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I’m going to have to stop saying that I rarely post press releases because this is like the 3rd time I’ve posted one. And as with the others, I feel compelled to respond to it. I received this press release earlier today from the Independent Women’s Forum.
Infrastructure Bill Makes Wasteful Spending, Fiscal Irresponsibility the New Norm
Chock full of waste, woke virtue signaling, and earmarks, this bill is not fully paid for and not the reasonable approach to infrastructure that Americans were sold.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the U.S. Senate passed the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act in a 69-30 vote. This $1.2 trillion bill goes far beyond investments to fix outdated and crumbling roads and bridges. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) scored this bill and found that—in contrast to the claims of the bill’s negotiators—it isn’t fully paid for and will add $256 billion to deficits over the next ten years. In addition, it lays the groundwork for a partisan $3.5 trillion social welfare bill that would dramatically expand the scope of government, and includes government-provided universal Pre-K, taxpayer-paid-for community college, and amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants.
Patrice Onwuka, director of the Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO) at Independent Women’s Forum, issued the following statement:
“Americans support fixing our roads and bridges. In true Washington fashion, this bill hides massive, wasteful spending under the guise of repairing our critical basic infrastructure. Worse, it uses a racial equity lens to benefit some Americans over others.
“This infrastructure bill provides hundreds of billions of dollars for senators’ pet projects that go beyond basic infrastructure, unequally benefits cities over rural areas in spending initiatives such as broadband investments, promotes a woke agenda, introduces costly mandates including breathalyzers for every new car, and imposes radical environmental regulations that will hit lower-income Americans and do nothing to actually address climate change.
“To make $1.2 trillion palatable, bipartisan negotiators told the American people time and again that this plan was fully paid for. The CBO confirmed that is simply not true. Knowing that we are adding over $250 billion to the deficit, these senators cosigned a new level of fiscal irresponsibility that sets the tone for out-of-control spending for years to come.”
When I read that, I wanted more details on the 2,700 page bill they were discussing. I had heard some negative comments ahead of their release but after so much research, I think their comments underrepresented the damage the bill is set to perform. What follows are only a few examples of commentary on the now (soon to be official law) infrastructure bill that I have gleaned from the internet. Enjoy. #sarcasm
Wasteful and unnecessary
Despite the scaling down of the bill and the bipartisan agreement, there is still a lot about the bill that is undesirable. For one, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the bill will add $256 billion to the deficit. Worse yet, most of the new spending is unnecessary. As illustrated by Cato,
Nearly all of the $550 billion in new funds, all of which will come from deficit spending, is for things we don’t really need. In response to a phony infrastructure crisis, $110 billion is dedicated to roads and bridges, but our highways and bridges are actually in good shape and getting better every year without emergency deficit spending.
Another $39 billion will go for mass transit and $66 billion for Amtrak, but both transit and Amtrak have lost close to 60 percent of their riders since the pandemic and are unlikely to ever recover to pre‐pandemic levels. A huge influx of money into these money‐pits is totally unnecessary.
But even outside of transportation itself, some of the other provisions of the bill are unlikely to prove beneficial. Let us take, for example, the $65 billion for expanding Broadband in order to help low-income residents in rural areas access internet services. Evidence suggests that “most of the beneficiaries from this spending are likely to be high‐income people who don’t need subsidies.” Low-income residents, contrary to popular opinion, do not comprise the majority of rural areas.
Sets Up a $3.5 Trillion Left-Wing Bonanza
Congressional Democrats have repeatedly stated that they will not allow any infrastructure bill to reach President Joe Biden’s desk for signature unless it is accompanied by a $3.5 trillion package passed along party lines through the budget procedure known as reconciliation.
This package would be the largest tax-and-spend bill in the history of the world. It would hike taxes on investment just when the economic recovery needs it most, seek togive amnesty to illegal immigrants, expand welfare benefits on a scale not seen in generations, and deliver the radical Green New Deal agenda.
Billions to Eliminate ‘Racial and Gender Inequities’ in STEM
The proposal includes several billion dollars allocated to reduce supposed “racial and gender inequities” in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) research and development. What this has to do with interstate infrastructure is not adequately explained.
And there are more than a few tweets pointing out the incredible amount of bloat. Here are just a few of them.
What in the world?! Are you kidding me?
The “infrastructure” bill includes $250 Million dollars for an invasive plant species removal program.
The “infrastructure” bill includes $50 Million dollars to figure out how to tax us for the miles we drive.
The “infrastructure” bill includes an upgrade the Amtrak train service in… Canada.
If you are curious as to what else was in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, at least the first 666 pages, click here and prepare to despair. And if you are wondering who are the Republicans who helped to make this monstrosity possible (as well as more of the bloat therein), watch the video below and remember their names during the next election.