Congress’ infrastructure spending proposals are blatantly irresponsible
Just a few months ago, members of Congress decided that for some reason, and immediately, the federal government had to spend billions of dollars on American infrastructure which they insisted was “falling apart.” collapse ”.
Floridians can be forgiven for wondering why this project has become so urgent, so quickly, so seemingly without cause – and expensive, to boot.
But looking through the two “infrastructure” packages proposed by Congress, we find the answer: these proposals have little to do with roads and bridges – projects that most Americans would recognize as infrastructure – and much more with projects. favorite supporters that many lawmakers want to spend every other day of the year.
It is totally irresponsible behavior.
Take the $ 1.2 trillion “hardware infrastructure” package, for example. Beyond the shiny bipartite plating, the proposal passes less than 10 percent on roads and bridges. The follow-up proposal, led by Sen. Bernie sandersBernie Sanders Biden touts “progress” in “candid” meetings on .5T Manchin plan: Biden told moderates to present price of reconciliation bill Biden uses flurry of meetings to unite warring factions MORE (I-Vt.), Is even worse.
The senator’s plan calls for spending of $ 3.5 trillion for “human infrastructureThe term ridiculously elastic for any wildlife project lawmaker can imagine. But the real cost of the plan, in the absence of the typical legislative gadgets of Congress, is over $ 5,000 billion.
This proposal, too, has almost nothing to do with the maintenance or construction of roads and bridges. These lawmakers know this, which is why they are trying to pass the plan through budget reconciliation in a party line vote.
These legislative shenanigans conceal the real motive of the legislators: to spend a lot of your money and to brag about having “brought” some of it back to your constituency.
To some extent, Florida suffers from these same issues, although to a lesser extent. More 13% of our gas tax funds are hijacked for relatively unrelated infrastructure projects, including schools and public transport.
But that’s nothing compared to usual looting of federal funds intended to maintain our infrastructure.
However, this is not a simple problem of embezzlement of taxpayers’ money. The proposal would insert the power of the federal government ever deeper into our personal lives, from healthcare to energy, and beyond.
For example, Sanders’ plan would pressure states to expand Medicaid by allowing able-bodied, working-age adults to join its ranks. Not only is this unnecessary, it would be extremely costly to implement and would likely result in states raising taxes or cutting other essential programs.
It also wouldn’t solve Medicaid’s many problems, one of which is its staggering inappropriate payment rate: 21 percent in 2020, amounting to $ 143 billion, enough to cover 24 million adults for an entire year.
The senator has similar plans for Medicare, a program absolutely crucial for Florida’s large retiree population.
Supporters of the package suggested lowering the age of eligibility for the program from 65 to 60, straining a safety net that should fail from 2026. This would lead to rationing of care, or a decline in the quality of services, for the elderly and Americans with disabilities.
The plan also calls for an expensive national cap-and-trade system, which drive up energy prices. It would be disastrous for low income Americans and, as anyone who has ever visited Florida can tell you, those who depend on air conditioning.
This would be a high cost for a program which, as history shows, has extremely limited effectiveness.
In short, this proposal would be particularly damaging to America’s “human infrastructure” and that is before lawmakers raise taxes to fund it. President Joe bidenJoe BidenUkraine President compares UN to “retired superhero” Biden touts “progress” in “candid” meetings on .5T Biden plan to appeal to law professor who wants to “end to the bank as we know it “as head of the OCC: PLUS reports suggests increasing the federal corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%, bringing rate at 31.2 percent, killing jobs and opportunities for millions.
We urge lawmakers to reject these intrusive, costly and destructive proposals with the same urgency with which they have been proposed. Floridians don’t need another frenzy of partisan spending – in fact, we need precisely the opposite: responsible leadership from Congress.
Byron Donalds is the United States Representative for Florida 19e District. Skylar Zander is the State Director of Americans for Prosperity-Florida.