Fixing Our Economy

Bill has served on the Financial Services Committee since entering Congress at the start of the financial collapse in March 2008.  As a scientist and businessman, Bill was deeply involved in both the emergency response to rescue our economy, and the structural changes (namely, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act) that set up fair rules of the road to prevent future crises that disproportionately hurt working families.

Bill serves as Chairman of the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Task Force of the Financial Services Committee.  AI is in the process of disrupting financial services as surely as it disrupts the rest of our economy.  Bill was an AI programmer during his career as a physicist, and some of his main concerns are to make sure that AI does not amplify bias and discrimination already present in our financial system, and to make sure that we safely capture the benefits of AI in areas like preventing identity fraud.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Bill was appointed to the Coronavirus Select Committee to oversee the federal response. Bill’s focus on this committee was directing bipartisan oversight of “Operation Warp Speed.” He recognized that getting Americans quick access to COVID-19 vaccines was fundamental to rescuing the American economy.”

Three economic issues recurred throughout Bill’s time in Congress:

1 ) The proper scale of economic stimulus spending required to respond to emergencies like the Financial Crisis of 2008, or the COVID-19 pandemic, balanced against the potential dangers of over-stimulating the economy and driving inflation or an eventual debt crisis.

2) Long term economic stress from technological job displacement, global competition, and ill-considered changes in trade and tax policies that have tilted the playing field against American manufacturers and workers, and caused wealth to be redistributed to those at the very top.

3) How best to shield those at the bottom of the economic ladder from economic crises, structural change, and systemic discrimination.  As the son of a civil rights lawyer who represents a very diverse district, Bill understands the importance that our complex laws and financial regulations have on the real lives of those he represents.

The Wealth of America

The net worth of our country has two main parts:

1) The net worth of American households, about $130 trillion as of the start of 2021.
2) The national debt (eventually to be paid by taxpayers), about $28 trillion as of the start of 2021.

These are some of the important points to note:

  • Household wealth is disproportionately concentrated among the wealthiest Americans:
    • 33% of America’s household wealth is held by just 1% of Americans
    • 66% of America’s household wealth is held by the top 10%
    • Just 2% of America’s household wealth is held by the bottom half of the U.S. population
  • The United States has a positive and large total net worth:
    • Taking our country’s $129 trillion dollars in national household wealth, and subtracting $28 trillion in debt, we are still left with over $100 trillion dollars
      • ($129T – $28T = over $100T dollars)
    • So: there is no approaching debt crisis in the United States
  • In fact, our country’s total net worth has been rising steadily since the Obama Recovery started in 2009
    • Household net worth is up over $70 trillion dollars, while the national debt has increased only about $18 trillion dollars
  • Lawmakers can protect the average American family’s household wealth by providing adequate fiscal stimulus
    • During the 2008 financial crisis, American households lost over $10 trillion dollars, in large part because Tea Party Republicans complained about “excessive” spending, preventing adequate fiscal stimulus
    • During the COVID-19 crisis, household wealth largely recovered due to adequate fiscal stimulus

These are some of the reasons Bill supports the Biden Economic Plan.

Paid for by Bill Foster for Congress