On Wednesday 31 March 2021, US President Joe Biden announced a plan described as “the largest American jobs investment since World War Two” – intended to “create millions of jobs”, “grow the economy”, “make [America] more competitive”, “promote [US] national security interests, and put [the US] in a position to win the global competition with China”.
The President stressed the need for the US to act quickly to redress what he called its “crumbling infrastructure”. “Because I’m convinced,” he said, “that if we act now, in 50 years, people are going to look back and say this was the moment that America won the future”.
$2 trillion one-time capital investment
“What I’m proposing is a one-time capital investment of roughly $2 trillion in America’s future, spread largely over eight years,” he said. “It will generate historic job growth, historic economic growth, help businesses to compete internationally, create more revenue as well. They are among the highest-value investments we can make in the nation — investing in our infrastructure.”
Global minimum tax for US corporations of 21 percent
President Biden promised that “no one making under $400,000 will see their federal taxes go up”, saying that the Plan would be funded by raising corporate tax. He spoke of establishing a global minimum tax for US corporations of 21 percent, “leveling the international playing field”, and “eliminating deductions by corporations for offshoring jobs and shifting assets overseas”.
Call for bipartisan approach on infrastructure
However, the President said he was open to others’ ideas on how the infrastructure plan should be funded providing that there was no tax increase on people making less than $400,000. He noted that historically, infrastructure had been a bipartisan undertaking, many times led by Republicans, and said that there was no reason why it can’t be bipartisan again.
Fundamental choice between democracies and autocracies
In closing President Biden returned to his ‘inflection point’ theme, saying that he truly believed that the US was “in a moment where history is going to look back on this time as a fundamental choice that had to be made between democracies and autocracies”.
“You know,” he said, “there’s a lot of autocrats in the world who think the reason why they’re going to win is democracies can’t reach consensus any longer; autocracies do. That’s what competition between America and China and the rest of the world is all about. It’s a basic question: Can democracies still deliver for their people? Can they get a majority?”
“I believe we can. I believe we must,” he concluded.
Read the full text of the Remarks by President Biden on the American Jobs Plan (31 March 2021)
Infrastructure & utilities
The Plan will:
- modernize transportation infrastructure — roads, bridges, airports, and build new rail corridors and transit lines
- replace 100 percent of the nation’s lead water pipes and service lines
- drive down the price of internet services and ensure that every single American has access to high quality, affordable, high-speed Internet for businesses, for schools
- build a modern, resilient, and fully clean electricity grid
Care for seniors and people with disabilities
The Plan will extend access to quality, affordable home or community-based care for seniors and people with disabilities, helping them be able to live more independently.
Invest in R&D and US companies
The Plan will:
- only invest in American-based companies with American products, all the way down the line, and American workers
- invest in R&D to boost America’s innovative edge in markets like battery technology, biotechnology, computer chips, clean energy, the competition with China in particular
Climate change resilience and clean energy future
The Plan will:
- lead to a transformational progress in America’s effort to tackle climate change by making infrastructure more secure and resilient and seizing incredible opportunities for American workers and American farmers in a clean energy future
- provide tax incentives and point-of-sale rebates to help the transition to clean electric vehicles and hydrogen vehicles
- cap hundreds of thousands of orphan oil and gas wells
- build, upgrade, and weatherize affordable, energy-efficient housing and commercial buildings
Jobs and living standards
The Plan will:
- provide better wages, benefits, and opportunities for millions of people who will be able to get to work in an economy that works for them
- create millions of good-paying jobs — estimated at over 18 million jobs over four years
- level the playing field, empower workers, ensure that the new jobs are good jobs that you can raise a family on, and ensure free and fair choice to organize and bargain collectively
By The Numbers: Biden’s $2 Trillion Infrastructure Plan (NPR)
Here’s What’s In President Biden’s $2 Trillion Infrastructure Proposal (NPR)
Watch: The Biden Revolution: Can the new U.S. President restore faith in the government? (France24, The Debate)