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On Wednesday, March 31st, President Joe Biden unveiled his $2 trillion plan for investment in American infrastructure, something that he claims will push the United States into the 2020s as the “most resilient and innovative economy in the world.” The President positioned the plan to a room full of reporters as a “once-in-a-generation” investment in the national economy, with the benefits outlasting the costs. Additionally, Biden is one of the first leaders to combine a new infrastructure initiative with a vow to advocate for clean and renewable energy. 

The bill includes a series of direct payments and tax breaks for cities and municipalities, which would lead to over 20,000 miles of rebuilt roads, reconstruction of 10 economically critical bridges across the country, and the elimination of lead in the water supply chain. Specifically, the New York Times estimates that the bill could generate “a total of $180 billion for research and development, $115 billion for roads and bridges, $85 billion for public transit, and $80 billion for Amtrak and freight rail. There is $42 billion for ports and airports, $100 billion for broadband, and $111 billion for water infrastructure — including $45 billion to ensure no child ever is forced to drink water from a lead pipe, which can slow children’s development and lead to behavioral and other problems.” These projects are coupled with the institution of federally mandated sustainable practices, like clean energy usage. In addition, Biden has also positioned the bill in a manner designed to address and reduce inequalities, offering access to cleaner water, increased internet speed, and faster commuting times on affordable public transportation. All elements of the bill underscore the necessity to create millions of meaningful American jobs via these projects and initiatives. 

The Biden Administration plans to generate funding via increased corporate taxation, specifically on multinational corporations that record earnings overseas. The spending is set to take place span eight years, ensuring that the increased tax revenue would eventually offset the expenditure and reduce the deficit. According to experts, this bill marks the first action of a multi-step Biden plan to overhaul the American economy through the use of aggressive federal spending. Some estimate that the entire scheme could run the government upwards of $4 trillion. Over time, increased corporate taxes could be coupled with increases in income taxes for the wealthy, pending the approval of congress. 

Despite the traditional bipartisan agreement on increased infrastructure spending as a means to bolster economic growth, the Biden plan quickly drew harsh criticism from Republicans and Big Business, alike. According to the New York Times, Senator Mitch McConnell expressed his concerns and suggested that he would likely not support such a proposition. He explained, “If it’s going to have massive tax increases and trillions more added to the national debt, it’s not likely.” On the other side of the aisle, President Biden was adamant about his belief in supporting the middle-class American family. He stated that he is open and eager to collaborate with Republicans, but reaffirmed his stance: “I’m open to other ideas, so long as they do not impose any tax increase on people making less than $400,000.” While nothing has been officially signed into law, the Biden Administration’s aggressive efforts to reinvigorate infrastructure and the economy, combined with support from an entirely Democratic Congress, could mean a new and exciting future for the country in the years to come. 

Maddie is a junior at Brown from Connecticut. She is concentrating in Economics.
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