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Top White House economist defends 'care economy' as infrastructure

EconomyApr 06, 2021 09:00PM ET
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By Andrea Shalal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Top White House economist Cecilia Rouse on Tuesday defended President Joe Biden's plan to spend $400 billion on the "care economy" as a legitimate infrastructure investment and key part of his drive to address persistent economic inequities.

Republicans have blasted Biden's $2.3 trillion infrastructure package as riddled with liberal spending priorities, and want to strip out funding for home- and community-based jobs taking care of kids and seniors.

Rouse told an online event that was faulty thinking.

"So many people said, 'Oh, the $400 billion that are being proposed for the home care workers or the home care sector, that's not really infrastructure,'" she said. "Well I beg to differ. I can't go to work, if I don't have someone who's taking care of my parents or my children."

Biden's infrastructure plan, his second major legislative initiative, appears unlikely to draw more bipartisan support than his first, a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package that passed with only Democratic support last month.

The infrastructure package includes $25 billion to upgrade child-care facilities and increase the number of sites in areas with few child-care options, and the Biden administration is working on another package with more funding to be unveiled in coming weeks.

Together with tax credits for children and child care in the relief bill, the measures aim to provide better jobs for essential care workers, who are disproportionately women of color, and one in six of whom live in poverty.

Rouse told the event, hosted by the Washington Center for Equitable Growth and Groundwork Collaborative, the changes were urgently needed.

LeadingAge, which represents service providers in the sector, estimates that half of all Americans will need long-term services and support after turning 65, and that by 2040, a quarter of the U.S. population will be 65 or older.

Top White House economist defends 'care economy' as infrastructure
 

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Comments (5)
President Xi Jinping
President Xi Jinping Apr 07, 2021 4:47AM ET
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Regardless of your opinion the problem in the last several decades has been state and federal socialism/care for ceos and their cronies, making them richer while destroying the middle class
Connecticut Yankee
A_Jaundiced_Eye Apr 06, 2021 10:24PM ET
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Home Care is "Infrastructure", Spending is "Investment," Taxes are "Income Adjustments."  Oh, yeah, and Up is really "Down."
Felipe Daniel
Felipe Daniel Apr 06, 2021 9:55PM ET
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Democrats are no socialists, they are communists
Neil Puskorius
Neil Puskorius Apr 06, 2021 9:25PM ET
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Wow...
Roger Miller
Roger Miller Apr 06, 2021 9:20PM ET
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Whether or not you agree with the spending when your being looked after by the state it’s called “socialism”.
Connecticut Yankee
A_Jaundiced_Eye Apr 06, 2021 9:20PM ET
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Or, "Imprisonment."
President Xi Jinping
President Xi Jinping Apr 06, 2021 9:20PM ET
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Corporate and business socialism (states subsidizing and looking after them) isnt working. All it does is keep everyone poor while making ceos and their cronies rich
 
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