This isn’t infrastructure

By KAY C. JAMES
Posted 5/11/21

President Biden is trying to sell the American public a huge far-left wish list of new spending and programs, including his “American Jobs Plan.”

Infrastructure has been commonly …

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This isn’t infrastructure

Posted

President Biden is trying to sell the American public a huge far-left wish list of new spending and programs, including his “American Jobs Plan.”

Infrastructure has been commonly understood to mean projects like roads and bridges. In fact, we’re being sold this massive bill because we’ve been told for years that our roads and bridges are crumbling all around us.

Yet, in Biden’s budget-busting $2.25 trillion plan, less than 5 percent of those dollars actually get spent on traditional road and bridge projects. Much of the rest is spent on left-wing priorities that don’t come close to meeting the definition of infrastructure. Those priorities likely wouldn’t get public support if Mr. Biden and his allies were honest about what the bill actually contained.

But that’s precisely why they have to change the definitions of words. If you fraudulently label something “infrastructure,” it becomes a “must-pass” bill.

This new definition of shovel-ready infrastructure includes massive amounts of corporate welfare, a huge expansion of Medicaid benefits, federal rules to undermine right-to-work laws, a “Civilian Climate Corps” that would use billions of taxpayer dollars to fund legions of environmental activists, and billions in subsidies for electric vehicles.

Redefining language is nothing new for the left. Bill Clinton famously called taxes “contributions.” But if you actually treated them like contributions and decided that they were voluntary, armed IRS agents would knock on your door and put a lien on your home.

And there’s no such thing as a baby growing inside her mother’s womb anymore; it’s now called a “product of conception.” That’s the left’s way of pretending that abortion isn’t the destruction of human life.

And what about when a politician tells you they’re cutting spending? In typical Washington-speak, spending cuts aren’t actually cuts in spending but cuts to increases in spending. So they’re still spending more than they did before — just not as much as they wanted.

No matter what they call it, Mr. Biden’s infrastructure plan includes the biggest tax increase and the greatest federal power grab in decades.

The trillions in new taxes necessary to fund a spending plan of this size would cripple the American economy just as we’re trying to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr. Biden says the tax increase would be borne by businesses and the rich, but raising taxes on businesses hurts all Americans, especially poor and working families. Companies have to pay for higher taxes somehow, and they usually do it by charging higher prices, by lowering wages, or by investing in operations and jobs overseas where taxes are cheaper.

But won’t all that job creation Mr. Biden is promising offset all those jobs lost?

Not even close. Federal infrastructure projects often just end up diverting skilled workers from private-sector construction work.

In the end, the American Jobs Plan is being used as a Trojan horse to hide an agenda that would cost American families, chase jobs out of the country, add trillions to the debt, and concentrate more power with the federal government.

It won’t build much infrastructure, but it will build a bigger Washington swamp.

Kay C. James is president of The Heritage Foundation (heritage.org).  A longer version of this article appeared in the Washington Times.

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