President Biden says, in connection with his ‘infrastructure’ plan, that “We’re going to pay for everything we spend.”
Actually, it’s you that would pay for this proposed spending. Exactly how much you would pay, and what forms your cash outflows would take, are dependent on your individual situation, but make no mistake: you would pay.
You would likely pay through higher direct taxes–yes, it is claimed that there would be no tax increases for those earning less than $400K/year (family income), but there are spending increases built into or implied in the ‘infrastructure’ bill that imply much higher spending…and taxing..over time. You would pay, in higher prices, lower wages, and reduced investment returns for those corporate tax hikes, which Biden seems to view as a source of free money. You would likely pay in terms of reduced job opportunities…possibly even outright job loss…as a consequence of a damaged US business climate.
Above and beyond the specific details, the ‘infrastructure’ plan and its supporting tax represent an attempt to redirect a greatly-increased part of the national income generated by Americans into the hands of government and of those whose relationship with that government is key to their finances. Such increases in government scope are of direct financial value to a lot of people, including high-income as well as lower-income people…see my post here for discussion of this point. Increasing the scope of government also represents a tremendous ego and status benefit for many people, most definitely including Biden himself…who actually met with history professors to get ideas on how he could build up his ‘legacy’ and who, I think, is more interested in a legacy of doing Big Things than in what the benefits of those Big Things might be.
Nancy Pelosi, in reference to the ‘infrastructure’ bill, stated that: “The dollar amount, as the president has said, is zero.” This is nonsense. The fact that money for a program will come from somewhere doesn’t mean that the cost of that program is zero. If a division of a company embarks on an expensive project and gets the money from their parent corporation, that doesn’t mean that the cost of that program is zero. Same if the division get the money by raising prices and/or selling more to their existing customers–the program still costs what it costs.
The Biden/Pelosi view seems to be that the United States exists to support the Federal government and that category of people who are most closely linked to that government. Increasingly, government and the ‘extended government’ are acting like medieval robber barons, plundering the surrounding countryside to keep themselves and their retainers wealthy and powerful.