President Joe Biden is set to crush the opposition’s resistance with a new educational campaign about his plan that covers the creation of millions of jobs, innovation and aid to disadvantaged communities.
“While Donald Trump claimed he wanted to ‘Make America Great Again,’ President Biden is attempting to actually do it,” Fareed Zakaria wrote in The Washington Post about an infrastructure renewal plan, which he compares to the New Deal, Franklin D. Roosevelt’s plan to rebuild America that brought the country out of the Great Depression.
Biden’s proposal brings to mind the 1950s and ’60s, when, thanks to investment in infrastructure, America reigned as an economic superpower on the world stage. The plan to rebuild the infrastructure that Biden has proposed is, in fact, the first such comprehensive investment plan in five decades.
And it’s not cheap. The spending amounts to $2.3 trillion. Part of the funds needed to implement the plan will come from an increase in the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%, among other sources.
Biden not only wanted to pump money into roads, bridges, tunnels, airports and ports, whose condition in many regions of the country leaves much to be desired, placing the U.S. 13th in the world in terms of infrastructure.
This plan is to be implemented with climate change and environmental protection in mind. Hence, new roads and bridges will be built to withstand heavy rains and other adverse weather changes associated with the changing climate.
Biden is also focusing on innovation and modern technologies, especially those that are environmentally friendly. Accordingly, the plan includes a proposal to create 500,000 charging stations for electric cars, funds to broaden access to the internet throughout the United States, and equipment for research laboratories.
According to Biden, more than $2 trillion intended for infrastructure development will create millions of jobs, including jobs for trade union members who form the backbone of the manufacturing sectors in the U.S.
“I support unions. Unions built the middle class. It’s about time they start to get a piece of the action,” the president said, promising “good wages” to “American workers.”
Lessons from New Orleans
Billions of dollars are to be invested in infrastructure projects with a focus on giving equal access to minority groups which will not shoulder the cost. Unfortunately, this is what happened in the 1960s.
New Orleans is one example of this. A highway was built there at the expense of companies and businesses run by Black residents and the green spaces where their children played.
Biden’s plan aims to avoid this situation and at the same time promote racial equality and eliminate economic inequity.
As reparation for past errors, Biden’s plan includes, e.g., replacing lead pipes, which have harmed the health of less privileged communities in towns such as Flint, Michigan, and cleaning up environmental pollution in regions inhabited by Latino and tribal communities, while contributing support for their professional development.
To bridge economic inequity, the project will provide subsidies to preschool programs for all children and students, as well as the considerable sum of $400 billion for caregivers of the elderly and disabled people. These are poorly paid jobs, taken mostly by women of color. Economists say this is a very promising beginning and predict that if the initiative is properly implemented, it will indeed contribute to bridging social inequalities.
Thinking big is part of American tradition. Now, Biden is undertaking a venture in that tradition. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called it a transformational project that will create jobs in new sectors across the country.
The Democrats in the Congress want to enact Biden’s infrastructure repair plan by July 4. However, for the plan to happen, Biden needs the backing of Republican lawmakers, which will present a problem despite the fact that both parties have been talking about funding to improve infrastructure for years.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has pledged to oppose the program every step of the way. “We have some big philosophical differences, and that’s going to make it more and more difficult for us to reach bipartisan agreements,” said the Republican leader, who, above all, opposes the corporate tax because in his view, it will harm the competitiveness for American companies in global markets.
What is more, raising taxes on corporate giants is a huge blow to Trump and the Republicans, who saw lowering the 35% corporate tax rate in 2017 as their flagship achievement.
Republicans also accuse Biden of hiding behind the popular cloak of “infrastructure repair” to redirect funding to “liberal priorities unrelated to infrastructure,” that is, programs for disadvantaged communities. Biden’s plan envisages spending billions of dollars on liberal programs and initiatives, which are a nod to Democratic states.
Jen Psaki, the White House’s press secretary, has assured us that Biden is open to discussing the infrastructure repair project with Republicans, but has not yet had any response from them.
Biden plans to crush the opposition’s resistance with an educational campaign about his plan, and members of his cabinet will help him with that. The team will include the secretaries of transportation, energy, housing and urban development, and labor.