The US president has presented his new infrastructure plan. A Trillion-dollar investment should create jobs – and stimulate the economy. There was immediate criticism of Joe Biden’s plan.
US President Joe Biden unveiled a $ 2 trillion program on Wednesday to fundamentally modernize his country’s infrastructure and stimulate economic growth. “It’s the largest American investment in jobs since World War II,” Biden announced his plan in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is to be financed by raising the corporate tax from 21 to 28 percent. Even before the official presentation of the program by Biden, criticism of the plans was loud.
The program is said to have a volume of two trillion dollars (1.7 trillion euros) and will run for eight years. In his speech, Biden emphasized that the program would create “millions of well-paying jobs”. The United States “cannot hesitate another minute” to rebuild US infrastructure.
“It’s ambitious! And we can do it,” said the president, who since taking office less than three months ago has repeatedly made clear his will to reform. “This will create the most resilient, strongest and most innovative economy in the world,” he said, emphasizing the need to strengthen the US’s position in competition with China.
“It’s not about punishing anyone,” said Biden, emphasizing that he has “nothing” against millionaires and billionaires. “I’m open to other ideas,” he said. Biden reiterated that he did not want the lowest incomes to be taxed.
However, tough disputes with the opposition Republicans in Congress over the project are to be expected. One of the sticking points is likely to be the planned increase in corporate tax. Under Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, corporate tax was drastically reduced from 35 to 21 percent.
Criticism of the new plan
Republican Senator John Barrasso criticized Biden’s scheme as a “Trojan horse” for higher government spending and taxes. MEP Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who belongs to the left wing of the Democrats, said the program should have been “much higher”.
The US Chamber of Commerce approved the planned investments in infrastructure in principle. However, she decidedly against financing the plans through tax increases. The Chamber of Commerce warned that these would slow down the economic recovery in the USA.
Most of the infrastructure in the USA dates back to the 1950s and is ailing in many places. One focus of Biden’s program is to aim at modernizing the transport system. For this alone, 620 billion dollars (528 billion euros) will be spent.
Among other things, the modernization of 32,000 kilometers of interurban and other roads is planned. Thousands of bridges are also to be repaired and subsidies from the federal budget for public transport are to be doubled.
Furthermore, according to the White House, the program should spark an “electric car revolution”. 500,000 charging stations are to be set up for e-cars and a fifth of the ubiquitous yellow school buses are to be converted to e-drives.
Because of the narrow majorities of Biden’s Democrats in Congress, the project will probably not be fully implemented without the participation of some of the Republicans. Biden’s predecessors Trump and Barack Obama also had big plans for modernizing the infrastructure, but made very limited progress in this area.
Biden’s infrastructure offensive follows three weeks after Congress passed a corona aid package worth $ 1.9 trillion (1.6 trillion euros). The implementation of this rescue program was the first major domestic political success of the president, who has been in office since January. With the program, Biden wants to intensify the fight against the pandemic and its economic effects and help citizens and companies in need.