunity that budget reconciliation represents to finally address long-term rising costs and boost wages and incomes.
“If you’re expanding the productive capacity of the economy, you are putting some downward pressure on inflation,” Furman said. “If I were looking at this legislation, I would look at the investments themselves. Is this a good quality way to increase economic growth, to increase inclusion, to deal with climate change, to address other goals? I wouldn’t adjust my inflation forecast at all. And by the way, I don’t think financial markets have, if you look at what’s happened in financial markets as this has advanced.”
Furman also discussed the urgency of passing legislation now to curb the increasingly devastating impacts of climate change.
“The cost of addressing climate change just goes up dramatically the longer that you wait,” Furman said. “It’s not just the irreversible damage that each year we continue to see the damage, it’s also you can’t go from whatever we’re at—2 to 3 percent of electric vehicles now—to the president’s goal at 50 percent overnight. You need a runway to get there. You need notice for companies to make the changes, make the investments to get there. And the longer you wait, the more damage you incur in the economy and the more the cost of addressing it in the future goes up.”
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