Looking beyond the pending $1.9-T aid/relief/stimulus bill, Mr. Biden is laying the groundwork for another Democrat legislative priority. His idea is to boost US infrastructure spending that will run into Republican resistance due to its huge price tag.
Mr. Biden and his team have begun discussions on an outline for an infrastructure package with members of Congress.
Gina McCarthy, Mr. Biden’s national climate adviser, told the AP that the deadly Winter storm in Texas should be a “wake-up call” for the need for energy systems and other infrastructure that are more reliable and resilient.
A White House proposal could come out later this month. It will likely use The Trump Administration model with a pump up in earmarked pork.
It is true that much of America’s infrastructure including roads, bridges, public drinking and water systems, dams, airports, and mass transit systems are in dire need of major restoration after yrs of underfunding, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers. In its Y 2017 Infrastructure Report Card, it gave the national infrastructure an overall grade of D+.
Both chambers of Congress will use as starting points their unsuccessful efforts to get President Trump’s infrastructure bills through the last session.
Mr. Biden talks bigger numbers, and some Democrats are now urging him to bypass Republicans in the closely divided Congress to address a broader range of priorities urged by special interest groups, aka pork.
During his campaign, Mr. Biden pledged to deploy $2-T on infrastructure and clean energy, but the White House has not ruled out an even higher price tag. Mr. Biden’s plan must focus on job creation with investments to boost those workers that have been left behind by closed coal mines and power plants.
“This is probably the only page that the current President will take from the past Administration. However this was not only the past President idea but its origin really comes from a prior Democratic, yes a Democratic Administration. Many are too young to remember or even know of Franklin Roosevelt, the 32nd president of the United States and a Democrat from 1933 until his death in 1945.
“However, the Biden/ Trump (Democrat/ Republican) current experience is very similar to that of the Hoover/ Roosevelt transition. Here Roosevelt (a Democrat) actually tried to take a page out of the Hoover’s (a Republican) Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC) at the start of his administration in 1932.
“History writes little of this but similar to Trump, Hoover wanted to launch big public projects like an interstate highway system and new government building construction, but he didn’t benefit from as much congressional cooperation as FDR. Does this sound like the current Democratic control of both Houses of Government currently enjoyed by Biden? Many do not recall that FDR criticized the RFC on the campaign trail, like Biden did of Trump, as a sop to big business, but then used it to jump-start the New Deal (and yes, it continued with Roosevelt’s successor, Harry Truman) as a bridge between government and industry throughout World War II and the Korean War).
“While not preferring handouts, Roosevelt also made concessions on direct food relief (sounds like Biden’s pork-barreled stimulus program and those currently on the drawing boards) that Hoover didn’t, like what he had already pioneered statewide as New York Governor.
“If you recall, The New Deal started providing free lunches at public schools. Biden’s program is similar but here he uses a free give away money-back versus food program for all as Roosevelt did in his Chicken in every Pot slogan (including illegal immigrants) instead of a well thought out and structured plan. If it wasn’t for Hoover’s RFC Plan and World War II’s pent-up consumer spending needs after the War, Roosevelt’s Plan would had resulted in a failure.
“So, it will be interesting to see how the Biden program will play out. Will it be a repeat of history again where a Democrat tries to take the credit for a Trump Republican developed program just like in 1932 – Roosevelt (a Democrat) versus Hoover (a Republican)?” says economist Bruce WD Barren, a regular LTN editorial contributor.
Have a healthy day, Keep the Faith!