The White House has rolled out its eight-year, $2.25 trillion infrastructure plan. But how much of what people normally think of as “infrastructure” – roads, bridges, tunnels, ports, and the like – are actually in the proposal?

A lot less than you think:

Just over $620 billion in transportation spending would go toward upgrading roads, bridges and other parts of the nation’s infrastructure. Consumers would be offered tax incentives to buy electric vehicles as part of a $174 billion investment in the industry. The plan also includes building a national network of 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations by 2030.

Breaking down that $620 billion even further, and we see that the biggest ticket item is the electric car incentive plan ($174 billion) followed by the traditional ‘roads, highways, bridges’ at $115 billion.

The Biden administration wants to pour billions into mass transit, bailout Amtrak, and get heavily involved in industrial policy, proposing $300 billion for an array of green energy initiatives, semiconductor research, and more.

And even with all this spending and a very expansive definition of ‘infrastructure,’ some think the president is thinking too small:

“Our concept of infrastructure needs to incorporate not just physical infrastructure but America’s most treasured resource, which is its people,” said Darrick Hamilton, professor of economics at the New School, who advised the presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) “We can’t have a limited 20th-century, myopic understanding of what infrastructure means.”

Biden’s proposal is just the opening bid in what will inevitably become an even more expensive, and expansive, piece of legislation.

Image Credit: Gage Skidmore Flickr