The bipartisan, $1-trillion-plus “infrastructure” bill pending in the Senate is a treasure trove of buzzwords and concepts such as “equity” (read: socialist programs); if passed, it will empower “woke” regulators with oversight of broadband expansion, and build stepping stones for the Green New Deal.
My colleague Patrice Onwuka has an excellent, broad overview of the bill, but drilling down a bit more specifically, though some progressives are reportedly disappointed and “thirsting for more” from the bill, they are making out like bandits and could ultimately have their way through the next $3.5 trillion bureaucratic monstrosity, which congressional Democrats are planning to pass, likely without a single GOP vote.
The bill uses the loaded word “equity” 64 times. As I recently wrote for The Washington Examiner, this equity idea has crept into corporate America, including at retail giant Walmart, which risks alienating customers through divisive ‘equity’ ideology. These equity ideas promote gender and racial quotas and create employee curricula that integrate parts of “critical race theory,” a divisive concept that erodes trust between racial groups.
As I wrote, the deeper problem is that, when an authority “pushes for a culture of equal outcomes, it is contributing to the rising popularity of socialism. Socialism has been tried and failed with heartbreaking results (including among countries that are majority people of color) around the globe. It tears at the fundamental American principle of equal opportunity.
“People across the country, including shoppers, overwhelmingly reject this, according to new polling from Harvard-HarrisX, which asked, ‘Do you think America is about achieving equal opportunity for everyone or providing equity to racial groups to make up for past discrimination?’ They overwhelmingly chose equal opportunity over equity (72% to 28%).”
The bill would also give “woke” regulators oversight on broadband expansion. This would allow them to decide where and when broadband expansion occurs and mandates regulators not use federal funds in a way that discriminates on the basis of “gender identity,” according to the American Principles Project.
In advancing the Green New Deal, the bill also would allocate $73 billion to kill fossil fuels and move to clean energy and to upgrade power infrastructure; $66 billion for Amtrak; $21 billion in environmental remediation; $15 billion for electric vehicles, busses, and trucks and charging stations; and more.
The problem with this plan to tackle climate change through aggressive government action is that it would hit lower-income Americans the hardest.
A 2014 Stanford study found “that it is ultimately people—not corporations—who would bear the costs of climate change regulation” as poorer households spend a higher share of their income on fuels for heating and transportation, “while higher income individuals spend proportionately a greater amount on services, which usually have lower than average carbon emissions per unit of output.”
Make no mistake: this bill is a leftist boondoggle.