Pittsburgh, PA: President Joe Biden on Wednesday unveiled a $2 trillion infrastructure plan aimed at modernizing America’s crumbling transport network, creating millions of jobs and delivering a “once-in-a-generation” investment that will enable the country to best China on the global economic stage, reports AFP.
Mr. Biden compared his “transformational” plan to the ambitious U.S. space program of the 1960s, saying it would boost the livelihoods of poor and middle-class Americans, take aim at global warming, and be funded by increased taxes on large companies and the rich.
“Today I’m proposing a plan for the nation that rewards work, not just rewards wealth. It builds a fair economy that gives everybody a chance to succeed. It’s going to create the strongest, most resilient, innovative economy in the world,” Mr. Biden said.
“It’s a once-in-a-generation investment in America, unlike anything we’ve seen or done since we built the interstate highway system and the space race decades ago.”
The plan called for sweeping upgrades to transportation, telecommunications and energy infrastructure, which the U.S. leader said was both about revitalizing an economy weakened by the COVID-19 pandemic and restoring its global competitiveness.
Mr. Biden’s infrastructure plan — the second massive spending initiative of his 10-week old administration, after the $1.9 trillion short-term COVID rescue bill passed earlier this month — faces tough tests in a Congress worried about soaring deficits.
But it also seeks to address crumbling bridges, roads and other public works around the country that successive administrations have failed to take on.
In doing so, it would expand the role of the government in the U.S. economy to levels not seen in decades.
“In fact, it’s the largest American jobs investment since World War II. It will create millions of jobs, good-paying jobs,” Mr. Biden said.
Under the plan, taxes will rise on Americans earning more than $400,000 a year, and the corporate tax ceiling will rise to 28% from 21%
Mr. Biden’s speech fired the starting gun on what is expected to be a bitter battle in Congress, where the Democrats hold only a narrow majority and will face strong opposition from Republicans, who have denounced the plan as excessive government spending.
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell called the plan a “Trojan horse” for the extreme left, with higher taxes and support for unions.
Business groups blasted Mr. Biden’s intention to have them fund it.
“We need a big and bold program to modernize our nation’s crumbling infrastructure and we applaud the Biden administration for making infrastructure a top priority,” the powerful U.S. Chamber of Commerce said in a statement.
“However, we believe the proposal is dangerously misguided when it comes to how to pay for infrastructure.”
Mr. Trump, who spoke of revitalizing U.S. infrastructure but made no headway in Congress, said Mr. Biden’s tax hike would hurt the economy and “decimate U.S. manufacturing.”