US President Joe Biden on Wednesday proposed investing some $ 2 trillion in infrastructure, with the stated goal of creating “Millions of jobs”, stand up to China and fight climate change. “It’s ambitious! It’s daring! And we can do it! “, launched from Pittsburgh the president, who demonstrates, since his arrival in power less than three months ago, his reformist will.
“This will help create the most resilient, strongest and most innovative economy in the world”, he added, insisting on the need to ” to win “ against China. The first phase of his program « Build Back Better » (“Rebuild better”) relates to investments that would be spread over eight years and financed by an increase in corporate tax from 21% to 28%.
“It’s not about penalizing anyone”, explained Joe Biden, hammering “Believe in American capitalism” and not have ” nothing “ against millionaires and billionaires. But the White House tenant was outraged that a firefighter or teacher pays 22% income tax and that groups like Amazon pay no federal tax. “I will end this”, he thundered.
Bridges and highways to be repaired
His plan includes injecting $ 620 billion into transportation, modernizing more than 32,000 kilometers of roads and highways, and repairing some 10,000 bridges across the United States. This new legislative offensive comes shortly after the adoption by Congress of a recovery plan focused on the Covid-19 pandemic, also estimated at nearly $ 2,000 billion.
But this Pittsburgh speech is only the beginning of a bitter battle in Congress, the outcome of which is uncertain. The Democratic majority there is indeed narrow and the negotiations promise to be formidable. Already, the first dissonant voices have come from the left wing of the Democratic Party. For the elected of New York Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the amounts proposed are quite simply “Insufficient”. “The envelope must be much larger”, she tweeted.
For Republican Senator from Wyoming John Barrasso, on the other hand, this project is only a ” Trojan horse “ to allow democrats “To spend more and raise taxes”. The only certainty is that the coming months will test the negotiating qualities of the Democratic president, former senator and connoisseur of the workings of Washington.
Stepping up the fight against climate change
The plan is to amplify “The electric vehicle revolution” with, for example, the switch to electricity for 20% of the famous yellow school bus buses. It also aims to make new infrastructures more resistant to changes linked to climate change. Restore or build roads, bridges, railways, ports and airports? The idea is of course meaningful to the general public, especially since many infrastructures in the United States date from the 1950s and their dilapidation is not up for debate.
But building a political consensus is no easy task. Joe Biden’s two predecessors, Donald Trump and Barack Obama, had also made great promises on this subject. They have remained a dead letter. Former rival of Joe Biden in the Democratic primaries and now Minister of Transport, Pete Buttigieg, who will be on the front line on this issue, ensures that everything will be different this time, that the stars are aligned, but the task promises to be difficult.
In an aggressive and unqualified statement, Donald Trump accused his successor of proposing a strategy of “Total economic capitulation”. Denouncing a “Monstrosity”, he estimated that the corporate tax hike would be “A huge gift” to China. “Joe Biden’s cruel attack on the American dream must never become law (…). Our economy will be destroyed! “, he concluded, using a formula regularly used in campaign when he spoke of the possible victory of his opponent.
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