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 (Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act) that set up rules of the road to prevent future crises.
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 is 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. Recognizing that the economic recovery depended crucially on the vaccination effort, Bill’s focus on this committee was directing bipartisan oversight of “Operation Warp Speed” by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).
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 we represent.
The Wealth of America
The net worth of our country has two main parts:
1) The net worth of American households, currently about $130 Trillion
2) The National Debt (eventually to be paid by taxpayers) currently about $28 Trillion.
These are some of the important points to note:
- Household wealth is peaked at the top:
— one third of Household wealth is held by the top 1% wealthiest Americans
— two-thirds of wealth is held by the top 10%
— the bottom half of the U.S. population holds only 2% of the wealth
- The Total Net Worth of the United States is positive and large.
($129 T Household Wealth – $28 T National Debt) = $100 Trillion Dollars
→ So there is no approaching Debt Crisis in the United States
- Total Net Worth has been rising steadily since the Obama Recovery started in 2009:
(Household Net Worth is up $70 T while the National Debt increased only about $18 T)
- During the 2008 Financial Crisis, American households lost over $10 T, in large part because of the inadequate fiscal stimulus due to Tea-Party Republican complaints about “excessive” spending.
- During the COVID-19 crisis, due to the adequate fiscal stimulus, household wealth largely recovered.
These are some of the reasons Bill Foster supports the Biden Economic Plan.