Abbreviated pundit roundup: It is Infrastructure Week (for actual!)


Jonathan Chait dives into the Republican opposition to the  invoice:

Republican Senators say they might like to cross an enormous infrastructure invoice. They’re publicly begging Joe Biden to cease his partisan technique and sit down with them to barter a invoice each events can assist. The difficulty is that their calls for for the right way to produce this bipartisan settlement go round in circles. 

However there’s a catch: They don’t like paying for it by elevating taxes on rich individuals — or, as Republicans delicately name them, “job creators.” All people is aware of that Republicans would somewhat let each final highway within the land crumble to mud and revert to touring by horseback and mule earlier than they raised taxes on job creators by a penny. “The worst solution to pay for it’s to tax job creators,” says Wicker.

No shock that Republicans who begged for a “bipartisan” infrastructure invoice at the moment are so vocally in opposition to it and demand it appear like a typical Republican giveaway to firms.

As Stephen Collinson at CNN notes, this invoice can rework America,  particularly for the reason that Biden administration is taking a sensible and forward-looking strategy to what infrastructure actually means within the fashionable financial system:

In a single instance, the President has stretched the definition of infrastructure to insert $400 billion within the invoice to revolutionize residence well being take care of the aged and disabled. In one other he is additionally looking for billions to supercharge America’s growth of electrical autos to satisfy one other political precedence — the elimination of fossil fuels within the struggle in opposition to local weather change. And, after a 12 months by which hundreds of thousands of employees relied on residence web connections to work remotely, the plan additionally contains $100 billion to construct a high-speed broadband infrastructure that will attain the entire nation. 

And President Biden’s response:

“It is type of fascinating that when the Republicans put ahead an infrastructure plan, they thought all the pieces from broadband to dealing to different issues was … infrastructure. Now they’re saying that solely a small portion of what I am speaking about is infrastructure,” Biden mentioned. “So it is fascinating how their definition has modified however they know we want it.”

It’s not simply broadband Republicans are objecting to. Even funding for pipes doesn’t fall within their ridiculously narrow and wrong definition of “infrastructure.”

On a closing be aware, James Downie at The Washington Publish will get to the basis of the Republican opposition:

So how would Republicans pay for upgrades that they agree are wanted? Effectively, there they sound just about stumped. “I’m open to solutions about that,” mentioned Wicker. “A method you pay for it’s by seeing important improved financial development,” urged Reeves — which, as CNN host Jake Tapper identified, “doesn’t actually reply the query.” […]

Keep in mind, at any time when the Trump administration launched one in every of its many ill-fated “infrastructure weeks,” Republicans not often balked on the value tags — not as a result of these proposals have been all the time funded however as a result of they didn’t make the rich and massive enterprise pay extra of their fair proportion. So if Biden does sit down with Republicans to speak about paying for an infrastructure package deal, everybody within the room ought to be clear on one factor: Republicans don’t actually care if this invoice — or every other Democratic invoice — is paid for. They simply don’t need their buddies masking the associated fee. The excellent news for Democrats is that view is a loser with voters.