Biden infrastructure plan isn’t all that big

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez pointed out that Joe Biden’s $2.25 trillion-dollar infrastructure plan isn’t all that big, when you consider that it’s going to be spread out over 10 years.

Biden himself proposed a $7 trillion-dollar plan while campaigning, as Krystal Ball noted on her TV show.  Bernie Sanders proposed $11 trillion. 

The Congressional Progressive Caucus has proposed $10 trillion.  Even Joe Manchin of West Virginia, possibly the most conservative Democrat in the Senate, suggested $4 trillion.

The President has limited himself by proposing to finance it on a pay-as-you-go basis.  Since infrastructure contributes to future economic growth, it makes sense to finance it by borrowing, the same as taking out a mortgage on a house or any other long-term investment.

Politically, there is little to gain by holding back.  Senator Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce would be just as opposed to it if it were $2.25 billion or $2.25 million.

There are a lot of good things in Biden’s plan.  It’s bigger and better than anything Presidents Trump or Obama tried to do.  But is it enough?  Is it a first step, or is it all there’s going to be?


Ocasio-Cortez on Biden infrastructure plan: “Not nearly enough” by Dominick Mastrangelo for The Hill

Biden’s Infrastructure Plan Is More Than That – But Does It Go Far Enough? by Kara Voght and Rebecca Leber for Mother Jones.

Biden’s Infrastructure Plan Needs More Climate Spending by Kate Aronoff for The New Republic.

Biden’s Infrastructure Plan Is No Green New Deal, Left Says by Zahra Hirji and Ryan Brooks for BuzzFeed News.

Biden’s New Deal and the Future of Human Capital by David Wallace-Wells for The New Yorker.  Hat tip to Steve from Texas.

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2 Responses to “Biden infrastructure plan isn’t all that big”

  1. Fred (Au Natural) Says:

    Well… we don’t have infinite funds to work with. The COVID bailout ate up a lot of resources. You can’t just keep pumping cash into the economy forever, no matter what the Harvard School of Economics says.

    Better to get what you think you can than to shoot for the moon and get nothing.


  2. philebersole Says:

    Half a loaf is better than no bread, but that doesn’t mean we need to settle for crumbs.

    If your roof was leaking, you wouldn’t be content for budget reasons to fix only half the leaks.

    If we Americans can’t afford to do what’s necessary to reverse economic decline and provide for ourselves, our leaders should cease the big talk about restoring American greatness and not allowing China to become No. 1.

    Somehow these questions of affordability never arise when it comes to maintaining military bases all over the world, buying expensive weapons systems or continuing endless wars.

    And they never arise when it comes to bailing out big banks and other corporations—only when it comes to providing living wages or rebuilding infrastructure or paying for education and health care.

    If something is necessary, the means to do it can be found.


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