We’ve heard both major political parties talk about the need for an infrastructure bill for several years now. With President Biden, we’re finally getting it. Or are we?
According to The Wall Street Journal, $621 billion of the president’s newly proposed $2.3 trillion “infrastructure” plan is going toward surface transportation infrastructure to fix up all those “crumbling roads and bridges” we hear so often about. The rest, however, is going to spending on a host of the Biden administration’s favorite pet projects.
Call it the first major salvo of the Green New Deal offensive. Specifically, the Biden proposal features funding for leftist environmental programs. These include, among other things, boosting “clean” energy construction, “technology” to address “the climate crisis,” a “clean energy and sustainability accelerator,” retrofitting more than two million homes, and the chillingly named “new office to monitor domestic industrial capacity.”
Indeed, even the small portion of the package that does go to transportation infrastructure is seemingly morphed into fulfilling Biden’s climate agenda. For example, $174 billion earmarked for infrastructure improvements isn’t about pavement and blacktop, as one might think, but about creating a national network of 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations.
Even Mother Jones gets it:
To simply call it an infrastructure plan understates its ambitions. It’s the closest we’ve come to a realization of the Green New Deal, an ambitious collection of progressive proposals to combat climate change, racial injustice, and gender inequality as much as one to upgrade asphalt.
Is President Biden being duplicitous in pushing a Green New Deal agenda he formerly opposed? Almost assuredly. During the presidential debates in October of 2020, Biden said, “No, I don’t support the Green New Deal.” Yet in that same conversation Biden also bragged, “The Green New Deal will pay for itself as we move forward.”
The Green New Deal calls for a complete upheaval of American society to not just tackle climate change, but also change the U.S. economy. This was clear when one of its authors, Saikat Chakrabarti, the former chief of staff to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., was quoted in The Washington Post: “The interesting thing about the Green New Deal is it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all … Because we really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing.”
Well, unfortunately for Americans, Biden’s plan is certainly keeping to that “change the entire economy thing.” According to The Wall Street Journal, Biden’s planned tax increases to pay for his infrastructure bill will amount to the largest tax increase since 1968. That’s not exactly what we need in post-pandemic recovery.
While Biden and his surrogates claim these tax increases will only affect the wealthy and big corporations, it’s not that simple. As the Wall Street Journal explains, the cost of those taxes will be quickly passed on to consumers, consequently “[hitting] the middle class hard — in the value of their 401(k)s, the size of their pay packets, and what they pay for goods and services.” Still, modern leftists in Congress don’t think that Biden’s plan goes far enough.
Senator Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Ocasio-Cortez have called for the infrastructure bill to not be $2 trillion, but $10 trillion. Markey introduced a bill of his own, named “THRIVE”: the Transform, Heal and Renew by Investing in a Vibrant Economy Act.
Markey’s proposal includes infrastructure spending and a plan to reach zero carbon emissions by 2035, and according to Fox Business, directs “40 percent of federal government investments to communities that have been ‘excluded, oppressed and harmed by racist unjust practices,’ including communities of color and low-income neighborhoods.”
If the Biden administration succeeds over the next few months in hitting our economy with a whopping $2.3 trillion “transformation” of society program, what will four years bring? What about eight?
The American Action Forum released an alarming report noting that the Green New Deal, in total, would cost a staggering $93 trillion over ten years. With these proposed “infrastructure” plans, our nation is right on track for the first of what we can sadly expect to be several years of lavish Green New Deal spending.
In Washington, it seems the word “infrastructure” now means whatever the authors of the legislation want it to mean. This time, it means the Green New Deal.
This article originally appeared at The Federalist
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April 18, 2021 at 03:50AM