On the eve of his 100th day in office, Joe Biden gave his long-delayed Address to Congress Wednesday night and tried to sell America on one of the largest spending bills in modern history. Unfortunately, his latest pitch relies far too heavily on the old tricks he developed as the chief pitchman for the last Democrat stimulus in 2009–and Americans are unlikely to fall for the worn-out act a second time.
The 2021 American Jobs Plan is, according to Biden, “the largest jobs plan since World War II.” The overwhelming narrative has been that this bill is primarily about infrastructure; that the objective is to invest in America and stimulate economic growth by repairing roads and bridges. He affirmed this in his Address to Congress, declaring that the bill “creates jobs to upgrade our transportation infrastructure. Jobs modernizing roads, bridges, and highways. Jobs building ports and airports, rail corridors, and transit lines. It’s clean water.”
For those who remember the last time a Democrat administration came to Congress pushing a bill like this, the claim is a tough one to swallow.
President Barack Obama and then-Vice President Joe Biden are remembered for many things, good and bad, but one that is often forgotten is their ability to sell. The key to their pitch on the 2009 stimulus was a simple, clean, and concise talking point that could be boiled down to three words: “shovel-ready jobs.”
The $800 billion wasn’t going to be spent on Bridges to Nowhere or bureaucratic bloat. The shovels were standing by. All that was missing was the money.
Not long after, they implemented a similar strategy for Obamacare. This time, the pitch was: “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.”
Though they succeeded in selling both plans sufficiently to pass them through Congress, both pitches were soon revealed to be whopping lies. Less than $30 billion of the $800 billion in the 2009 stimulus actually went to infrastructure projects. Obama would later concede: “The problem is, is that spending [stimulus money] out takes a long time because…there’s no such thing as shovel-ready projects.” As for Obamacare, 4 million Americans would lose their healthcare coverage, and PolitiFact would go on to declare Obama and Biden’s healthcare pitch 2013’s Lie of the Year.
In 2021, Biden knows the “shovel-ready” talking point is irredeemably tainted, hence why it appears only once on the official White House Fact Sheet. In his address this week, he never once used the phrase. Further, he made no direct reference to the 2009 Recovery Act at all. It was an extremely odd omission: if a massive spending bill worked during the last economic crisis, why would one of its leading proponents not cite it as an example this time? The answer is that it didn’t work–and Biden doesn’t want to remind Americans that he sold them a bill of goods.
Even a cursory glance at the spending breakdown of Biden’s new bill shows that he is trying to pull the same scam a decade later–an “infrastructure spending bill” full of nothing but liberal pet causes.
Infrastructure is a very bipartisan word. It is the roads we drive on and the electrical grid that keeps us warm at night. It’s the utilities that permit everyday Americans the ability to prosper. Both sides agree on it, and both sides want it. Therefore, it is the easiest word to manipulate. Articles use phrases like “Human Infrastructure” to cloak dramatically less popular socialist programs under the blanket of infrastructure. The phrase “Human Bridges” was used back in 2009 for the same purpose.
While there is indeed funding for infrastructure in the new bill, it encompasses less than half of the $2.6 trillion price tag–and even the spending priorities that are listed as “infrastructure” strain the definition. The rest is overwhelmingly allocated to Clean Energy Tax Credits, Home Care Services, and Job Training–things that didn’t work last time and won’t create many jobs.
The two largest spending areas of Biden’s “infrastructure” bill will not be allocated to infrastructure but left-wing passion projects.
The largest “investment” in this bill ($213 Billion) will be allocated to “Affordable Housing,” which will be used to “produce, preserve, and retrofit more than two million affordable and sustainable places to live.” Essentially, this will allow the government to build low-income apartments in areas traditionally reserved for single-family homes. As President Trump predicted too much derision from the media during the campaign, the left is indeed trying to abolish the suburbs.
The second largest “investment” ($174 Billion) will be made to provide Electric Vehicle (EV) Incentives. This will be used to create 500,000 new charging stations, and the rest will be allocated to EV rebates. This is a massive expenditure, and it’s easy to see how it benefits Tesla drivers, but hard to understand how it will create millions of jobs. The charging stations will only benefit the less than 1% of individuals who own electric cars, and, even with rebates, most are still prohibitively expensive. Biden spoke a lot about raising taxes on the rich, but one of his largest spending proposals is an absurd giveaway to the owners of $80,000 electric cars.
Just how dumb do Joe Biden and the Democrats think the American People are?