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Analysis: Democrats have a chance to invest in economic growth for all after years of frustration

April 4, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 20.7%. 1 min read.

President Joe Biden delivers a speech on infrastructure spending at Carpenters Pittsburgh Training Center, Wednesday, March 31, 2021, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

For decades, Democrats and their economic advisers have agreed: broadly-shared growth requires more government investment. They've just lacked the power to invest.

(CNN)For decades, Democrats and their economic advisers have agreed: broadly-shared growth requires more government investment.

That's why President Joe Biden's "Build Back Better" economic plan has so energized the White House, his party and outside allies.

"We have a tremendous amount of evidence, accumulated for years, that the basis for success in education and careers and high-productivity jobs is linked to what happens in the first five years," said Laura D'Andrea Tyson, a University of California, Berkeley professor who chaired President Bill Clinton's Council of Economic Advisers.

When Biden came of age after World War II, the federal government invested much more in components of economic growth than it does now.

The White House budget office projects this fiscal year as the tenth in a row, and 23rd of the last 25, with federal investment at levels half or less of its 1960s peak as a share of the economy.

But Republicans recaptured the House the next year, forced caps on spending, and blocked Obama's requests for additional investments in infrastructure and early childhood education.

The return on Biden's investments would take years to tally in any event.

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