Job creation and climate change | Biden wants to invest billions in infrastructure

(Pittsburgh) US President Joe Biden on Wednesday proposed investing nearly $ 2 trillion in infrastructure, with the stated goal of creating “millions of jobs”, standing up to China and combating climate change.

Jim Watson with Jerome Cartler in Washington
France Media

“It’s ambitious! She is bold! And we can do it! », Set off from Pittsburgh, the president who, since coming to power less than three months ago, has shown his reformist will.

“This will create the most flexible, strongest and most innovative economy in the world,” he added, stressing the need to “win” over China.

The first phase of the ‘Build Back Better’ program involves investments spanning an eight-year period and is financed by increasing the corporate tax from 21% to 28%.

Joe Biden explained that “it is not about punishing anyone,” stressing “belief in American capitalism” and the absence of “anything” against millionaires and billionaires.

But the White House tenant was angry that a firefighter or teacher was paying 22% income tax and groups like Amazon pay no federal taxes. “I’ll finish this,” he thundered.

His plan includes pumping $ 620 billion into transportation, upgrading more than 20,000 miles of roads and highways, and repairing about 10,000 bridges across the United States.

This new legislative offensive comes shortly after Congress adopted a stimulus package focused on the COVID-19 pandemic, which is also estimated to be around $ 2 trillion.

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 already tight and the negotiations promise to be enormous.

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Indeed, the first dissonant votes came from the left wing of the Democratic Party.

For the elected New York electorate of Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, the proposed sums are simply “insufficient”. “The envelope must be much larger,” she wrote on Twitter.

As for Wyoming Republican Senator John Barrasso, this project is nothing but 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 Washington business expert.

Electric cars

Photo by Brendan Madermaid, Reuters Archives

The plan plans to amplify the “electric vehicle revolution”, for example, by switching to electricity for 20% of the popular yellow school buses.

It also aims to make the new infrastructure more resistant to the changes associated with climate change.

Restoration or construction of roads, bridges, railways, ports and airports? This idea is of course meaningful to the general public, especially since many of the infrastructures in the United States date back to the 1950s and their destruction is not in question.

But building political consensus is not an easy task.

And Joe Biden’s predecessors, Donald Trump and Barack Obama have also made big promises on the matter. They remain dead on paper.

“Serious” error

Photo archive – Reuters

Minister of Transport Pete Buttigieg

Former Joe Biden competitor in the Democratic primary and now Transportation Secretary, Pete Buttigieg, who will be in the front lines on the issue, ensures that everything will be different this time, and that the stars are balanced.

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“I think we have an extraordinary opportunity to have the support of both parties to think big and bold about infrastructure,” the young minister insists.

“Americans do not need to explain to them that we need to work on infrastructure, and the truth is you cannot separate the climate dimension” from this challenge.

If Pete Buttigieg’s enthusiasm and political capital are real, the task will be daunting.

It is noteworthy that the American Chamber of Commerce, which has so far welcomed many of Joe Biden’s decisions, from a return to the Paris climate agreement to the bailout for the economy, expressed its apparent disagreement on Wednesday.

If she agrees to want to make infrastructure a priority, she believes the Democratic president is “seriously” mistaken in funding his program.

“We are strongly opposed to the proposed tax increases, which will slow the economic recovery and make the United States less competitive on the international stage, which is completely opposite to the objectives of this plan.”

In an aggressive and direct statement, Donald Trump accused his successor of proposing a strategy of “total economic surrender”. He denounced “brutality” and estimated that the increase in corporate tax would be a “huge gift” for China.

“ Joe Biden’s cruel attack on the American dream should never become law […]. Our economy will be destroyed! He concluded, adopting a formula that is used regularly in the campaign when he summons the potential victory of his opponent.

Evidence of his desire to put the “Build Back Better” program at the center of his work, Joe Biden will organize his first White House meeting on Thursday with all members of his cabinet attending.

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