In Biden's Plan, Roads and Bridges Are Just the Start

The 8-year proposal stresses investment, addressing inequities
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 31, 2021 4:25 PM CDT
Infrastructure Plan Goes Beyond Quick Fixes
Heavy machinery is used on a project to replace old water lines Wednesday in Kansas City, Mo.   (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

The Biden administration released details Wednesday on its jobs and infrastructure plan, a $2 trillion proposal to address long-ignored needs and problems. The plan budgets $115 billion for roads and highways and bridges—rebuilding 10 major bridges and 10,000 smaller ones, as well as 20,000 miles of road. Another $85 billion would be used to update transit systems, and $80 billion would pay for overdue Amtrak repairs, per the Washington Post. But it goes deeper than that understanding of infrastructure. The plan calls for investing in clean energy, expanding broadband internet access, and improving pay and working conditions for caregivers. Many of the provisions address deeply rooted racial and other inequities. Much of the cost would be paid for with increases in the corporate tax rate and global minimum tax, in some cases repealing former President Trump's 2017 tax cuts. The administration says the investments will boost the nation's global competitiveness; opponents say corporate tax increases will hurt it.

The eight-year project takes the long view, not necessarily backing projects that could demonstrate quick results, per the New York Times. Government investment in research and infrastructure would be restored to 1960s levels. The summary of the American Jobs Plan said it "will invest in America in a way we have not invested since we built the interstate highways and won the Space Race." Other items include:

  • $213 billion to build and retrofit more than 500,000 homes for low- and middle-income buyers.
  • $100 billion to build and improve public schools, with $12 billion for community college infrastructure and $25 billion for child care infrastructure.
  • $400 billion for care of seniors and people with disabilities, including home care.
  • $45 billion to replace lead pipes, cutting children's exposure to lead in schools and day cares.
The plan stresses creating union jobs, investing in a more diverse workforce for science and technology, and adding incentives for companies to create manufacturing jobs in the "industrial heartland." (Biden pitches the proposal at a union site in Pittsburgh.)

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