By Lucia Leal
Washington, Mar 31 (efe-epa).- The president of the United States proposed on Wednesday a trillion-dollar plan to renew the country’s infrastructure, create “millions of jobs” and cut carbon emissions, with the aim of modernizing the American economy.
Biden announced an ambitious $2.25 trillion plan that will need the green light from Congress to go through, and would be funded by a 15-year increase in corporate taxes.
“If we act now, in 50 years, people are going to look back and say this was the moment that America won the future,” Biden said during a speech in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Less than a month after signing a bailout of $1.9 trillion to counter the effects of the pandemic, Biden asked for another large investment in the country’s economy, this time to solve more structural problems that, which he believes, weigh on America’s potential versus powers like China.
“It’s the largest American jobs investment since World War Two,” Biden stressed.
“It will create millions of jobs, good-paying jobs. It will grow the economy, make us more competitive around the world, promote our national security interests, and put us in a position to win the global competition with China in the upcoming years,” he added.
The so-called American Jobs Plan is the initial pillar of Biden’s economic agenda for his first 100 days in office, and the president plans to present another package in April that would cover issues such as paid leave or universal access to kindergartens at low cost.
In this first proposal, about half of the funds would be dedicated to renovating traditional infrastructure, a goal that both US parties claim to share but have never agreed on how to finance.
Some $621 billion for transport infrastructure would be used to renovate 32,000 kilometers of roads and highways, to rebuild large strategic bridges and to repair another 10,000.
Ports and airports will also be modernized, federal investment in public transportation systems will be doubled, and a network of 500,000 electric vehicle chargers will be built by 2030.
A second block, with $650 billion for home infrastructure, seeks to invest in broadband access especially for rural communities, drinking water, the electricity grid and public housing, in addition to replacing all lead pipes in the country and reducing exposure to the metal in 400,000 education centers.
The government would invest another $580 billion in research and development, manufacturing and job training, while the remaining $400 billion would be earmarked for hiring workers to care for the elderly and people with disabilities.
The discussion will also largely revolve around how to finance the plan: Biden wants to do it by raising corporate tax to 28 percent, up from 21 percent.
The White House also plans to force large companies to pay taxes, by imposing a minimum 15 percent on their income and taxing some of their income abroad.
“A fireman and a teacher paying 22 percent? Amazon and 90 other major corporations are paying zero in federal taxes? I’m going to put an end to that,” Biden promised. EFE-EPA