Unveiling what he called the boldest domestic spending package since the construction of America’s interstate highway system and the dawning of the space race, President Joe Biden released broad details of a $2 trillion infrastructure package that would rebuild highways and bridges, along with providing funding programs for housing, broadband and schools and increasing U.S. manufacturing jobs over the next eight years.
“This is a once-in-a-generation investment in America,” Biden said during his appearance at union training center in Pittsburgh. “We’ll grow the economy, and it will make us more competitive around the world. It’s big, yes, It’s bold, yes. And we can get it done.”
The package, part of Biden’s “Build Back Better” agenda, would fund typical infrastructure projects such as rebuilding roads, advancing the country’s transition to electric vehicle charging stations, and combating climate change.
The sweeping program would be paid for through a tax hike on corporations, raising the rate from 21 percent to 28 percent. The Tax Policy Center, a non-partisan think tank that’s part of the Urban Institute and Brookings Institution, estimates that reform alone is worth $730 billion over 10 years.
Biden told the crowd Wednesday that he wasn’t targeting wealthy Americans, and he pledged that no American who earns under $400,000 would see their taxes increase. Rather, he said, it was about leveling the playing field and making sure that wealthy corporations pay their fair share.
“This is not to target those who made it … this is about opening opportunities for everyone else,” he said. “We will all do better when we all do well. It’s time to rebuild the economy from the middle out, not the top down. Wall Street didn’t build this country, you, the great middle class, built this country. And unions built the middle class. And this time, when we rebuild the middle class, we’re going to bring everyone along.”
The plan also aims to bring clean energy manufacturing jobs to communities that rely on the coal industry in an effort to encourage manufacturers to locate in those areas.
“Imagine knowing you’re handing your children and grandchildren a country that leads the world in clean energy production,” he said.