Remaking America: The American Jobs Plan Explained


In Japan they’ve got bullet trains traveling hundreds of miles an hour. In China they’ve got new cities popping up in the span of a decade. In Europe they’ve got tunnels making it possible to go directly from Palermo to Berlin in a bit more than a day. Here in the USA, we’re still running off infrastructure from the Eisenhower and even Roosevelt administrations. Almost half of our roads are in poor or mediocre condition, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers. Water mains break every two minutes, losing 6 billion gallons of water a year. The power outage in Texas showed how our power infrastructure is woefully unprepared for major shocks like extreme cold or heat. And policymakers in Washington, blinded by Reaganomic dogma, have largely refused to shore up American infrastructure. Until 2021. 


President Joe Biden has announced a sweeping new infrastructure plan intended to be the first step towards a Green New Deal (although Biden won’t call it that) intended to revitalize American infrastructure, create hundreds of thousands of new jobs, keep up with the ambitions of an increasingly expansionist China and fight the climate crisis. Even a scaled-down version of the American Jobs Plan would represent a significant investment in America’s future. If the plan passes the House and Senate, probably through budget reconciliation, this country will be stronger for having done it. 


What’s in the Biden plan? The Biden infrastructure bill will modernize 20,000 miles of highways and roads across America and fix thousands of bridges in desperate need of repair. It will eliminate lead pipes, build thousands of miles of transmission lines and capping hundreds of thousands of abandoned oil wells and mines. The plan will bring high-speed broadband to the 35% of Americans who don’t have it. Biden will also solidify the care economy by making new and better caretaking jobs, many of which will go to people of color and women. And the plan will invest billions of dollars in Research and Development (R&D) to research the technologies of the future and keep up with Chinese innovation.


So far, Republicans are coming around on Biden’s proposals in negotiations between the president and Republican Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (WV), and Mike Crapo (ID). Republicans have upped their offer to $928 billion while Biden is offering $1.7 trillion. The issue is that Republicans oppose Biden’s payment mechanism, which in itself is another major redistribution of corporate riches to help fund the American Jobs Plan and reduce income inequality.


So what will Biden do to pay for his infrastructure proposal? The Made in America Tax Plan, as Biden is calling it, fixes the corporate tax code to incentivise job creation in America and force companies to pay income taxes. The corporate tax rate will be moved to 28% from 21%. Rules that let corporations do business in offshore tax havens like the Cayman Islands will be removed and new taxes will be levied on companies in offshore havens. Enforcement of corporations will be heavily ramped up so that Fortune 500 companies actually pay taxes and cannot use loopholes and armies of tax lawyers to get out of paying their fair share. The Made in America Tax Plan will fully pay for the American Jobs Plan over 15 years.


The American Jobs Plan represents a shift from Reaganomics to focus on spending to make America better. The age of ‘drowning government in the bathtub’ has been drowned in the bathtub. Democrats have seen that Americans want major spending to fix the problems America has. If they see the American Jobs Plan to passage in the Senate and the presidential signature, they will see results in 2022.