With the Biden administration slowly releasing details of a comprehensive infrastructure plan, it is becoming more clear what will be included and how it will be paid for.
One person keeping a close eye on the plan and its payment method is David Dayen, Executive Editor of The American Prospect. He joined AWF Union Podcast to explain why the plan is viable and needs to be initiated now.
Investing in American infrastructure
Dayen said a comprehensive infrastructure plan should have been approved years ago, leaving the federal government no choice but to get it done now. An added benefit is putting people back to work who lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Dayen, The American Jobs Plan is all encompassing. While Republicans are focused on only spending on traditional infrastructure, such as roads and bridges, Democrats are moving forward to bring roads, bridges, ports, schools, internet access, the electric grid and more to present time to meet current and future demand.
The infrastructure plans of recent decades have either been poorly executed or non-existent. He used the example of a high speed rail project planned for California, which had government investment and no progress after years of work.
Paying for the American Jobs Plan
One of the most controversial issues with the American Jobs Plan is how it will be paid. While some insist on a small tax raise across the board, others are calling for increased toll road fees or an increase in the gas tax. The current proposal is to raise taxes on corporations and the wealthiest Americans.
Dayen said the plan will consist of mostly public funding, but has called for some private investment. He says this will make the plan cheaper for the average taxpayer. The goal of mixing public and private funds looks to break the cycle of entirely privatizing infrastructure projects, which then go incomplete.