In this file:


·         Biden’s $2 Trillion American Jobs Plan to Focus on Infrastructure, Broadband

·         The devil will always be in the details

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

·         Biden proposal seeks billions of dollars to advance climate change agenda



Biden’s $2 Trillion American Jobs Plan to Focus on Infrastructure, Broadband


By Ashley Davenport, Hoosier Ag Today (IN)

Mar 31, 2021


On Wednesday, President Joe Biden released The American Jobs Plan. According to a statement from the White House, the $2 trillion plan will create millions of jobs, rebuild infrastructure, and position the U.S. to out-compete China.


The spending will take place over the course of eight years and would be paid for by increasing the corporate tax rate to 28 percent from 21 percent.


The proposal earmarks $115 billion to repair and rebuild bridges, highways and roads; $100 billion to expand high-speed broadband across the U.S.; $100 billion to upgrade and build new schools; and $100 billion to expand and improve powerlines to shift to clean energy.


“The American Jobs Plan is a once-in-a-century capital investment in America that will meet our current infrastructure needs and invests in a brighter future,” said Sec. Tom Vilsack...





The devil will always be in the details

When investing taxpayer money in the long term, systemic changes are needed to better prepare the meat and poultry sector for the next pandemic.


By Audrey J. Adamson, National Hog Farmer

Mar 29, 2021


Adamson is the former Vice President for Government Affairs for the National Pork Producers Council


The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (P.L. 117-2), recently signed by President Biden, authorizes $4 Billion to be appropriated to the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary), in support of the food supply chain and agriculture pandemic response. Seems straightforward, but the devil will always be in the details.


Take a closer look. The Food and Agriculture Title lists specific actions that the Secretary “shall” take and sets specific funding levels. The balance of the money is given to the Secretary without attaching specified funding, guidance or goals or outcomes.


Of the $4 Billion, $2.75 billion is “shall” funding including: (1) $300 million to conduct monitoring and surveillance on COVID susceptible animals; (2) $100 million (subject to availability) to reduce overtime costs for inspections for small and very small, federally-inspected meat, poultry and egg facilities; (3) $47.5 million for Pandemic Response Administrative Expenses; (4) $2.5 million for the Office of Inspector General to conduct audits, investigations, and oversight; (5) $800 million is for the Commodity Credit Corporation to purchase and make available fresh agricultural commodities; and (6) $1.5 billion in farm loan and debt relief and technical assistance for socially disadvantaged farmers. In addition to this funding, Title II: Nutrition provides an additional $37 million is made available to purchase additional fresh food (fresh produce, dairy, eggs, and meat) for delivery within the Commodity Supplemental Food Program.


If you are counting that leaves $1.25 billion in spending that will be directed by Congress and the Secretary. This is where the devil resides...





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 proposal seeks billions of dollars to advance climate change agenda


By David Shepardson and Nichola Groom, Reuters

via - March 31, 2021


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden's vast plan to modernize the nation's infrastructure includes hundreds of billions of dollars to boost the market for electric vehicles, renewable power and advanced clean energy technologies, while stripping away subsidies for fossil fuels.


That makes the $2 trillion infrastructure blueprint one of the administration's biggest steps to date in achieving its agenda to decarbonize the U.S. economy by 2050 and restore the nation's leadership in addressing global warming.


While much of the package is aimed at traditional infrastructure goals like rebuilding roads and bridges, about a third, or $628 billion, is linked to climate, according to an estimate by investment firm Raymond James.


The proposals, which must still be debated and approved by Congress before becoming reality, drew cheers from the renewable energy industry and some environmentalists, along with criticism oil and gas drillers.


"President Biden's infrastructure proposal is a significant step in meeting our collective clean energy goals," Solar Energy Industries Association Chief Executive Abigail Ross Hopper said in a statement.


The American Council on Renewable Energy said the plan "will move the clean energy sector beyond the endless cycles of temporary stopgap incentives."


The American Petroleum Institute, which represents the country's biggest oil and gas companies, said the plan would "undermine the nation's economic recovery and jeopardize good-paying jobs."


Among the biggest climate-related provisions, the plan includes $174 billion in investment to "win the EV market" by spurring domestic supply chains and giving consumers rebates to buy electric cars.


It also delivers a key win for wind and solar project developers with a proposal to extend the industry's key tax credits by a decade, far longer than the timelines the subsidies have enjoyed in the past.


By contrast, it would strip away billions of dollars' worth of subsidies available to fossil fuels producers, mainly in the form of tax breaks.