The president of the United States Joe Biden will present this week the second “mega plan” of his presidency, this time of massive investments in infrastructure, which will require tax increases that generate annoyance in his political adversaries.
Proof of the importance he places on this initiative that could define his term, Biden will speak on Wednesday in Pittsburgh, the city where he launched his election campaign two years ago.
After its $ 1.9 trillion economic stimulus plan was approved, the public works package could reach $ 3 trillion, and even $ 4 trillion.
Its spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, said the goal is to “rebuild” the economy and “create better-paying jobs for American workers.”
Biden announced in a campaign that he intended to modernize infrastructure, improve the country’s competitiveness vis-à-vis China, and place the challenges of climate change on the US political agenda.
The battle with the opposition in Congress looks harsh.
– The planned works –
Restore or build roads, bridges, railways, ports and airports. The idea is clear to public opinion. The central question is how to finance this initiative.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Biden’s former rival in the Democratic primary, will be on the front lines of the battle.
“I think we have an extraordinary opportunity to have the support of both parties to think big and be bold in infrastructure,” he launched.
“You cannot separate the climate dimension” from this challenge, he added.
While Buttigieg’s enthusiasm and political capital are real, the task looms large.
For DJ Gribbin, an expert at the Brookings Institution and Donald Trump’s former adviser on infrastructure, Biden would do well to look at the mistakes of his predecessors.
First, it should precisely define the role of the federal government, which is not, in the vast majority of cases, the owner of the infrastructure.
In addition, you must consider the appetite of Americans and legislators for “tangible” projects: how much are transport times reduced? Will the routes improve?
If he doesn’t change his focus, Biden will clash, like other presidents, with Congress, writes DJ Gribbin in a blog. And it will fail to perpetuate “the tradition” of candidates who promise, “in vain, billions for infrastructure.”