Biden unveils 'once in a generation' spending plan to boost America's crumbling infrastructure; outperform China

Lalit K Jha
·4-min read

Washington, Apr 1 (PTI) President Joe Biden has unveiled a whopping USD 2 trillion investment proposal to upgrade America's crumbling infrastructure, address the challenge posed by climate change and boost the US' global competitive edge against China.

Touting his ambitious plan as a 'once-in-a-generation' investment to rebuild the backbone of America, Biden said it would lead to transformational progress that will generate good-paying jobs and economic growth.

'The rest of the world is closing in and closing in fast. We can't allow this to continue. American Jobs Plan is the biggest increase in our federal non-defence research and development spending on record,' Biden said in his address to the nation from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on Wednesday.

'It’s going to create the strongest, most resilient, innovative economy in the world,” Biden said.

The plan is aimed to put the US in a position to out-compete China, which he said, along with other countries, 'are eating our lunch.' He said failing to make these investments will add 'to our debt and effectively puts our children at a disadvantage relative to our competitors. That’s what crumbling infrastructure does. And our infrastructure is crumbling. We’re ranked 13th in the world,' the president pointed out.

'Our adversaries are worried about us building this critical infrastructure,” he said, noting that the decline in America's gross domestic product means “the rest of the world is closing in, and closing in fast.' 'What I’m proposing is a one-time capital investment of roughly USD 2 trillion in America’s future, spread largely over eight years,' he said.

The American Jobs Plan, he said will lead to a transformational progress in our effort to tackle climate change with American jobs and American ingenuity. It will protect the community from billions of dollars of damage from historic super storms, floods, wildfires, droughts, year after year, by making America's infrastructure more secure and resilient and seizing incredible opportunities for American workers and American farmers in a clean energy future.

Biden said it will generate historic job growth, historic economic growth, help businesses to compete internationally, create more revenue as well.

In fact, it’s the largest American jobs investment since World War Two. It will create millions of jobs, good-paying jobs. It will grow the economy, make us more competitive around the world, promote our national security interests, and put us in a position to win the global competition with China in the upcoming years.

Biden's ambitious plan envisions, over a span of eight years, repairing 32,000 kilometres of roadways, 10 economically significant bridges and 10,000 smaller ones and upgrading the country's power grid and transit systems.

Biden, a Democrat, also announced raising taxes on those earning more than USD 400,000 per annum.

'It's time to build our economy from the bottom up and from the middle out, not the top down. That hasn't worked very well,' he said.

'For the economy overall, it hasn't worked because Wall Street didn't build this country. You, the great middle class, built this country. And unions built the middle class. And it's time,' he said.

The American Jobs Plan will create millions of good jobs, rebuild the country's infrastructure and position the US to out-compete China, the White House said.

Public domestic investment as a share of the economy has fallen by more than 40 per cent since the 1960s. The American Jobs Plan will invest in America in a way not done since 'we built the interstate highways and won the Space Race', it said.

The plan invests USD 620 billion in transportation infrastructure, which will modernise 20,000 miles of highways, roads and main streets.

Among others, it will spark the electric vehicle revolution, building a network of 500,000 Electric Vehicles chargers, replacing 50,000 diesel transit vehicles, according to the White House.

Former president Donald Trump slammed Biden, saying the 'radical plan' to implement the largest tax hike in American history was a 'massive giveaway' to China and many other countries that will send thousands of factories, millions of jobs and trillions of dollars to these competitive nations.

'The Biden plan will crush American workers and decimate US manufacturing, while giving special tax privileges to outsourcers, foreign and giant multinational corporations,' Trump said.

'Biden promised to 'build back better', but the country he is building up, in particular, is China and other large segments of the world,' the Republican leader said.

Trump said the US was 'once again' losing the economic war with China and Biden's 'ludicrous' multi-trillion dollar tax hike is a strategy for 'total economic surrender'.

Sacrificing good paying American jobs is the last thing the citizens need as the US recovers from the effects of the pandemic, Trump added.

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Biden's American Jobs Plan was a 'visionary, once-in-a-century investment' in the American people and future.

National Association of Manufacturers president Jay Timmons said Biden's clear focus on strengthening manufacturing and the workforce of the future shows that he was truly committed to building the next post-pandemic world that is stronger and more resilient.

'When manufacturing is strong, America is strong,' he added. PTI LKJ HMB AKJ AKJ