Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill Has No Funding, No Real Infrastructure Either
July 18, 2021 (EIRNS)—About the only thing that can be said for the bipartisan Senate agreement on infrastructure is that it is bipartisan. CNBC reported on July 17 that the legislative outline—it is not yet even a draft—has no sources of funding which are not likely to be fake, according to several budget “experts” it consulted. The Congressional Budget Office is not likely to give a “score” to any of them. This judgment covers the smoke and mirrors the 22 Senators have proposed to pay for $579 billion of new funding for the nation’s highways, ports and rail lines. Their plan is supposed to be added to a transportation bill passed by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, for a total of $1.2 trillion—the House six-year transportation bill does not even propose any means of funding. In the broader Congress, the GOP opposes restoring any part of the corporate tax cut of 2018, and the class-warfare-oriented Democrats and White House oppose raising any infrastructure user fees such as the long-standing gasoline tax, port taxes, etc.
According to the CNBC report, the Senators have to fix all this this weekend, because Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (NY) intends to call votes this week on this undrafted bill. Schumer is very much “in the weeds” now, and not those of legislative detail, but of his national drug legalization crusade.
Worse than this, the proposed bipartisan compromise proposes to build almost no actually productive infrastructure—neither to deal with the immense and growing problem of the western drought with any water transfer plans or nuclear desalination plants; nor to build new hospital and clinic systems to reverse ongoing closures and address the United States’ critical shortage of beds; nor to protect major cities from storm surges; nor to electrify the nation’s rail grid. Still less do the Senators dream of building new infrastructure corridors with other countries in the Americas, nor in cooperation with China which has proposed new infrastructure projects to those countries. Without these new platforms being launched, and without taking control of credit direction from the Wall Street zombie banks and the failed Federal Reserve, the Congressional talk of “finally building real infrastructure” is just as imaginary as the sources of funding they propose.