- US senator and presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar recently unveiled an ambitious new plan to invest a trillion dollars towards re-building and modernising America’s infrastructure.
- Klobuchar’s plan includes upgrades to roads, bridges, airports, public transportation, and public schools.
- She plans to fund the infrastructure projects largely by reversing some of the tax cuts passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump last year.
While President Donald Trump also proposed a trillion dollar infrastructure plan last year, he only asked Congress to appropriate $US200 million to the cause.
Klobuchar called Trump’s plan, which lost traction in Congress last year, “a mirage” that “leaves the details up to lawmakers.”
“In contrast, Amy has a concrete, commonsense proposal that will invest in our future and make sure our country’s infrastructure is second to none,” her campaign said in a release.
“If you listen to the people of America, they are tired of the potholes, they are tired of flooding in their farmlands. They want to see better transit,” Klobuchar explained in a recent interview.
Klobuchar’s infrastructure plan contains the following main components:
- Repairing roads, highways, and bridges.
- Modernising airports and seaports.
- Beefing up dams, levees, and ports to protect waterways against extreme flooding.
- Investing in public transportation infrastructure, including high-speed rail.
- Repairing public schools in bad condition.
- Expanding rural broadband internet access with the goal of giving every household an Internet connection by 2022.
- Investing in renewable energy and “green infrastructure.”
- Improving sanitation quality to provide clean water to all communities.
- Klobuchar also said she plans to roll out a “comprehensive housing plan” in the next weeks.
The Minnesota senator proposed a combination of direct federal government investment of $US650 billion and the creation of a federal authority to give states and local governments around $US25 billion in “seed funding” to invest in their infrastructure. She says this will provide an additional $US200-300 billion in investment.
Klobuchar also seeks to re-introduce the Obama-era “Build America” and “Move America” bonds, which gave subsidies to local governments and tax credits to private sector companies that invested in infrastructure, specifically.
Klobuchar plans to fund her infrastructure plan largely by reversing some of the tax cuts passed by Congress and signed into law by Trump last year, especially proposing raising the corporate tax rate to 25% and enacting a “financial risk fee” on large banks.
She also contends that by creating jobs and spurring revenue, the improvements in infrastructure will help pay for themselves.
While Klobuchar’s plan is more specific than Trump’s, Vox correspondent and self-described “tedious infrastructure nerd” Matt Yglesias noted that it doesn’t detail how the funding should be divided up between all the different projects the plan proposes.
He also pointed out that the plan doesn’t address any of the fundamental, structural features of American infrastructure that make projects difficult to carry out, including how Klobuchar would factor the steep costs of building tunnels into her proposed mass-transit and highway upgrades.
“Klobuchar’s plan doesn’t really aim to change these structural features of US infrastructure policy, choosing instead to mostly emphasise the idea that we should put more money into it,” Yglesias added.
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