No, We Don’t Need Biden’s $2.3 Trillion Infrastructure Plan
While President Joe Biden’s administration doesn’t seem to need an excuse to spend money, two recurring arguments for his gigantic $2.3 trillion infrastructure proposal are that our roads and bridges are “crumbling,” and that modernization would generate economic growth and jobs—hence its name, the American Jobs Plan. But none of this clever marketing makes any of these claims true.
Let me start by pointing out that, to the extent that people think about roads and bridges when they hear the word “infrastructure,” they should know that only $621 billion of the $2.3 trillion is for transportation—and of that sum, only $115 billion is for repairing roads and bridges. The rest of the bill is mostly a handout to private companies that already invest heavily in infrastructure. These subsidies will come with federal red tape and regulation, and hinder job creation, not bolster it.
Also, while our infrastructure could certainly be modernized and could use some maintenance, it’s not crumbling. According to the World Economic Forum, U.S. infrastructure is ranked No. 13 in the world—which, out of 141 countries, isn’t too shabby, especially when considering the enormous size of our country and the challenges that presents.
Yet as Washington Post columnist Charles Lane notes, it would be more accurate to bundle European nations together, since they share a significant amount of infrastructure, which would move the United States into fifth place.
Moreover, while the American Society of Civil Engineers’ 2021 report card gave the United States a C-, this is its best grade in two decades—meaning that the quality of roads, bridges,
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