It’s infrastructure week. Truly. – Reason.com
President Joe Biden will outline plans for $ 2.25 trillion in new infrastructure spending, funded by massive tax hikes on businesses and individuals, during a speech due in Pittsburgh, Pa. later today.
Yes, “Infrastructure Week” has finally arrived.
Citing congressional sources briefed on the plan on Tuesday, The New York Times Biden reports that Biden will propose $ 625 billion in federal spending on traditional infrastructure items such as roads, bridges, transit, railways and ports. Additional expenditure will be allocated to modernizing public services, improving electricity networks and expanding broadband Internet service in rural areas. There will also be funding for some items that appear to have little to do with infrastructure, including $ 400 billion for “home care for the elderly and disabled”, $ 300 billion for “jumpstart manufacturing in the States. United ”and an additional $ 300 billion to provide more affordable housing services, according to The Washington Post.
The infrastructure package will also be linked to White House plans to tackle climate change, including the goal of putting America on the path to net zero carbon emissions by 2050. To that end, Biden would have proposed electrify the entire federal government vehicle fleet.
To pay for all of this, the White House will propose to increase the corporate tax from 21% to 28%. That would generate roughly $ 2.1 trillion over 10 years, but it would also reduce future economic growth in the United States and likely cost hundreds of thousands of jobs. When you include corporate tax at the state level, a federal rate of 28% would mean that U.S. businesses would face the highest tax rates in the developed world.
“As the details become known you will hear advocates assert that these new investments will in fact be amortized by further growth or that deficits do not matter,” predicts Maya MacGuineas, chair of the Committee for a responsible federal budget, a nonprofit organization that advocates for lower deficits. She notes that recent analysis from the Congressional Budget Office and the Penn Wharton Budget Model suggests that debt-financed infrastructure spending produces a negative net return on the initial investment.
Already, the usual suspects are pushing Biden to come up with even more spending.
It is far from sufficient. The important context here is that it is $ 2.25 T spread over 10 years.
For the context, the COVID package was $ 1.9T for this year * only *, with some provisions lasting 2 years.
Must be much taller. https://t.co/eTQ7cxuTzF
– Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 30, 2021
It is indeed likely that the increase in spending is behind the infrastructure bill, just as more tax increases. The Times reports that what Biden will announce on Wednesday afternoon is just the first half of a two-part “Build Back Better” program that will ultimately cost around $ 4 trillion.
Dividing the package in half makes a lot of political sense. The infrastructure spending enjoys bipartisan support in Congress because it allows lawmakers to pay money to contractors in their districts – and because it provides an excuse to put up large signs everywhere reminding voters that the their tax dollars are being used efficiently for once.
The corporate tax hike will be far less popular, but it’s the highest priority in Democrats’ tax policy since Republicans lowered the rate from 35% to 21% in 2017. Tie it to the Democrats. infrastructure bill gives it the best chance to pass.
Still, there’s a lot to criticize about what Biden is rolling out on Wednesday. On the one hand, the US manufacturing industry does not need $ 300 billion in government spending to be “revived” when production is already at or near record levels. Removing the Trump administration’s tariffs on imported steel and aluminum would be a much cheaper boost for manufacturers. Likewise, making housing more affordable does not require pumping US tax dollars into grants for developers and builders, but sweeping aside government mandates that drive up the cost of construction.
Most Americans are more likely to look for COVID vaccines at local pharmacies than at government-run mass vaccination sites.
Who would have guessed? Not the Biden administration, which has spent more than $ 4 billion to set up 21 “vaccination centers” in California, Florida, New York, Illinois, Massachusetts and Texas and more than 1,000 sites managed by the government in community centers across the country. but now reconsider this plan, Politics reports:
Despite the money the federal government has spent on pilot mass vaccination sites, it administers only a fraction of the vaccines administered across the country each day. Federal data shows the retail pharmacy program – which has signed 21 chains and 17,000 stores – can reach many more Americans in less time, according to four senior officials with first-hand knowledge of the matter. The bottom line, according to these sources, is that more Americans seem willing to walk to their local pharmacist to get vaccinated than to go to a federal vaccination site for the vaccine …
Vaccination centers, which are run by FEMA and partially staffed with National Guard troops and other Pentagon personnel, have administered just 1.7 million doses since early February. In the past two weeks, the sites have yielded around 67,000 hits per day, according to a series of internal FEMA briefing papers and datasets obtained by POLITICO. This represents about 2.5% of all doses administered nationwide during the same period, according to data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
New York will be the 14th state to legalize recreational cannabis as soon as Governor Andrew Cuomo signs a bill now sitting on his desk. Perhaps he hopes New Yorkers will forget that he was a bad governor if they can finally buy legal weed?
My statement on legislation passed tonight by the NYS Legislature to legalize cannabis for adult use: pic.twitter.com/CqYs6oLWTn
– Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) March 31, 2021
Sadly, President Joe Biden still lives in the 1990s and opposes federal legalization, Raison’s CJ Ciaramella Reports.
• Representative Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) Is under FBI investigation for allegedly breaking federal sex trafficking laws by paying for a 17-year-old girl with whom he had a romantic relationship travel with him. Gaetz claims the investigation is part of an extortion plot directed by a former employee of the Ministry of Justice.
• The Minneapolis trial of former cop Derek Chauvin, who killed George Floyd after kneeling on his neck for more than nine minutes, included damning eyewitness testimony on Tuesday.
• The former henchman of Nixon G. Gordon Liddy, mastermind of the Watergate robbery, is dead.
• Andrea O’Sullivan has a few answers if you are wondering if non-fungible tokens are a scam (or secretly useful).
• Do you want to feel really old?
Independence Day turns 25 this summer. pic.twitter.com/QSofr5TMGH
– Ryan Vooris (@ryanvooris) March 31, 2021