Joe Biden and Democrats in Congress appear to be losing the messaging battle on the president’s Build Back Better plan. Opponents simply shout about the cost and debt and much of the public reacts in fear. In reality, much of the cost is covered by simply restoring the tax rates in place prior to Trump’s big giveaway to big business and the wealthiest among us. Even more is covered by returning to full funding of the IRS so it can collect on taxes due from tax cheats that it is unable to investigate and prosecute due to being underfunded and understaffed. Of course, one of the reasons the plan is being bashed is that the wealthy tax cheats don’t want to fund the IRS so it can catch them.

The plan includes increases in educational opportunities by providing two years of free community college for all students, regardless of family income. The bill also would add $80 billion in funding for Pell Grants since funding for the program hasn’t kept pace with the increasing cost of college in recent decades. It’s been clear for some years that prekindergarten makes a big difference in educational achievement especially to lower-income children who often don’t get the kind of parental attention young minds need to fully develop. The Build Back Better plan will provide two years of universal pre-K for 3- and 4-year-olds.

JC Dufresne is a liberal activist and current member of the State Democratic Executive Committee, representing Senate District 25.

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