President Biden’s long-awaiting infrastructure plan has arrived. But it has been re-branded as “The American Jobs Plan.” Together with the proposed “Made In America” tax plan, the goal is to “invest in America in a way we have not invested since we built the interstate highways and won the Space Race.”
This is a plan which hopes to invest $2 trillion over the next decade. According to a White House press release, the plan is intended to “create millions of good jobs, rebuild our country’s infrastructure, and position the United States to out-compete China.”
The largest chunk of the spending would go towards surface infrastructure. A total of $621 billion would be spent on fixing and modernizing highways, roads, bridges, ports, and rail systems. Additionally, the plan calls for in the installation of a nationwide electric vehicle charging system. Important to the plan, this work cannot be outsourced – it all must go to American workers and to feed the American economy.
“It’s time to build our economy from the bottom up and the middle out,” Biden said, in advocating for the plan. “Wall Street didn’t build this country; you, the middle class, built this country. And unions built the middle class.”
In addition to surface transportation spending, the plan would also allocate money for clean drinking water; bringing high-speed internet to underserved, mostly rural Americans; repairing and upgrading child care facilities, veterans’ hospitals, and federal buildings; building a more resilient electrical power grid; and protecting Americans from future pandemics by funding domestic research and development.
The White House hopes to pay for The American Jobs Plan with the proposed “Made In America” tax plan. According to the White House it would also close loopholes for companies who outsource jobs and prevent corporation from evading taxes using off-shore banking. It would also raise the corporate tax rate to 28% (still below the corporate rate before President Trump’s tax cuts). No tax increases on individuals are part of the proposal.
If both policies were adopted, the White House claims that the tax plan would pay for the infrastructure plan within 15 years and reduce the national deficit by tens of billions of dollars per year.
The White House Fact Sheet also points out that since the spending will take place over the course of many years, only about 1% of U.S. GPD would be invested per year.
Several prominent Republicans have come out against the plan, criticizing it for raising the corporate tax rate, for funding clean energy initiatives, and for having too much of a “wide array of initiatives.”
“This is not going to be an infrastructure package,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said according to Roll Call. “It’s like a Trojan horse. It’s called infrastructure, but inside the Trojan horse is going to be more borrowed money and massive tax increases on all the productive parts of our economy.”