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Source : The White House
March 31, 2021
Author : Alex Bustillos
The White House unveiled on Wednesday President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion dollar plan to address the country’s $infrastructure. Dubbed the American Jobs Plan, the goal is to address the fact that “public domestic investment as a share of the economy has fallen by more than 40 percent since the 1960s.”
The White House notes that the United States has fallen to 13th in the world in terms of infrastructure quality. The Biden Administration is seeking $621 billion for transportation and infrastructure to address a number of problems.
The plan will “modernize 20,000 miles of highways, roads, and main streets,” according to the White House Fact sheet. “It will fix the most economically significant large bridges in the country in need of reconstruction, and it will repair the worst 10,000 smaller bridges.”
The administration notes that one in five miles, some 173,000 miles of highways and major roads, as well as 45,000 bridges are in “poor condition”
In terms of public transportation, the Department of Transportation estimates that repairing things like the 24,000 buses, 5,000 rail cars, 200 stations, and “thousands of miles of track, signals, and power systems in need of replacement” will come at a cost over $105 billion. However, the plan only calls for $85 billion. “This investment will double federal funding for public transit,” the White House says.
Biden is also calling on Congress to invest $80 billion in funding to Amtrak for repairs, modernization, improvements and new connections.
The plan also addresses ports, waterways and airports. “According to some rankings, no U.S. airports rank in the top 25 of airports worldwide,” it notes. Biden is calling for a $25 billion investment to airports. Additionally, he’s seeking $17 billion for inland waterways, ports, and ferries.
“Too often, past transportation investments divided communities – like the Claiborne Expressway in New Orleans or I-81 in Syracuse – or it left out the people most in need of affordable transportation options” the White House says. Biden plans to address that historical failure by including $20 billion to reconnect neighborhoods and ensure that new projects increase racial equity.
The White House is also asking for Congress for “$25 billion for a dedicated fund to support ambitious projects that have tangible benefits to the regional or national economy but are too large or complex for existing funding programs.”
The plan also calls for a 100 percent removal of lead pipes and service lines. In total, the plan seeks $111 billion to “ensure clean, safe drinking water is a right in all communities.” Another $100 billion is sought to “revitalize America’s digital infrastructure” by building high-speed broadband infrastructure.
Citing a Department of Energy study which claims that power outtakes cost the United States economy $70 billion per year, Biden is calling for another $100 billion to “build a more resilient electric transmission system,” “spur jobs modernizing power generation and delivering clean electricity,” and “put the energy industry to work plugging orphan oil and gas wells and cleaning up abandoned mines” among other measures.
The plan also sees $213 billion to “produce, preserve, and retrofit more than two million affordable and sustainable places to live,” and $100 billion for public schools. Other upgrades and new buildings are also called for, including Veteran Affairs hospitals, federal buildings, child care facilities and community colleges.
Biden is also calling for a $180 billion investment to research and development; $300 billion to American manufacturers and small businesses; and $100 billion for “workforce development” with things like job training programs.
Many of the aforementioned investments specifically note that they will be done in a climate-friendly way, with the word “climate” being referenced a total of 20 times in the fact sheet. Forty percent of the climate and clean infrastructure investments will be targeted towards disadvantaged communities, the plan says.
“In 2020, the United States endured 22 separate billion-dollar weather and climate disasters, costing $95 billion in damages to homes, businesses, and public infrastructure,” the White House says.
With an eye on climate change and huge dollar amounts in the administration’s arsenal, it’s not surprising that Republicans are already fighting back. Citing an “independent study,” the White House notes that 91 Fortune 500 companies “paid $0 in federal corporate taxes on U.S. income in 2018,” a year after former President Donald Trump’s signature tax bill. By setting the corporate tax rate at 28 percent, fighting offshoring and cracking down on tax havens and other policies, the Whtie House says they will raise the $2 trillion needed for the infrastructure spending in the next 15 years.
In a statement, Trump said that “Joe Biden’s radical plan to implement the largest tax hike in American history is a massive giveaway to China, and many other countries, that will send thousands of factories, millions of jobs, and trillions of dollars to these competitive Nations.”
“The Biden plan will crush American workers and decimate U.S. manufacturing while giving special tax privileges to outsourcers, foreign and giant multinational corporations.”
Category : Small Business Enterprises Contractor Trades Coronavirus Pandemic Department of Transportation Disparity Studies Diversity Outreach Economic Stimulus Federal Government Green Economy Green Construction Investment in Infrastructure Labor Airports Bridges Freeways and Highways Ports Public Works Railroads Schools Taxes and the IRS