Re: “Democrats must keep fighting to Build Back Better” [Jan. 25, Opinion]:
It’s time to be pragmatic about the Build Back Better (BBB) Act. Hopefully, U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal still has the confidence of the various factions of her party, as well as the White House, to negotiate some passable legislations.
Democrats are known not just for their internal squabbling, but also for their terrible record on messaging and branding. The BBB Act is a prime example of that, as the name does not mean anything to most voters and says nothing about what’s in the bill. This proposal needs to be broken down in understandable and manageable elements, grouped by broad subject matters. For instance, here could be a bill on benefits for children, which could include child-tax credits, free pre-K education, subsidized day care costs, etc. Similarly, another bill could be on health care and include prescription drug costs, as well as Medicare coverages for vision and hearing.
To avoid any confusion, the total costs must be stated on an annual basis. There are really no reasons to argue about their costs based on whether they are for five, 10 or some other number of years. It’s a political reality that popular programs will become permanent.
Subir Mukerjee, Olympia