Praise and criticism of Biden’s US employment plan by industry professionals

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While President Biden’s infrastructure plan has been applauded by the many industries he supports, including semiconductor manufacturers, fiber optic companies, renewable energy producers, pharmaceutical developers and companies in construction, others in the industrial sectors have expressed their opposition.

In June, Biden announced a plan to $ 953 billion bipartisan bill which included $ 559 billion in new spending. This bill, focused on traditional and broadband infrastructure, transport and environmental sanitation, struck a formal agreement on July 28 to begin formal consideration and passed in the Senate on August 10 by 69 to 30 votes. On August 24, Democrats in the United States House of Representatives passed a resolution that pushed the bipartisan infrastructure bill and greater $ 3.5 trillion proposal forward.

The light infrastructure bill will be voted on by September 27. The larger spending plan, still under development, will be completed on October 1. accompanying invoice will focus on child care, family leave, immigration and climate change provisions.

However, as the date for the House vote quickly approaches, the nearly $ 1,000 billion infrastructure bill has raised questions about its proposed tax hike, increased federal involvement and focus. put on green initiatives.

Proposed tax increase

The official version of the bipartisan bill passed in July did not include a corporate tax increase, gas tax increase, or IRS oversight of tax evasion. While this amended bill addressed some concerns of Democrats and Republicans, the accompanying proposal should be given some setback.

The bill, described by Biden as “complementary,” would include an increase in the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28% and an increase in the tax rate for Americans earning more than $ 400,000 per year. While BlackRock’s CIO of Global Fixed Income, Rick Rieder, said the United States can definitely manage a tax hike, using a tax hike to foot the bill has been controversial, and it is unclear whether a larger package will pass.

A White House note said the corporate tax changes “would pay more than the mostly one-time investment in the US jobs plan.” Expenditure would take place over an eight-year period in order to achieve this objective.

Neil Bradley, executive vice president and director of policy at the United States Chamber of Commerce, said raising taxes would slow economic recovery and growth and make the United States less competitive globally, which is directly opposed to the objective of the plan. The tax increase would also give the United States the opportunity to second highest rate for corporations after accounting for federal and state taxes.

“We need an ambitious and bold agenda to modernize our country’s crumbling infrastructure and we applaud the Biden administration for making infrastructure a top priority,” Bradley said. noted. “However, we believe the proposal is dangerously flawed when it comes to how to pay for infrastructure.”

Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey, however, said passing this plan in its entirety, regardless of the cost, should be a priority. “A smaller infrastructure package means fewer jobs, less justice, less climate action and less investment in America’s future,” Markey said in a declaration.

Proposed federal participation

According to a 2019 Pew research center to study, Americans ‘trust in the federal government is declining, with 84% of respondents believing that Americans’ level of trust in the federal government could be improved. In a 2020 to study, only 20% of American adults said they trusted the government to “do the right thing” all or most of the time.

The bipartisan bill would maximize the amount of federal participation in local infrastructure, including schools, water systems, housing, energy and manufacturing. The 2019 study found that only 53% of American adults believed the government was doing a decent or good job of maintaining infrastructure.

Many Republicans are for less government involvement, especially when it comes to local issues. With many infrastructure concerns that are not national in scope, David Ditch, policy analyst for The Heritage Foundation, said Washington should not have a say in local decisions because local officials are more “In tune with local needs”.

However, almost all of the 2020 study participants agreed that they “want the government to play a major role in everything from protecting the country from terrorism to access to health care and reducing violence. poverty”.

Bernie Sanders, Senator from Vermont, noted the bills directly reflect what he understood the American people want. “Virtually all of the proposals I have included in this budget are exactly what the American people want,” he said. “They want us to create millions of well-paying jobs and do the other things that are long overdue.”

Proposed focus on green initiatives and electric vehicles

Biden’s plan proposal originally called for $ 15 billion in funding for electric vehicle (EV) charging stations and electric buses. The version of the bill passed in August provided funding of $ 7.5 billion each. It also included incentives for people to buy electric vehicles and a goal achieve carbon-free electricity generation by 2035 and net zero emissions by 2050.

In a virtual meeting for the National Asphalt Pavement Association, Stan Bass, director of growth at Vulcan Materials, said the United States needs to focus on a surface transportation package.

“Democrats are trying to cut money for highways, forcing people to get out of cars and take public transit,” Bass said. “We need to focus on the highways program. When we talk about infrastructure, we can’t assume that the people on the Hill know we are talking about highways. We need to make it known that we need transportation action. multi-year surface area.

There’s also concern that just because there are more electric vehicle options doesn’t mean people will necessarily use them. Environmentalists were disappointed that a ban on gasoline vehicles was not included in the US employment plan.

Alternatively, increased demand for electric vehicles could create more job opportunities. The “plan will allow automakers to boost national supply chains from raw materials to parts, retool factories to be globally competitive, and help American workers make batteries and parts. electric vehicles “, according to a note of the White House. “It will provide consumers with point-of-sale discounts and tax incentives to purchase American-made electric vehicles, while ensuring that these vehicles are affordable for all families and made by workers with good jobs. “

Meanwhile, an update to public transport would benefit communities of color, as those households are twice as likely to take public transport, according to one. declaration of the White House.

A note from the Department of Energy said that the Biden administration’s focus on reducing the cost of solar power and growing the nation solar industry could also create up 1.5 million new jobs by 2035.

Image Credit: archna nautiyal / Shutterstock.com

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