Late last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a $1.2 trillion infrastructure spending bill. This legislation paves the way for massive federal spending which will fuel inflation, discourage work, and hand Washington more control over household decisions.
While a majority of Americans support spending on roads, bridges, and critical infrastructure, they oppose a reckless spending spree on the Left’s partisan priorities. The ideas may sound helpful but will lead to higher prices, fewer choices, and worse outcomes. Yet, this may be the path we are headed on thanks to the passage of this infrastructure bill.
What’s in the $1.2 T bill?
Only $110 billion or about 10 percent of the bill comprises what most Americans consider traditional infrastructure (i.e., roads and bridges).
Here is a look at what’s in the bill according to Axios:
- $110 billion toward roads, bridges and other much-needed infrastructure fix-ups across the country; $40 billion is new funding for bridge repair, replacement and rehabilitation and $17.5 billion is for major projects;
- $73 billion for the country’s electric grid and power structures;
- $66 billion for rail services;
- $65 billion for broadband;
- $55 billion for water infrastructure;
- $21 billion in environmental remediation;
- $47 billion for flooding and coastal resiliency as well as “climate resiliency,” including protections against fires, etc.;
- $39 billion to modernize transit, which is the largest federal investment in public transit in history, according to the White House;
- $25 billion for airports;
- $17 billion in port infrastructure;
- $11 billion in transportation safety programs;
- $7.5 billion for electric vehicles and EV charging; $2.5 billion in zero-emission buses, $2.5 billion in low-emission buses, and $2.5 billion for ferries;
- The bill will include language regarding enforcement of unemployment insurance fraud.
This bill is also not fully funded, but will add $256 billion in projected deficits over 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
There are other priorities that we can debate, and perhaps agree, are worth funding such as the electric grid. However, a sizeable amount of funding is dedicated to liberal pet projects and priorities that benefit a narrow few (such as $66 billion for Amtrak to build a high-speed line in the Northeast corridor) or will crowd out private investment in key areas like broadband expansion. This should be concerning because of the potential long-term impacts.
Infrastructure may pave the way for overreaching, cradle-to-grave federal government
The infrastructure bill, which was passed in September by the Senate, was saved from the pile heap by a small group of conservative House members. Some 13 Republican members voted in favor of the bill, while six Squad members voted against it. The big takeaway is that conservatives salvaged this bill; The left could not even get all of their members on board.
Here is the political calculus some conservatives made: Pass this bill to head off President Biden’s $3 trillion+ Build Back Better plan (BBB).
The left never signed off on this plan. Far-left lawmakers have insisted on the passage of the partisan BBB spending bill and willingly tried to kill the bipartisan infrastructure bill to do so. To appease the far left, President Biden linked the fate of both bills together, which has assured that the passage of one means the passage of both.
Conservatives may find that their strategy has sealed the deal on the transformation of our economy that Senator Bernie Sanders envisioned. The Wall Street Journal’s editorial team noted:
The silver lining of the infrastructure bill is that some projects will be worthwhile while most of it is one-time spending that will end. Not so the $4 trillion Democratic plan that would create new cradle-to-grave entitlements that are designed to make American families even more dependent on the government. It would corrode the incentive to work and build in new demands for higher taxes, which the middle class will eventually pay.
Voters last week sent a message that they don’t want more taxes and spending amid rising inflation and shortages across the economy. If Democrats pass this monstrosity anyway, the Republicans who voted for the infrastructure bill will share the responsibility.
Americans recognize that more massive federal spending is certain to fuel inflation. In recent polling, a plurality of voters said they do not want Congress to pass the BBB plan.
Beyond the costs of this plan, provisions of the BBB are deeply troubling. It creates
- a universal Pre-K and a new childcare entitlement that will kill the private, home-based, and religious choices parents prefer;
- a new paid parental leave entitlement that could cause workers to lose their current, preferred paid leave options and flexibility;
- amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants and public benefits which will incentivize more illegal immigration especially at the southern border;
- climate change mandates that would raise energy costs for families; expanded benefits without work requirements that will increase dependency and decrease employment;
- tax increases on businesses that will lead to higher prices for consumers and smaller paychecks for workers.
There is so much more in the over 2,000-page bill that we won’t know about.
Now, that it’s passed the infrastructure bill is headed to President Biden’s signature. Americans should be worried that the BBB may be next.