Businesses anger grows at Biden’s infrastructure plan

Major American business groups have lined up against President Joe Biden‘s $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan – even after many of them got behind his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief effort.

The opposition signals the headwinds the White House is up against promoting a package the Biden is designating as the next big push of his agenda, and one that he said Friday would create 19 million jobs.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce went after the plan as ‘dangerously misguided.’ 

‘Properly done, a major investment in infrastructure today is an investment in the future, and like a new home, should be paid for over time — say 30 years — by the users who benefit from the investment,’ the group said in a statement.

Business groups are lining up against tax increases in President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan – although Biden says it will create 19 million jobs

 ‘We strongly oppose the general tax increases proposed by the administration which will slow the economic recovery and make the U.S. less competitive globally — the exact opposite of the goals of the infrastructure plan.’

Notably, the group supported Biden’s first major achievement, the coronavirus law.  

‘We support the new administration’s focus on removing roadblocks to vaccinations and reopening schools, both of which are important steps to accelerating a broad-based economic recovery for all Americans,’ said the group’s head, Neil Bradley, a former House Republican leadership staffer.  

The Business Roundtable, another powerful business group, blasted tax increases it said would create ‘new barriers to job creation and economic growth,’ while the National Association of Manufacturers said it would ‘turn back the clock to the archaic tax policies’ – a possible reference to Biden’s call to boost corporate tax rates up to 28 per cent from 21 percent. The 2017 tax law signed by President Trump brought them down from 35 per cent.  

Biden's plan contains funds for roads and bridges, but Republicans have been aiming fire at job training and other programs

Biden’s plan contains funds for roads and bridges, but Republicans have been aiming fire at job training and other programs

The plan seeks to create 'green jobs' and put many of them in distressed communities

The plan seeks to create ‘green jobs’ and put many of them in distressed communities

'Raising taxes will not slow the economy at all,' Biden said, defending proposed tax on corporations and other moves he said won't impact those earning less than $400,000 per year

‘Raising taxes will not slow the economy at all,’ Biden said, defending proposed tax on corporations and other moves he said won’t impact those earning less than $400,000 per year

Biden and the White House are doubling down on the tax hikes they say are meant not only to fund roads, bridges and job training but to bring more fairness to the tax code.

‘Independent analysis shows that if we pass this plan the economy will create 19 million jobs,” Biden said Friday at the White House, touting information by Moody’s analytics. “Good jobs, blue collar jobs, jobs that pay well,’ he said.  

Following Friday’s robust 900,000-plus jobs report, Biden said the plan’s tax hikes would not slow down economic growth.  

‘Raising taxes will not slow the economy at all,’ Biden told reporters. ‘Asking corporate America just to pay their fair share will not slow the economy at all, it will make the economy function better and will create more energy.’ 

‘If the Republicans argue that we don’t need infrastructure. They’ve been talking about the need for it for years now. If the Republicans decide that we need it but they’re not going to pay for it, it’s just going to increase the deficit,’ Biden said. 

‘If the Republicans say the next phase of my plan we don’t need to invest in VA hospitals and keep the sacred obligation we made to so many Americans, if the Republicans say that the 400,000 homes and schools and daycare centers that have lead pipes, lead pipes, delivering water to their doors,’ he continued. 

‘They say we shouldn’t be doing that?’ he asked. 

‘What do you think would happen if they found out all the lead pipes were up on the Capitol, every time they turned on the water fountain,’ Biden added. 

Biden and the White House said his 19 million job gain figure came from Moody’s Analytics. The report cited the figure as it estimated what might come over the next decade if the package is enacted.

But it also found the nation would add 16.3 million jobs through natural job growth after Biden already signed the $1.9 trillion coronavirus law – which followed other relief plans.   

That would put the number of jobs produced by the infrastructure plan at 2.6 million over a decade. The analysis found it would ‘marginally reduce growth’ amid the tax cuts on corporations, if they were enacted, and that it would produce 13.5 million jobs in Biden’s first term.

Biden spoke on the day the Labor Department released a robust jobs report showing an increase in 900,000 jobs in March. 

His defense came after Republican critics of the package trained fire on aspects they termed ‘social welfare’ rather than strict infrastructure plans. They said only $750 billion would go toward traditional infrastructure.

That total accounts for about 5 per cent of the bill’s price tag’

Other elements include billions for environmental cleanup and addressing ‘historical inequities’ by spreading green jobs and apprenticeships to distressed communities, provide care for the elderly, and account for historical burdens put on communities by roads and bridges.

Labor Secretary Marty Walsh stressed the package’s job training elements in an appearance at the White House Friday. 

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