In this file:


·         AP: Beyond bridges: Biden redefines infrastructure to add people

·         WSJ: Behind Biden’s Big Plans: Belief That Government Can Drive Growth

·         Reuters: Biden kicks off effort to reshape U.S. economy with infrastructure package

·         Los Angeles Times: News Analysis: 'A new era': Even as debt soars, Biden faces few spending constraints



Beyond bridges: Biden redefines infrastructure to add people


By Lisa Mascaro, Josh Boak and Jonathan Lemire, Associated Press (AP)

Mar 31, 2021


WASHINGTON (AP) — Beyond roads and bridges, President Joe Biden is trying to redefine infrastructure not just as an investment in America the place, but in its workers, families and people.


The first phase of his “Build Back Better” package to be unveiled Wednesday in Pittsburgh would unleash $2 trillion in new spending on four main hard infrastructure categories — transportation; public water, health and broadband systems; community care for seniors; and innovation research and development, according to people familiar with the proposal.


Those would be paid for by permanently raising the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%, the people said, which would unwind the lower corporate rate put in place by the Trump administration.


The next phase would focus on soft infrastructure investments in child care, family tax credits and other domestic programs, paid for by tax hikes on wealthy individuals and families, they said.


Swelling to $3 trillion or $4 trillion, Biden’s new package proposes a massive investment on par with the Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal or Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society. Taken together, the administration’s approach is transforming the old ideas of infrastructure investment into a 21st century concept that includes developing the human capital of America’s population.


“He’s talking about physical infrastructure and we’re talking about human infrastructure,” Sen. Bernie Sanders, the independent from Vermont who is chairman of the Budget Committee, said in an interview Tuesday...





Behind Biden’s Big Plans: Belief That Government Can Drive Growth

Multitrillion-dollar spending program would reverse Reagan-era tacit understanding that public sector is less efficient than the private in allocating resources


By Jacob M. Schlessinger and Andrew Restuccia, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ)

March 30, 2021


WASHINGTON—President Biden envisions long-term federal spending claiming its biggest share of the American economy in decades. He wants to pay for that program in part by charging the highest-earning Americans the biggest tax rates they’ve faced in years.


The Biden economic team’s ambitions go beyond size to scope. The centerpiece of their program—a multitrillion-dollar proposal to be rolled out starting Wednesday, less than a month after a $1.9 trillion stimulus—seeks to give Washington a new commercial role in matters ranging from charging stations for electric vehicles to child care, and more responsibility for underwriting education, incomes and higher-paying jobs.


The administration has also laid the groundwork for regulations aimed at empowering labor unions, restricting big businesses from dominating their markets and prodding banks to lend more to minorities and less for fossil-fuel projects. All while federal debt is currently at a level not seen since World War II.


It all marks a major turning point for economic policy. The gamble underlying the agenda is a belief that government can be a primary driver for growth. It’s an attempt to recalibrate assumptions that have shaped economic policy of both parties since the 1980s: that the public sector is inherently less efficient than the private, and bureaucrats should generally defer to markets.


The administration’s sweeping plans reflect a calculation that “the risk of doing too little outweighs the risk of doing too much,” said White House National Economic Council Director Brian Deese. “We’re going to be unapologetic about that,” he said. “Government must be a powerful force for good in the lives of Americans.”


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Biden kicks off effort to reshape U.S. economy with infrastructure package


By Jarrett Renshaw, Reuters

Mar 31, 2021


(Reuters) - President Joe Biden on Wednesday will call for a dramatic and more permanent shift in the direction of the U.S. economy with a roughly $2 trillion package to invest in traditional projects like roads and bridges alongside tackling climate change and boosting human services like elder care.


He also aims to put corporate America on the hook for the tab, which is expected to grow to a combined $4 trillion once he rolls out the second part of his economic plan in April.


Coupled with his recently enacted $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, Biden’s infrastructure initiative would give the federal government a bigger role in the U.S. economy than it has had in generations, accounting for 20% or more of annual output.


The effort, to be announced on Wednesday at an event in Pittsburgh, sets the stage for the next partisan clash in Congress where members largely agree that capital investments are needed but are divided on the total size and inclusion of programs traditionally seen as social services. Just how to pay for them will be a fractious issue in its own right.


Biden for now is ignoring a campaign promise...





News Analysis: 'A new era': Even as debt soars, Biden faces few spending constraints


David Lauter, Los Angeles Times

via Yahoo News - March 31, 2021


Forty years ago, as a second-term senator, Joe Biden voted for the tax cuts that allowed President Reagan to declare an end to big government.


Later, in the 1990s, Biden supported a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution and talked of the need to reduce the long-term costs of Social Security and Medicare.


As president, Biden has charted a far different course, responding to a changed economic environment and a vastly altered public mood.


Earlier this month, he signed into law a $1.9-trillion spending plan that includes historic expansions of the federal social safety net to address problems worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic.


On Wednesday, he plans to outline just over $2 trillion in spending on roads, bridges, transit, elder care, housing, and upgrades in the nation's drinking water and electric power systems — the first tranche of a long-term "Build Back Better" plan for investing in the nation's infrastructure and support for families that could cost more than $3 trillion over the next decade.


Biden's shift, from backing a key part of Reagan's agenda to embracing an expansion of government more in tune with President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal, parallels a change in the electorate. Voters' concerns about the scope of government and the size of the national debt haven't disappeared. But for now, that's not driving how people vote...


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