Biden’s Infrastructure Numbers Might Work if Government Cuts Waste
The Biden administration’s $2.25 trillion infrastructure plan is supposed to generate enough economic benefit to the country to easily overcome any economic harm a tax hike or corporations/the wealthy/and others would inflict.
Does that assertion stand up to scrutiny? The Tax Foundation’s Scott Hodge looked more closely at the data and concluded no, they don’t.
Hodge says if the White House really wants its infrastructure plan to deliver dividends to the American people, it can. But that requires some very hard choices:
If Biden wants to maximize the economic benefits of his $2 trillion in new infrastructure spending, he should cut $2 trillion in other (wasteful) government spending to pay for it.
We shouldn’t hold our breath waiting for that to happen. But if the administration wants somewhere to start cutting waste, they need go no further than the Defense Department’s $1.7 trillion boondoggle, the F-35 fighter jet. Cutting this huge waste of taxpayer money, though, will require more political will than official Washington can muster on its best day:
How does a project like this happen, and continue, despite perpetual problems? There are 1,400 subcontractors for the F-35 program spread out over 307 congressional districts in 45 states. For those of you unfamiliar with the US political system, that means there are 307 congressmen (out of 435) and 90 senators (out of 100) who have constituents whose livelihoods depend in whole or in part on the F-35 program.
Even the extraordinarily progressive Senator Bernie Sanders claims to oppose the program but supports having it partly based in Vermont so his constituents can benefit from the subcontracting jobs.
We can have shiny new bridges to nowhere, or jets that can’t fly in the rain. We cannot have both.