President Joe Biden presents the $2 trillion American Jobs Plan in Pennsylvania, March 31, 2021 (Reuters)
President Joe Biden unveils the $2 trillion American Jobs Plan for US infrastructure.
Biden presented the “once-in-a-generation” program on Wednesday at a carpenters’ training center near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He said the investment would rebuild the “strongest, most resilient, innovative economy in the world”.
This is not a plan that tinkers around the edges. It is a once in a generation investment in America unlike anything we’ve done since we built the interstate highway system and the space race decades ago.
The Plan seeks to rebuild 20,000 miles of roads and highways and repair the 10 most important US bridges. Hundreds of billions of dollars is devoted to high-speed broadband; replacement of lead water pipes; access to clean drinking water; and upgrading of the electric grid.
The investment is linked to measures addressing the climate crisis with cleaner energy sources, reducing economic inequality, and strengthening American competitiveness. Community care facilities for seniors and people with disabilities will be improved, schools modernized, and homes and office buildings retrofitted. Programs will be launched to train millions of workers.
Funding will come from a rise in corporate taxes to 28% from 21%, more than three years after the Trump Administration slashed the rate from 35%. Multinational corporations will pay more taxes on profits earned abroad.
Donald Trump periodically declared Infrastructure Week, with showpiece presentations, but never put forth a plan.
In contrast, Biden said he will soon table an American Families plan for up to $2 trillion in investment in health care, child care and education.
“It’s big, yes. It’s bold, yes. But we can get it done,” the President said on Wednesday.
“The Moment When America Won The Future”
Three weeks ago, Congress passed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan to deal with the Coronavirus pandemic and its economic consequences.
The Plan passed 50-49 in the Senate, with no Republican votes in support, and 218-212 in the House.
Senate Minority Mitch McConnell, who was briefed by Biden on Tuesday, immediately announced that he would again try to block the recovery measures.
It’s like a Trojan horse. It’s called infrastructure, but inside the Trojan horse it’s going to be more borrowed money, and massive tax increases on all the productive parts of our economy.
As with the American Rescue Plan, the Administration is likely to use “budget reconciliation” to circument a Republican filibuster in the Senate, which can only be broken with 60 votes.
Biden said he is open to other proposals to pay for the Plan, provided they do not raise individual taxes on those earning less than $400,000.
“The divisions of the moment shouldn’t stop us from doing the right thing for the future. I’m convinced that if we act now, in 50 years people are going to look back and say this is the moment when America won the future.