How will our tax dollars be spent and is it a good investment?
Well, the infrastructure bill passed and it is the largest one since the great civic works of the Great Depression. Where is our money going? Are there some hidden agendas? Is it a good idea?
A breakdown of where the money is going
- Roads and bridges: $110 billion
- Railroads: $66 billion
- Power grid: $65 billion
- Broadband: $65 billion
- Water: $55 billion
- ‘Resilience’: $47 billion (Cybersecurity and Climate Change Mitigation)
- Public transit: $39 billion
- Airports: $25 billion
- Remediation: $21 billion (funds to clean up brownfield and superfund sites, abandoned mines, and old oil and gas wells that need to be plugged)
- Ports: $17 billion
- Safety: $11 billion (highway safety, but there is also funding for pedestrian safety, pipeline safety and even ways to prevent crashes into animals)
- Western water infrastructure:$8 billion
- Electric vehicle charging stations: $7.5 billion
- Electric school buses: $7.5 billion
What else is included in the bill?
- Funding for salmon recovery
- Requirements that states enforce open container laws that prevent open alcoholic beverages in cars and a provision allowing states to use some of their funding for recreational trails
- Research on “wildlife crossing safety” and money for a “healthy streets” program to expand tree cover to mitigate urban heat
- More food and beverage services on Amtrak routes, even if revenue does not break even
- A new department that promotes female truck drivers
- Digital Equity Act (distribute federal funds on racial grounds)
- Internet access for prisoners
- Traffic calming and road diets (The intentional creation of traffic jams by Buttigieg so you’ll take public transportation)
- Provides $125 million to encourage states and localities to tax every mile that you drive
- Free daycare
- Free pre-kindergarten
- Free community college
- Student loan forgiveness
- Making permanent the $300 weekly temporary bonus unemployment payment
- Expand Medicare and Medicaid to cover dental care, vision care, and hearing care
- Tees Up the Partisan $3.5 Trillion Social Spending Package
How will it be paid for?
The five-year spending package would be paid for by tapping $210 billion in unspent COVID-19 relief aid and $53 billion in unemployment insurance aid some states have halted, along with an array of other smaller pots of money, like petroleum reserve sales and spectrum auctions for 5G services.
What do I think about it?
While we definitely need to work on our crumbling infrastructure, this is a debt and bureaucratic disaster in the making.
Although we are told it will “pay for itself”, it won’t.
Repurposed Covid funds are insufficient to fill the gaps, and “Covid funds” were funds created out of thin air in any event so claiming it pays for itself with fake money, is just more mafia-style creative accounting.
And the Congressional Budget Office informed Congress that the bill will add $256 billion to the deficit. That’s a quarter of a trillion dollars to add to the already growing inflation problem.
They also included a whole bunch of “equity” language throwing money at “disadvantaged groups”, but with no accountability and no proper definition of where this money is going, I think I had better get my own grant-writing pencil sharpened.
Here are the 19 RINO Republicans who voted for it, via NPR.
This list includes McConnell, Graham, Romney, Portman and Cassidy.
- Roy Blunt, Missouri
- Richard Burr, North Carolina
- Shelley Moore Capito, West Virginia
- Bill Cassidy, Louisiana
- Susan Collins, Maine
- Kevin Cramer, North Dakota
- Mike Crapo, Idaho
- Deb Fischer, Nebraska
- Lindsey Graham, South Carolina
- Chuck Grassley, Iowa
- John Hoeven, North Dakota
- Mitch McConnell, Kentucky
- Lisa Murkowski, Alaska
- Rob Portman, Ohio
- James Risch, Idaho
- Mitt Romney, Utah
- Dan Sullivan, Alaska
- Thom Tillis, North Carolina
- Roger Wicker, Mississippi