Last week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the overall year-over-year inflation rate in October was 6.2 percent, a notably high rate. While there are many reasons to believe that inflation will ease in the coming months, some, including West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, are arguing that current high rates of inflation are not transitory and instead are the result of too much economic stimulus, fueling arguments to further cut the provisions of the Build Back Better agenda. However, while stubbornly high, current inflation is still largely related to COVID-19’s disruptions to the economy, and scaling back the provisions of the Build Back Better agenda would not only fail to help address this inflation, but could potentially make it even more painful for West Virginians.
Rather than too much stimulus causing too much demand, recent inflation has been a result of a sharp reallocation in spending in response to the pandemic. During the recovery, households cut back spending on face-to-face services (e.g., at restaurants, hotels, and gyms) and significantly increased spending on goods (such as clothing, furniture, and automobiles). This rapid increase in demand for goods instead of services has exacerbated supply-chain disruptions that were initiated by COVID-19. Global production shut down during the pandemic, and as production came back, volumes were much higher than before to meet the backlog, creating supply chain issues throughout the economy. And this has in turn led to further production issues.
With that being said, the current inflation spike provides no reason to cut back on the Build Back Better agenda. First, while the American Rescue Plan Act was largely front-loaded with fiscal stimulus to provide an immediate response to the pandemic recession, theBuild Back Better agenda is a long-term investmentin the U.S. economy. It is also largely paid for and financed by tax increases on the wealthy, which would blunt any inflationary impact. In fact, the investments in the Build Back Better agenda are actually expected to boost the productive capacity of the U.S. economy and ease inflationary pressure in the future.
Learn more in Sean’s full blog post.
Earlier this week, we, alongside our coalition partners, met with a member of Senator Manchin’s staff to urge the senator to support the extension of the enhanced Child Tax Credit, which has already proven to significantly improve the lives of the West Virginia families who receive it. A recent article highlighted our effort. Excerpt below:
A group of West Virginians gathered outside of Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) Charleston office Monday, urging him to defend the child tax credit and pass the Build Back Better Act.
The handful of leaders did so in a unique way, in the giving of a quilt that featured stories of West Virginians impacted in a positive fashion by the tax credit.
“It’s a friendly visit, sharing stories with Senator Manchin in hopes that he will do what he can to extend it as far as we can and as long as we can to cover as many people as possible,” Rick Wilson of American Friends Service Committee West Virginia told MetroNews.
Wilson said around 346,000 children in West Virginia have benefited from the tax credit. The White House states that the extension of the act would give more than 35 million families a major tax cut by extending the expanded Child Tax Credit.
Read the full article here.
Read more from our colleagues about the story behind the quilt and the powerful impact of the enhanced Child Tax Credit in West Virginia in their recent op-ed here.
If your family has benefited from the enhanced Child Tax Credit, help us advocate for its extension by sharing how it has helped your household here.
The WVCBP is a proud member of the West Virginia Criminal Law Reform Coalition. In January 2021, the coalition hosted a virtual Criminal Justice Reform Summit to build knowledge and awareness of the myriad flaws and prejudices currently ingrained into West Virginia’s criminal legal system. Now, we’re hoping to translate that knowledge into action through the Smart Justice Advocacy Days event. We hope you join us.
Our third and final virtual learning session is Monday, Nov. 29. Make sure you register for the event in advance to receive the Zoom link and password.
The final virtual learning session will be followed by an in-person citizen lobbying and story-telling training in Charleston on Sunday, December 5 to prepare participants for our Smart Justice Advocacy Day that will be held on Monday, December 6 at the State Capitol during legislative interims.
If you plan to join us for our in-person days on Dec. 5 and 6 in Charleston, please complete this form so we can have an accurate headcount and ensure we order enough food for all our participants.
We welcome you to join us in any and all ways you are able! Please know that your inability to attend any one component of this event does not preclude you from participating in the convening’s other pieces (all of which are free!). We would love to have you fighting alongside us in whatever way makes sense for you.
Join us for our 9th annual Budget Breakfast!
Each year, the WVCBP holds this event to provide analysis of the Governor’s proposed budget. You’ll hear from our executive director, Kelly Allen, our senior policy analyst, Sean O’Leary, and our chosen keynote speaker, to be announced closer to the event.
Please find further event details below. You can purchase a ticket for the event here.
WHAT: WVCBP’s 9th Annual Budget Breakfast
WHEN: January 21, 2022. Breakfast will be available starting at 7:30am. The WVCBP’s analysis of the Governor’s 2023 proposed budget will begin at 8am, followed by keynote speaker presentation and time for Q&A.
WHERE: Charleston Marriott Town Center (200 Lee Street East, Charleston, WV 25301)
PLEASE NOTE: The cost of a single standard ticket is $50, but if you take advantage of our Early Bird Special (available to all who register by 12/31/21), you will receive $10 off.
We appreciate your support of the WVCBP and our work, and we hope to see you in January!
The WVCBP’s Elevating the Medicaid Enrollment Experience (EMEE) Voices Project seeks to collect stories from West Virginians who have struggled to access Medicaid across the state. Being conducted in partnership with West Virginians for Affordable Health Care, EMEE Voices will gather insight to inform which Medicaid barriers are most pertinent to West Virginians, specifically people of color.
Do you have a Medicaid experience to share? We’d appreciate your insight. Just fill out the contact form on this webpage and we’ll reach out to you soon. We look forward to learning from you!
You can watch WVCBP’s health policy analyst Rhonda Rogombé and West Virginians for Affordable Health Care’s Mariah Plante further break down the project and its goals in this FB Live.
Earlier this year, our federal policymakers sent money to families so people can pay their rent and put food on the table, helped school districts protect teachers’ health and get kids back into the classroom, and boosted vaccine distribution—all of which will help accelerate our economy and address the immediate health and economic impacts of the pandemic.
Congress acted because we raised our voices together and demanded help. With short-term relief on the way, now Senator Manchin and Senator Capito need to look to our future and pass economic recovery legislation that ensures everyone can thrive, no matter what we look like or where we come from.
Our elected officials are negotiating recovery legislation now, so it’s time to make yourself heard again. Tell them you want our government to support working families and invest in our economic recovery by making health care coverage more available and affordable, permanently expanding relief for struggling people, and ensuring children get the support they need to succeed.
Please join us in urging Senators Manchin and Capito to support the Build Back Better Agenda by sending them a letter here.