Infrastructure plan

NPT

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Aug 28, 2001
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The problem is that your dichotomy - which accurately reflects at least the perceived excesses of each party - doesn't capture the one key difference between the two, at least on the federal level: the Democrats are trying to govern, and the Republicans are trying to prevent any sort of governance from happening.
The parties just reversed positions since Biden took office.
 

Spartans9312

Senior
Nov 11, 2004
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There is no "GOP support" of this infrastructure bill.
Infrastructure as the progressives tried to paint it, was simply social programs that would benefit them politically. No chance in hell GOP would go along with that. On the flip side, Dems wouldn't let GOP spearhead an infrastructure bill and potentially siphon off blue collar union votes away from them. Unfortunately, Dems are oblivious to the fact that Trump made gains in that demographic as the Dems became more white-collar and "white" votes while Trump gained minorities for the GOP.
 

Marvin the Martian

Hall of Famer
Sep 4, 2001
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There is no "GOP support" of this infrastructure bill.
Infrastructure as the progressives tried to paint it, was simply social programs that would benefit them politically. No chance in hell GOP would go along with that. On the flip side, Dems wouldn't let GOP spearhead an infrastructure bill and potentially siphon off blue collar union votes away from them. Unfortunately, Dems are oblivious to the fact that Trump made gains in that demographic as the Dems became more white-collar and "white" votes while Trump gained minorities for the GOP.
I don't want to think of Biden's plan as carved in stone. It almost certainly should be trimmed. That said, we should have an honest discussion about the items in it.

  • Put $621 billion into transportation infrastructure such as bridges, roads, public transit, ports, airports and electric vehicle development
I think we all agree that is infrastructure.

  • Inject more than $300 billion into improving drinking-water infrastructure, expanding broadband access and upgrading electric grids
Electric grid is infrastructure and Texas along with the pipeline proves it needs upgraded. Drinking water is infrastrtucre. We can debate broadband, but just because the Romans didn't have broadband doesn't mean it isn't. In today's world it is at least dang close to infrastructure. Combined with above, we have over $900 billion in infrastructure or virtual infrastructure.
  • Direct $400 billion to care for elderly and disabled Americans
America is growing older, and more Americans will need care. A type of care is skilled nursing, this is for the people who need a great deal of assistance. Groups are flooding out of the field. Five Star, runs Meadowood in Bloomington and many other places, is leaving skilled nursing entirely. That represents 108 places around the nation. You can Google it, but you will find nursing facilities are having real problems staffing and the problem predates, but made worse by, COVID. People that go into the field do not stay long as it appears burnout is high. It is a problem that needs dealt with.

Further, according to a Harvard study, 32% of employees have voluntarily left a job to care for someone. https://fortune.com/2021/04/08/bidens-infrastructure-plan-elder-care-homecare-healthcare-medicaid/
. If we take infrastructure as providing what is needed for companies and employees to be productive, this easily fits. And it will get worse, we are getting older.

  • Put more than $300 billion into building and retrofitting affordable housing, along with constructing and upgrading schools
Some of this is going to be infrastructure in any classic determination. Schools and public housing age and need maintenance just as roads do. Building new schools to replace deficient schools is important. We have school districts with more students than seats. Here is a list of them in NJ, https://www.njspotlight.com/2017/12...st-overcrowded-public-school-districts-in-nj/. Imagine a classroom with 1.4 students per seat. It is very possible that nationally we have more than enough schools, but they aren't located correctly. A severely under populated school in southern Indiana does no good for an overpopulated school in Florida. At least some of this $300 billion is clearly infrastructure, so we are well over a trillion in non-debatable infrastrucute.

  • Invest $580 billion in American manufacturing, research and development and job training efforts

This one clearly isn't typical infrastructure. Again, I'm not sure just because the Romans didn't think investing in microchip R&D as infrastructure doesn't mean we shouldn't consider it (and consider why we are two generations behind Taiwan in chip technology). I think worker training should count, but I admit many will not. But business needs skilled employees. We have fallen dangerously behind in some technologies, microchip being the biggest disaster. https://www.techpowerup.com/248008/intel-at-least-5-years-behind-tsmc-and-may-never-catch-up-analyst We need to figure out how Taiwan got so far ahead of the US.

When asked why TSMC had moved so far ahead, the company's founder said:

Speaking at a seminar on Taiwan’s competitiveness in chip production, the 89-year-old Chang said that Taiwan’s talent pool of quality engineers, technicians and factory workers is the main reason it has excelled in the semiconductor foundry business.​
Another factor is Taiwan’s transportation network, which allows large and quick transfers of personnel in the country, he said at the seminar hosted by the Economic Daily News.​



Quality engineers and workers. So I might argue job training (along with better transportation) would be important to America regaining its place.

So we can have a debate on how much we can spend on these items. Maybe $580 on R&D and worker investment is too high, I don't know. But arguing it isn't needed at all? I'm not sure I buy that.
 

Circlejoe

All-Big Ten
Sep 26, 2001
3,703
1,166
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I don't want to think of Biden's plan as carved in stone. It almost certainly should be trimmed. That said, we should have an honest discussion about the items in it.

  • Put $621 billion into transportation infrastructure such as bridges, roads, public transit, ports, airports and electric vehicle development
I think we all agree that is infrastructure.

  • Inject more than $300 billion into improving drinking-water infrastructure, expanding broadband access and upgrading electric grids
Electric grid is infrastructure and Texas along with the pipeline proves it needs upgraded. Drinking water is infrastrtucre. We can debate broadband, but just because the Romans didn't have broadband doesn't mean it isn't. In today's world it is at least dang close to infrastructure. Combined with above, we have over $900 billion in infrastructure or virtual infrastructure.
  • Direct $400 billion to care for elderly and disabled Americans
America is growing older, and more Americans will need care. A type of care is skilled nursing, this is for the people who need a great deal of assistance. Groups are flooding out of the field. Five Star, runs Meadowood in Bloomington and many other places, is leaving skilled nursing entirely. That represents 108 places around the nation. You can Google it, but you will find nursing facilities are having real problems staffing and the problem predates, but made worse by, COVID. People that go into the field do not stay long as it appears burnout is high. It is a problem that needs dealt with.

Further, according to a Harvard study, 32% of employees have voluntarily left a job to care for someone. https://fortune.com/2021/04/08/bidens-infrastructure-plan-elder-care-homecare-healthcare-medicaid/
. If we take infrastructure as providing what is needed for companies and employees to be productive, this easily fits. And it will get worse, we are getting older.

  • Put more than $300 billion into building and retrofitting affordable housing, along with constructing and upgrading schools
Some of this is going to be infrastructure in any classic determination. Schools and public housing age and need maintenance just as roads do. Building new schools to replace deficient schools is important. We have school districts with more students than seats. Here is a list of them in NJ, https://www.njspotlight.com/2017/12...st-overcrowded-public-school-districts-in-nj/. Imagine a classroom with 1.4 students per seat. It is very possible that nationally we have more than enough schools, but they aren't located correctly. A severely under populated school in southern Indiana does no good for an overpopulated school in Florida. At least some of this $300 billion is clearly infrastructure, so we are well over a trillion in non-debatable infrastrucute.

  • Invest $580 billion in American manufacturing, research and development and job training efforts

This one clearly isn't typical infrastructure. Again, I'm not sure just because the Romans didn't think investing in microchip R&D as infrastructure doesn't mean we shouldn't consider it (and consider why we are two generations behind Taiwan in chip technology). I think worker training should count, but I admit many will not. But business needs skilled employees. We have fallen dangerously behind in some technologies, microchip being the biggest disaster. https://www.techpowerup.com/248008/intel-at-least-5-years-behind-tsmc-and-may-never-catch-up-analyst We need to figure out how Taiwan got so far ahead of the US.

When asked why TSMC had moved so far ahead, the company's founder said:

Speaking at a seminar on Taiwan’s competitiveness in chip production, the 89-year-old Chang said that Taiwan’s talent pool of quality engineers, technicians and factory workers is the main reason it has excelled in the semiconductor foundry business.​
Another factor is Taiwan’s transportation network, which allows large and quick transfers of personnel in the country, he said at the seminar hosted by the Economic Daily News.​



Quality engineers and workers. So I might argue job training (along with better transportation) would be important to America regaining its place.

So we can have a debate on how much we can spend on these items. Maybe $580 on R&D and worker investment is too high, I don't know. But arguing it isn't needed at all? I'm not sure I buy that.
Good post, but reasonable arguments won't work because this isn't about whether we need investment in infrastructure. The Republican leadership clearly stated that they will not support ANY increase in taxes on corporations or higher-income individuals. That can only mean one of two things, Republican leadership will support spending that isn't paid for or won't support spending because doing so would be seen as a victory for Biden. I think the second reason is the real reason.
 
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UncleMark

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The Republican leadership clearly stated that they will not support ANY increase in taxes on corporations or higher-income individuals. That can only mean one of two things, Republican leadership will support spending that isn't paid for or won't support spending because doing so would be seen as a victory for Biden.
Mitch has already been clear. He will spend roughly $600B for roads, bridges, airports, etc. But not a dime can be raised from additional taxes to pay for it.

The Republican proposal they had Sen. Capito put forward was for $600B, but there was very little new money. It was mostly a reallocation of funds that have already been budgeted.
 
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