CEI Experts Say Biden “Infrastructure” Plan Will Harm Economy, Raise Taxes and Costs for Consumers

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President Joe Biden’s proposed legislative package to increase taxes and spend trillions was released today by the White House. The wide-ranging bill included provisions on climate change, energy production and use, labor policy, rural broadband, among others and is said to cost $2 trillion.

CEI President and CEO Kent Lassman said:

“The White House proposal should be dead on arrival to Capitol Hill. The fact that it is not is a signal that states, like Congress, have abdicated any pretense that there is a separation of powers or limits on what government can do.”

Vice President for Policy Wayne Crews said:

“The path to an abundance of resources like broadband or further investment in our infrastructure is not government spending or subsidies with strings attached, but taking down government-erected barriers and advancing markets and property rights.  

“The Administration’s approach will ultimately end up hurting the underserved citizens it aims to help. This kind of top-down infrastructure plan will prevent innovation by isolating infrastructure in regulatory silos and preventing valuable synergies across sectors.”

Vice President for Strategy Iain Murray said:

“The administration’s transit and infrastructure plan appears to be based on the principle that ‘If you build it, they will come.’ This is not the case. The world is littered with gleaming new infrastructure projects no-one uses. Effective transit and transportation infrastructure must be based on where people want to go and how they want to travel. At a time when people have grown scared of mass transit with a resulting crash in ridership numbers the administration should realize that some of these commuters will never return to transit and should adjust its plans accordingly. Over all, the administration should learn that Field of Dreams is not a field guide to effective policy making.

“One thing is obvious from the plan – the idea of achieving value for money when spending taxpayer resources is a thing of the past.”

Director of CEI’s Center for Energy and Environment Myron Ebell said:

“The Biden-Harris green infrastructure and tax increase package is a huge economic loser overall.  Higher taxes will depress economic activity and destroy private-sector jobs.  The Clean Energy Standard and massive new spending and subsidies for unproven energy technologies will raise energy prices, make the grid less reliable, and destroy private-sector jobs. 

“The Biden-Harris green jobs claims are just a re-run on a much larger scale of the Obama-Biden ‘shovel-ready jobs’ claims in 2009, which proved to be a total waste of taxpayer dollars.”

Director of CEI’s Center for Technology and Innovation Jessica Melugin said:

“Spending $100 billion taxpayer dollars on a challenge that is already being met by private investment is no way to ‘save taxpayer money.’ The last few years have seen faster and increased broadband access for Americans with the investment of private Internet service providers. Just over the horizon are new promising technologies, like low-orbiting satellites being launched by private firms, that will address the rural digital divide. It makes little sense to put taxpayers on the hook for universal broadband access when the market is already moving in that direction.”

Senior Fellow Marlo Lewis said:“Biden asks Congress to provide $174 billion in grants and incentives for states and businesses to build a national network of 500,000 electric vehicle chargers by 2030. The President assumes EV sales are low (about 2% of the new car market) because there aren’t enough charging stations. But if EVs are the next big thing—which proponents have claimed since 1911—the profit motive and competition will drive America’s privately-owned service stations and new market entrants to meet the demand. Biden ignores a key lesson of previous failures to dictate consumer preferences: If an energy technology is commercially viable, no government support is needed; if it is not commercially viable, no amount of government support can make it so. It would also be unwise to ignore the obvious connection between this proposal and proposals to ban the sale of gasoline powered automobiles. The $174 billion subsidy is intended to make a bitter pill easier to swallow. We are to be bribed with our own tax dollars into accepting an unprecedented assault on consumer choice and entrepreneurial liberty.”

Research fellow on labor policy Sean Higgins said:

“The Biden administration claimed today it wanted ‘to ensure all workers have a free and fair choice to join a union by passing the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act’ but that legislation would take away choice from individual workers. The PRO Act would eliminate the right to work protections enjoyed by employees in 27 states, meaning those workers could be forced to join a union and have a portion of their paychecks taken away if they wanted to keep their jobs. It would obligate employers to give away workers’ private contact information, even if the worker specifically asks their employer not to do this. It would strip workers of the ability to earn extra cash through short-term ‘gig’ economy jobs by eliminating their ability to choose how many hours they wanted to work. The Biden administration believes that workers should be pushed into joining a union for their own good and wants to pass the PRO to chip away at the workers’ ability to say ‘no’ to this. That is not an expansion of workers’ rights.”

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