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What Counts As Infrastructure?

infrastructureRecently the Biden administration proposed a number of tax increases to fund infrastructure spending in their “American Jobs Plan”. Some of the goals of the bill are shared by both parties in theory, like repairing roads and bridges, but Democrats have stretched the meaning of infrastructure to the limit by including climate, social justice, and welfare provisions completely unrelated to their overall goal of upgrading the country’s infrastructure. As the economy continues to recover due to states reopening, this over $2 trillion bill would be the largest non-wartime non-emergency package ever passed.

Who isn’t for fixing potholes and upgrading roads? Traditionally, infrastructure has been a restrictive term pertaining mostly to transportation infrastructure. The American Jobs Plan, Republicans argue, allocates only a tiny amount of the $2 trillion to traditional infrastructure improvements. “This plan is not about rebuilding America’s backbone. Less than 6% of this massive proposal goes to roads and bridges…” Senate Minority Leader McConnell (R-KY) recently said. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) told the press, “these broad policy priorities… are a far cry away from what we’ve ever defined as infrastructure.” But don’t take Republicans’ word for it; read the White House summary of the plan, which says the plan spends “$115 billion to modernize the bridges, highways, roads, and main streets that are in most critical need of repair.” Quick math tells us that this amount does indeed only represent only around 6% of the over $2 trillion proposed in the Administration’s American Jobs Plan.

The Administration and Democrats in Congress have conveniently come up with new terms to justify the majority of unrelated spending crammed into the American Jobs Plan. The plan supposedly invests in “human infrastructure” and “care infrastructure,” which has opened up the flood gates on what acceptable spending within the confined infrastructure could mean. Over $200 billion in the plan is directed at public housing, $35 billion is directed towards research and development related to climate change, and $170 billion is directed towards electric vehicles. The unrelated PRO Act has also been grafted onto the infrastructure plan, which would empower unions by overriding state right-to-work laws. This is only a fraction of the plan’s unrelated spending, which amounts to a liberal wish list of spending under the false banner of infrastructure.

To pay for the American Jobs Plan, the Administration has proposed a number of tax increases, including hiking the corporate rate, which many economists argue would depress wages and kill jobs at a time when the economy is just starting to recover. A recent Tax Foundation analysis finds that “an increase in the federal corporate tax rate to 28 percent would raise the U.S. federal-state combined tax rate to 32.34 percent, higher than every country in the OECD and all our major trade partners and competitors…” The same Tax Foundation analysis calculates that raising the corporate rate to 28% would eliminate nearly 160,000 jobs. Raising the corporate tax from 21 percent up to 28 percent would undo a key part of President Trump’s signature tax cut plan designed to boost wages and keep companies in the U.S. at a steep cost, according to economic analyses. Senate Minority Leader McConnell has called the plan a “Trojan horse for the largest set of tax hikes in a generation.”

In its current form, the American Jobs Plan is unlikely to pass Congress, but key provisions from the bill could make their way into law this year. Unfortunately for Republicans in Congress, Senate Democrats have indicated that they may willingly pass an infrastructure package through the same partisan process as they did for their most recent $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief bill. This means Senate Majority Leader Schumer only needs to find 50 Senate votes in favor of some modified package which may be within his reach depending on how moderate Democrats like Sens. Manchin (D-WV) and Sinema (D-AZ) come down on the final legislation. In the coming weeks, look for the Administration to offer another large spending package under the guise of helping families and improving healthcare, paid for by even more tax increases on small businesses and individuals. A combination of these plans will likely be rolled into a larger package this year, or two smaller bills could be proposed along the lines of the Administration’s plans designed for maximum public relations impact – supposedly funding infrastructure, helping families, and improving health care by taxing corporations and the wealthy – except the majority of the spending has nothing to do with repairing roads or helping families, and many of tax increases will end up hurting the middle class.

Palmer Schoening is Chairman of the Family Business Coalition and part of AMAC Action’s advocacy team in Washington, DC.

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2 years ago

The DemonRats infrastructure plan is about everything but infrastructure.Can we recall Biden?

2 years ago

Wow, money for infrastructure. Now that sounds like a worthy worthwhile goal. Except that anyone who has ever worked for the U.S. government knows how much waste is involved. Some people or corporations will benefit greatly; especially if you helped the socialists get into office. Pork, Hypocrisy, just a couple of words that come to mind. Will all the jobs created pay back the trillions allotted for the projects? Will this help rebuild the poor disadvantaged communities and get the citizens back to work with a real job and self respect? I doubt it. But then, if we need more money the Dem’s can go back to the imaginary money pit and just get another trillion or so. I guess there really is nothing to worry about.

2 years ago

Something to really consider and meditate on is what the Revelation of Jesus said about apostasy and the falling away from God’s Word. One of the things is lying. I can be politically incorrect by some that say you can’t bring religion into politics. Well, they are wrong. The definition of a politic is “poly is many and a tick is a blood sucking insect “. Their lying is for personal gain and motivated for the personal benefit of oneself. The 3 communist/Marxist women behind the BLM program are prime examples for they have a desire to tear down our constitution and replace with the Communist Manefesto . Of the tens of millions of dollars donated to them they have pocketed 72%. How about that for lying and using their influence to promote rioting under the guise of racial equality. Another lie.
Apostasy is occurring and we better realize it. Time to preach Jesus.

Ed J
2 years ago

Gee! Wonder if I could get my outhouse (infrastructure?) refurbished at government expense? It would really be nice to get central heating and air conditioning installed, along with new leather seats for the throne itself. While we are at it, let’s add a wide screen TV, a mini refrigerator and a bidet.
Alas, this project probably won’t be approved since we would have to evict the Demshevik tenants living downstairs before any renovations could occur. And you can be sure they will make a big stink about how they are being victimized, etc., ad nauseum. ☹  

2 years ago

Once again the leftist put a small amount of actual needed changes the government needs to do (ie roads and bridges) with the bulk, leftist expansion of government over the liberties of the people. And when Republicans point these Marxist policies out, the left just comes out and says that anyone who doesn’t like their legislation doesn’t want to fix the roads and bridges! Same bull the left did with the covid relief bill. Spend us into bankruptcy while filling the leftist coffers with money! How long will the sheep that vote these for these clowns allow this theft to go on? We are heading for Venezuela II so fast our heads aren’t spinning, it’s our whole bodies! UG!

Myrna S Wade
2 years ago

A jobs act which destroys jobs is such a stew of unrelated spending it deserves to be called a “snow job.” The Democrats have to be counting on a majority reading headlines and dismissing the list as too long for their attention spans. If we just let it go, we will be sorry.

Stephen Russell
2 years ago

Infrastructure is:
Improved roads, hwys, RR tracks, Grid, other
& also People: skilled labor, other needed
Need Both
BUT if our hwys are bad, we cant drive to get Medicare for all
& we need OUR own Rare Earth mines reopened for ALL: phones, EVs, wind turbines etc
Open up our Rare Earth mines
& mine the Ocean for rare earths
China owns 80% rare earth ores.
& need Hyperloop nationwide.
No Rare Earths= No EVs, batteries, smartphones etc
Use new materials to repave our roads & hwys

Sharon Ormsby
2 years ago

Exactly, who do they think they are fooling? Only themselves. Oh, and their own constituents obviously. They are the ones who voted them all in. They destroyed all the decent jobs already needed to put these grandiose ideas into action.

2 years ago

You can’t open mines, it might destroy “mother earth” or alter the climate. (climate change is their next priority) But, all of the mine jobs could help employ all of the illegals that are here and coming at a record pace. That might just work.

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