Posted by 14 November 2019
Today former Vice President Joe Biden announced an infrastructure plan that he says will “rebuild the middle class.” Critics say that it will impose a huge tax burden on Americans.
These are some of the key aspects of Biden’s proposal:
- A $50 billion federal initiative to repair roads and bridges
- Secure “new revenues” for the Highway Trust Fund, a federal fund collecting revenue from fuel taxes
- Spend $5 billion to research new battery technology
- Use federal resources to expand the electric car charging system
- Spend $500 billion in clean energy research
- Expand rail service
- Provide public transportation to cities with 100,000 residents or more
- Target $10 billion to high-poverty areas to improve public transit
- Promote infrastructure that leads to a 100% clean energy economy
- Create a federal program to promote building energy efficiency
- Provide broadband service to every American household
- Create a new federal program to spend $100 billion in school buildings
This plan gathers together many proposals put forward by liberal and progressive groups and elected officials. Biden argues that they will transform the economy for the future, providing good jobs for the middle class and helping clean the environment. Those who support these programs argue that it is vital that the federal government invest in this vision to ensure the U.S. has a sustainable future.
Critics, however, see these ideas as both unrealistic and expensive. They note that it’s easy to say that these programs will achieve their goals, but similar government initiatives in the past have failed. They also note the high price tag for such a program, saying that taxes will have to go up to pay for it or the government will have to go deeper in debt.
Biden faces a crowded field of rivals for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. It remains to be seen if ideas like these will help him win votes from the left wing of the party being courted by other candidates such as Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.
Do you support the federal government paying for more high-speed rail service? Should there be a federal push for a 100% clean-energy economy?