President Joe Biden is counting on the passage of the newly minted bipartisan infrastructure bill as a key political win for his administration. Given that the Democrats control both chambers of Congress, their difficulty negotiating and passing the bill demonstrates how incredibly unpopular the bill is. Although Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has stated that he expects the bill to pass, the bill does not pay for itself and is a departure from the typical fiscal responsibility that Republicans hail. Although it does an important job at addressing the nation’s crumbling infrastructure, it is done so inefficiently.
The Balance stated that between the 2020 and 2021 fiscal years, Biden has increased the country’s debt by $1.5 trillion — a 5.6 percent increase. This is incredibly concerning considering that between 2010 and 2019, U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth did not exceed 3.08 percent. Assuming that the United States GDP will not surpass that of the average between 2010 and 2019, President Biden will have increased the country’s debt significantly more than the growth of GDP. This is true before any impact of the infrastructure bill is accounted for.
Biden’s proposed infrastructure bill would increase the United States deficit by $256 billion over the next 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. While an increase in spending for social welfare programs is to be expected during moments of emergencies, such as a once-in-a-century pandemic, this increase in deficit is dangerous for the United States economy. Although the current bill is considered bipartisan, with many Senators claiming that the bill pays for itself, the truth is that it does not. According to FactCheck.org, Marc Goldwein, the Senior Vice President and Senior Policy Director at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, has rebuked claims from senators that claim that the bill is paid for stating that the bill is only “half-paid” for.
The infrastructure bill also demonstrates the hypocrisy of Democrats. According to Yahoo News, the current infrastructure bill includes $7.5 billion to build a nationwide network of plug-in electric vehicle chargers and charging stations. Yet, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) has railed against Tesla CEO Elon Musk, claiming that he is “freeloading” on the rest of the taxpayers. Warren and other Democrats cannot cry “freeloader” while actively giving subsidies to green companies in order to accomplish their climate change objectives. Tesla has paid back the $2.44 billion they have received in subsidies throughout the years with interest almost a decade ahead of schedule. These claims made by Democrats such as Warren give conflicting messages to the private sector and risk stifling entrepreneurial spirit. If someone such as Elon Musk, who greatly contributed to the electronic vehicle industry, has to suffer ad hominem attacks but then is also asked to help “Build Back Better,” the successful implementation of the bill is unlikely, even if it is passed.
Ultimately, the bipartisan infrastructure bill would weaken the U.S. National Security by making us susceptible to our debts that we would not be able to pay. The bill relies on economic growth that is not realistic for a country as economically developed as the United States. Leaders would be wise to ensure that there are realistic means of paying off this bill and to not sign it. Bills of this magnitude and length are bound to be filled with pork. If liberal financial policy is going to dictate legislation, I would like to at least be sure that every single lawmaker has read every single word.