It’s traditional for politicians to say their big new legislative proposal will create lots of high-paying new jobs. 

It’s no different with Mr. Biden’s $2.25 trillion infrastructure proposal. Team Biden has hit the airwaves saying it will create roughly 19 million jobs over a decade. And not just any jobs, but, the president said, “good jobs, blue-collar jobs, jobs that pay well.”

It turns out that’s not really true. As Reason’s Eric Boehm writes, the economy will create plenty of jobs without Biden’s plan:

Without the passage of the American Jobs Act, Moody’s projects that the economy will create 16.3 million jobs in the next decade.

In other words, the passage of Biden’s infrastructure plan would boost job creation by about 2.7 million jobs—not 19 million.


To put it another way, each one of those 2.7 million jobs is going to cost taxpayers a lot of money:

Spending $2.25 trillion to create 19 million jobs would have worked out to more than $118,000 per job. Spending that same amount of money to create just 2.7 million jobs carries a whopping price tag of $833,000 per job.

That’s extraordinary, even by federal government standards. But as Boehm also notes, the eye-popping per-job cost comes from two drivers: roads and bridges have gotten absurdly expensive to build and repair, and a lot of the money in the Biden plan goes into existing programs that won’t create many new jobs at all.

After piling all those additional costs onto a relatively paltry number of expected new jobs, the American Jobs Act looks less like an economic stimulus and more like a huge waste of money. 

Yes, it does.