Biden’s $2 Trillion Infrastructure Bill Will Hurt the Environment
President Joe Biden’s administration has made the fight against climate change a central part of its $2 trillion infrastructure plan. This legislation, if it ever sees the light of day, would shovel more than $100 billion of subsidies toward boosting the market for electric vehicles, as well as updating the country’s electric grid to make it allegedly more resilient to climate disasters.
All of these “investments” sound well and good on paper, but if you genuinely care about the environment, don’t hold your breath for any real progress. For one thing, Biden’s plan is mostly a giant handout to corporations that are already heavily investing in infrastructure. It’s also a gift to unions, most of which will do nothing to encourage the type of activities the president claims to support, and they’ll make the cost of producing infrastructure more expensive, so we’ll probably see less of it.
Consider the way the plan is currently funded with taxes on income. As Chris Edwards of the Cato Institute notes, that’s pretty much the exact opposite of the way a green plan should be funded. He writes, “Biden’s plan relies on income taxes to pay for infrastructure subsidies, and that approach does not moderate consumption or reduce resource use.” What the president should do instead, Edwards suggests, is allow states to “fund infrastructure…through user charges that restrain consumer demand.”
Those higher income taxes on top of the many costly labor and environmental mandates in the bill would also raise production costs in the United States. That would shift production of many products to other countries that have mo
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