The Biggest Deficit You’ve Never Heard Of

Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich exposes America's real deficit problem…our deficit in public investment.

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The public investment deficit is the gap between what we should be investing in our future — on infrastructure, education, and basic research — and the relatively little we are investing.

Public investment is similar to private investment in that we invest today because of the payoff in the future. The difference is public investment pays off for all of us, for America.

Federal investments in infrastructure, education, and research and development have all shrunk as a portion of the economy — even though the payoffs from these investments are gigantic, and the costs of not making them are astronomical.

Public investment in clean energy has a return of 27%, but federal tax breaks favor fossil fuels over renewables by a ratio of 7:1. And that’s just one example.

Ignore the deficit hawk hypocrites who say we can’t afford to invest in the American people, in the same breath that they give trillions in tax cuts to the rich.

We can afford it. We can’t afford not to.

Joe Biden needs to recognize this, and make public investment a central part of his economic strategy.